software centre is memory hog and sometimes becomes unresponsive

Bug #542336 reported by Daniel Añez Scott on 2010-03-20
130
This bug affects 27 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
software-center (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: software-center

After opening software center I was installing gimp and gnome do from the featured applications, it was behaving too slow, and then the window got frozen, although when i opened the USC again, the selected programs were installed successfully.
All after a fresh install of ubuntu lucid beta 1 and the only thing i tweaked was the gnome system monitor.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: amd64
Date: Fri Mar 19 20:15:52 2010
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Beta amd64 (20100318)
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: software-center 1.1.17
PackageArchitecture: all
ProcEnviron:
 LANG=es_VE.utf8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-16.25-generic
SourcePackage: software-center
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-16-generic x86_64

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Can you please open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), type in

software-center

And then paste the output when it starts to become slow/memory hog.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Victor Vargas (kamus) wrote :

Daniel, any news about this issue?

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium

I'm using maverick, and I guess it's solved. Since the bug was in lucid I can't really tell =/

komputes (komputes) wrote :

I find that although there has been some improvements in maverick, software-center is still quite slow, lagged and unresponsive. Andrew, unfortunately software-center doesn't offer any output in the console when running the following scenarios. You can test these to reproduce the issue:

1) Speed opening deb file
a-Open a .deb file (software-center shows gray window until it can load information) - 26 seconds
b-Open a .deb file (gdebi opens the file quickly) - 2 seconds

2) Speed opening
a-Open software-center - 20 Seconds
b-Open synaptic - 4 seconds

3) Interface unresponsive while installing
a-Select a large number of packages to be installed (all games for example) - software-center is bogged down by dpkg, unresponsive.
b-Select a large number of packages to be installed (all games for example) - synaptic/gnome-app-install interface is not bogged down by dpkg as they REQUIRE user to confirm packages BEFORE being installed, then BLOCKS the interface when installing.

I would recommend that either the interface be blocked when the user is finally ready to confirm packages to install. Otherwise I recommend removing niceness from dpkg so that it doesn't peg the CPU (meaning installation will be slower than with other package management tools). If there is a creative way to have dpkg and software-center both run without this lag, please post your idea here.

c-After selecting a package you may notice a 15 second lag before it is added to the "In progress queue"

5) Slowness in browsing interface
a-After clicking on "More info" interface is non-responsive (try scroll up, scroll down) until thumbnail loads.
b-Scrolling through list of packages causes visual stutter. Clicking on Category bar does not have an immediate effect.
c-Clicking on history beside category bars create a broken path that doesn't bring you anywhere (white page)

Please let me know which of the following tests you can't reproduce. I am able to upload video recordings of these issues should it be required.

Although it has improved a lot, I have to agree with David. I felt identified with all those use-cases.

komputes (komputes) on 2010-12-17
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Travis Whitaker (pi-boy-travis) wrote :

I'm finding USC to be a lot slower from Maverick to Natty. It becomes unresponsive after clicking an install button, sometimes for 30 seconds or more.

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

@David, in reference to your comment #5 that is based on Software Center in Maverick, I expect that at least some of these issues should now be fixed in Natty. I'd like to try to identify those issues that remain and prioritize them so that we can address as many as we can for Oneiric.

I think issue 2, referring to startup speed, should be much improved in Natty over Maverick, as evidenced by the startup time measurement graph that we used to track this over the Natty cycle:

  http://people.canonical.com/~mvo/software-center/mini10-startup/startup-times.png

Issue 1, the speed when opening a .deb file is a remaining known issue and we are targeting that in the Software Center UI Enhancements blueprint for Oneiric.

I think browsing in general should also be improved (issue 5), please let us know if that is not the case for you.

Finally, it would be helpful to know some details about the hardware you are using so we can compare to our reference hardware (a Dell Mini 9 netbook).

Thank you very much for your help!

