Saturday, December 30, 2006

Suse 10.2, part 6: What is going on with beagled-helper?

Beagle is Gnome's answer to built-in desktop indexing and search. The heart of Beagle appears to be beagled, the Beagle daemon. I went out earlier today to run a number of errands leaving europa on and running with openSuse. When I returned home several hours later, I came back to an unresponsive machine. The display was corrupt, with random pixels all over the screen. No jiggling of the shift keys on the keyboard or the mouse would bring up the desktop.

I quickly noticed that the hard drive activity light was on constantly. I switched from hitting the Big Red Switch to attempting to gain access to a basic text-only window (Ctrl Alt F1) and logging into root. I wanted to find out what was happening on the system. I hit CAF1 and waited about 30 seconds before the screen cleared and I got a login prompt. Good! I had to wait another 15-20 seconds to log in as root and get a shell prompt. I fired up top and saw that beagled-helper had 99% of the CPU. I killed it not once, but twice; it restarted the second time as I was watching top. Once beagled-helper was fully dead, europa's normal responsive returned.

When I got control of the graphical desktop again I ran free in a terminal window to see how much swap space got chewed up. As I suspected, beagled-helper had eaten up a good chunk of swap; nearly 200MB worth. Under normal circumstances my system uses an order of magnitude less, and that's with Java and/or a number of gcc compiles running on other desktops. I don't know what beagled-helper was doing, but the high swap use coupled with whatever it was attempting chewed up CPU cycles and hard-drive bandwidth.

My final step is to hunt down and keep beagled and beagled-helper from ever starting again. It's not a part of regular services, but looks to be started by something within the KDE login process. And for the record, there is an Ubuntu bug (64326) that was logged against a similar problem back in October. Whatever, I don't see a need for this, and I will shut it down permanently.

6 comments:

  1. That's interesting. I have had similar problems with SUSE 10.1. Beagled and Beagle-helper kept hogging all my CPU usage, and RAM! I constantly had full RAM usage (no swap yet...), and I have 1.5gigs of RAM. That is crazy. I too tried to prevent them from ever starting again (without my consent), but ended up just uninstalling them. It is a pitty though, I found beagle very helpful some times.

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  2. Did you manage to solve this problem?
    As i'm suffering from this problem, as well.

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  3. Yishay: I solved this problem by suppressing beagle from my computer.
    Harsh but efficient ;)

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  4. Same problem here. openSuSE 10.2 on a laptop and beagled running amok pulling down 100% cpu.

    I'm removing it.

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  5. I had the same problem and I though some re-indexing was going on.
    So I waited and left my computer and beagled do what they needed to do.
    After a couple of hours, everything turned back fine.

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  6. I had trouble with beagle a few time. The following line of code fixed the problem forever though:

    yum remove beagl* -y

    lol. I havent had any diminished productivity from not having it installed, and my cpu is much less busy now.

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