Question:

Elementary OS 5.1 Hera freezing

Isla: 01 February 2022

I have a problem with elementary and I am wondering if anyone has experienced and solved the following issue. My screen seems to freeze after doing some tasks, sometimes the mouse is frozen too and other times it is not and the audio in the background is still running. AS far as I can remember the freezing SOMETIMES happens when I do one of the following:

  1. Transferring large files across storage devices.
  2. Use my computer after it has been sleeping.
  3. Deleting a bunch of files at once, say, 50 or more.
  4. Leave my computer for a little while then come back and start using it.
  5. (New) Changing system font.

I think my system is full up to date and I don't ever have many programs running at once on it. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer :)

Answer:
Greyson: 01 February 2022

The first step in resolving these issues is to see if you can establish whether your system is CPU bound, I/O bound, or memory bound. This is just a fancy way of saying you have a bottleneck at the CPU, disk/network, or memory.

Install Gnome System Monitor from the AppCenter and when you start to notice the system is slowing down or freezing open it up and look at the Resources tab:

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The top section represents the CPU load and if one or more of them are at or near 100% you probably have a CPU bottleneck. If this is the case look at the Processes tab, sort the table by the CPU column by clicking on it:

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The application(s) at the top of the table will most likely be the culprit.

The second section on the Resources tab is your memory, if the "Memory" line is maxed out and the "Swap" line is up off the floor then you probably have memory issues. You can go back to the Processes tab and sort the table by Memory:

enter image description here

Once again the apps at the top are typically the offenders.

I/O bottlenecks typically are the result of downloading large files or web pages and result in browser tabs spinning and applications that use the internet stalling out but the rest of the UI should be reasonably responsive. This doesn't seem like the issue you are having so I won't go into a lot of detail though if you notice the lines in the last section of the Resources tab (Network History) are at the ceiling consistently when you experience a freeze you may have an I/O issue.