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :
Download full text (3.3 KiB)

I did some performance evaluations for Software Center 4.0.2 in Natty based on David's observations in comment #5 and can report the following:

> 1) Speed opening deb file
> a-Open a .deb file (software-center shows gray window until it can load information) - 26 seconds
> b-Open a .deb file (gdebi opens the file quickly) - 2 seconds

Startup time is significantly faster in Natty than in Maverick, but because the code path is different when opening a .deb file directly some of the startup time optimizations that we implemented in Natty are *not* effective *for this case*. In addition, there is a usability glitch in that the main category view is displayed momentarily on launch before switching to the details page for the .deb being opened. Both of these issues are identified to be addressed in Oneiric with work items in the Software Center UI enhancements spec:

  https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/desktop-o-software-center-ui

> 2) Speed opening
> a-Open software-center - 20 Seconds
> b-Open synaptic - 4 seconds

This was significantly improved for Natty. On my laptop, Software Center starts up in well under 1 second.

> 3) Interface unresponsive while installing
> a-Select a large number of packages to be installed (all games for example) - software-center is bogged down by dpkg, unresponsive.
> b-Select a large number of packages to be installed (all games for example) - synaptic/gnome-app-install interface is not bogged down by dpkg as they REQUIRE user to confirm packages BEFORE being installed, then BLOCKS the interface when installing.

> I would recommend that either the interface be blocked when the user is finally ready to confirm packages to install. Otherwise I recommend removing niceness from dpkg so that it doesn't peg the CPU (meaning installation will be slower than with other package management tools). If there is a creative way to have dpkg and software-center both run without this lag, please post your idea here.

This is still the case, but generally only when installing more than a few items simultaneously.

> c-After selecting a package you may notice a 15 second lag before it is added to the "In progress queue"

In Natty we reduced the delay before progress bar feedback on an install or remove from a few seconds or more down to almost instantaneous. There is still a small delay of about 1-2 seconds before the "In Progress" node appears, but I am not seeing anything like 15 seconds. Please let me know if there are specific packages or conditions that you see this kind of delay with.

It would be worth reducing the additional delay before the "In Progress" item appears. It should appear as quickly as the progress bar.

> 5) Slowness in browsing interface
> a-After clicking on "More info" interface is non-responsive (try scroll up, scroll down) until thumbnail loads.
> b-Scrolling through list of packages causes visual stutter. Clicking on Category bar does not have an immediate effect.
> c-Clicking on history beside category bars create a broken path that doesn't bring you anywhere (white page)

I can't reproduce any of these cases with Software Center 4.0.2 in Natty. If you are still experiencing any of thes...

Read more...

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

I think, in terms of impact on usability, I would rate the performance issues above as follows (from highest impact to lowest):

2. Startup speed.
1. Speed opening deb file
5. Slowness in browsing interface.
3. Interface unresponsive while installing

(there is no 4) ;)

Of these, in my experience numbers 2 and 5 have been addressed quite satisfactorily in Natty. Number 1 is targeted for fixing in Oneiric. That leaves number 3, which for my case is only a problem when installing many items at once. Nevertheless, it is certainly worth considering for improvement as well.

If anyone has a different experience or disagrees with what I've found, please report here.

Many thanks!

andreselsuave (andreselsuave) wrote :

I am getting slow/choppy response from software center in natty too.

Andrés

just installed latest oneiric desktop cd on my atom netbook.
People, big problems with software center:
- is almost unresponsive when installing/unistalling,
- it has very very slow startup time
- had to reboot to sync it to sources . I've installed the distro with no internet connection and not even an apt-get updated was sufficient to populate its database.

Overall performance is totally unacceptable, but it works. Do something..

Dave Morley (davmor2) on 2012-04-17
tags: added: ca-escalate
tags: added: ca-escalated
removed: ca-escalate
David Pitkin (dpitkin) on 2012-05-21
tags: removed: ca-escalated
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