[Solved] High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

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[Solved] High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-14 01:06

I installed Debian Testing on my desktop yesterday. But to my dislike I found Xorg to be using a lot of CPU, often consuming 25% (1 full core) of my quad core AMD Phenom II processor. After a while of using Iceweasel, Amarok and Libre Office my system starts to perform sluggish and hangs occasionally. I am using KDE 4.6.5 with desktop effects on. I am using a Nvidia Quadro FX 1500 graphics card.

I have been trying to find a solution to the problem. First I thought Nouveau might be the problem. So I uninstalled and blacklisted Nouveau and started X again without a driver. Still the problem persisted. After that I installed the Nvidia 290.10 driver from the Nvidia website successfully, but still the problem was there. Next, I tried to downgrade Xorg/xserver, following the advice of this thread on page 5 http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69341&p=397479&hilit=xorg+cpu+wheezy#p397479, which resulted in a broken X system. I reinstalled X, deleted the Nvidia driver and now I am back on Nouveau, with still some occasional sluggishness.

Now my question is if there is any way to configure Xorg to use less CPU, or what issues might be causing Xorg's high CPU load. According to htop this instance is causing the CPU load;

Code: Select all
/usr/bin/X :0 vt7 -br -nolisten tcp -auth /var/run/xauth/A:0-eHlQEa
Last edited by sarton85 on 2011-12-14 22:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby Bulkley » 2011-12-14 17:41

Sorry if this is too basic but have you run 'top' to see which programs are using the CPU most often?
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby vbrummond » 2011-12-14 18:14

I have this issue on KDE as well (on Mepis and Squeeze). I have not tried Wheezy. Not that it is particularly slow but it is much slower than Gnome and certainly uses way more cpu. Any change to a window under KDE brings Xorg cpu usage up to 25-50%. Almost as if it is drawing the QT widgets suboptimally.

Perhaps try this out: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/KD ... workaround
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-14 18:53

Thanks for the reply's!

@Bulkley, the last line I posted in my first post is the process that is causing the trouble according to (h)top.

@vbrummond, thanks for the link, I will check it out. Problem is, the Xorg problem also seems to persist with desktop effects turned off. Yeah, KDE really is the heaviest DE out here. But I just like to use a full featured and pretty desktop. I used to be a Gnome user, but with Gnome 3 being under heavy development in Wheezy, it is not the place I want to hang out. It is faster/lighter, but buggy.
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-14 19:23

Just found another recent thread with the exact same problem, but now someone using XFCE.

http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=73415&p=409348
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby vbrummond » 2011-12-14 19:25

sarton85 wrote:@vbrummond, thanks for the link, I will check it out. Problem is, the Xorg problem also seems to persist with desktop effects turned off.

This is the case for me as well, Xorg seems to not like anything done to it. It must have something to do with the drivers. Other than the raster workaround (kde 4.6 and above only, so I can't do it in squeeze however it works in wheezy) I can only thing to try to disable kernel modesetting with the boot parameter nomodeset.
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-14 19:37

Thanks, I will try the raster workaround and nomodeset later this evening and report back if it changes anything.

Xorg seems to not like anything done to it


Sometimes I do believe that to be true. Used to have a lot of trouble with Xorg before.
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Re: High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-14 22:43

This is the case for me as well, Xorg seems to not like anything done to it. It must have something to do with the drivers. Other than the raster workaround (kde 4.6 and above only, so I can't do it in squeeze however it works in wheezy) I can only thing to try to disable kernel modesetting with the boot parameter nomodeset.


This might have done the trick!

I have installed this package; http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=129817&forumpage=0 to set QT to use raster and have added nomodeset to the GRUB config file. KDE seems to be at least a bit snappier and is even usable with multiple heavy applications open. But the most important thing is that Xorg keeps quiet now. It never uses more than 5% CPU, while it used to be 25%. Now most of the time it uses 0 - 1%. I am running my desktop for about 15 minutes now, so I have to see how it behaves when my computer is running over 2 -3 hours.

Vbrummond, thanks a lot!

EDIT: Still running like a charm after 2,5 hours of moderate usage. Xorg is still staying under 5% CPU usage.
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Re: [Solved] High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby sarton85 » 2011-12-16 20:17

I have deleted the nomodeset boot parameter from GRUB, just to test if it really is the Raster workaround that makes the difference. I wanted to be sure before I wrote the HowTo (http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=73732&p=409679#p409679). Still my system is running smooth, thanks to the Raster workaround.
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Re: [Solved] High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby vbrummond » 2011-12-16 20:31

Awesome, glad it helped.
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Re: [Solved] High CPU load Xorg in Wheezy

Postby Elizabeth31 » 2012-08-17 19:17

sarton85 wrote:I installed Debian Testing on my desktop yesterday. But to my dislike I found Xorg to be using a lot of CPU, often consuming 25% (1 full core) of my quad core AMD Phenom II processor. After a while of using Iceweasel, Amarok and Libre Office my system starts to perform sluggish and hangs occasionally. I am using KDE 4.6.5 with desktop effects on. I am using a Nvidia Quadro FX 1500 graphics card.

I have been trying to find a solution to the problem. First I thought Nouveau might be the problem. So I uninstalled and blacklisted Nouveau and started X again without a driver. Still the problem persisted. After that I installed the Nvidia 290.10 driver from the Nvidia website successfully, but still the problem was there. Next, I tried to downgrade Xorg/xserver, following the advice of this thread on page 5 http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69341&p=397479&hilit=xorg+cpu+wheezy#p397479, which resulted in a broken X system. I reinstalled X, deleted the Nvidia driver and now I am back on Nouveau, with still some occasional sluggishness.

Now my question is if there is any way to configure Xorg to use less CPU, or what issues might be causing Xorg's high CPU load. According to htop this instance is causing the CPU load;

Code: Select all
/usr/bin/X :0 vt7 -br -nolisten tcp -auth /var/run/xauth/A:0-eHlQEa


Thanks for the thread and also for link.It,s a great share.Hope will work. :)

Great post.
Thank you
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