Evolution performance

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Evolution performance

reid
Hello group-

I have a performance question:

My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to load

She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid until software and data load.

Does this seem right?

Thanks

Reid

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Re: Evolution performance

Ralf Mardorf-2
On Mon, 2014-05-26 at 10:28 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:

> I have a performance question:
>
> My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to
> me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to
> load
>
> She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool
> the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but
> should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD
> Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU
> isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid
> until software and data load.
>
> Does this seem right?

No! :S

I prefer using Arch Linux and a wild mix of Debian stable, testing and
unstable.

I have got several *buntu installs on my machine, because I welcome the
effort the Ubuntu Studio developers do, even while I disagree very often
with their choices. However, I experienced Evolution for several *buntu
installs as unusable.

Regards,
Ralf

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Re: Evolution performance

reid
I've found it to be very stable, just slow and am trying to understand why.

Reid

On Mon, 26 May 2014 16:58:51 +0200
Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 2014-05-26 at 10:28 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:
> > I have a performance question:
> >
> > My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to
> > me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to
> > load
> >
> > She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool
> > the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but
> > should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD
> > Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU
> > isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid
> > until software and data load.
> >
> > Does this seem right?
>
> No! :S
>
> I prefer using Arch Linux and a wild mix of Debian stable, testing and
> unstable.
>
> I have got several *buntu installs on my machine, because I welcome the
> effort the Ubuntu Studio developers do, even while I disagree very often
> with their choices. However, I experienced Evolution for several *buntu
> installs as unusable.
>
> Regards,
> Ralf
>
> _______________________________________________
> evolution-list mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To change your list options or unsubscribe, visit ...
> https://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/evolution-list


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Re: Evolution performance

Adam Tauno Williams
In reply to this post by reid
On Mon, 2014-05-26 at 10:28 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:

> Hello group-
> I have a performance question:
> My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to
> me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to
> load
> She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool
> the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but
> should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD
> Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU
> isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid
> until software and data load.
> Does this seem right?

Does she have lots of local mail?  [as in: downloaded from POP
accounts].

At some point Evolution changed from using [by default] MBox format for
local mail to Maildir - I do not recall what version that was - but that
can result in a big performance improvement as with MBox every folder is
one file [all messages in a single file].  If you can either upgrade or
just move her local accounts to Maildir that might help.

Another thing to try is to just purge the cache
[~/.cache/evolution/mail/ in current versions; I don't know what 3.6.x
used, there is a wiki pages about versions and their data directories].

A third thing is that while many applications use sqlite many did not
[or do not] vacuum their databases which results in slow performance and
file bloat.  These are the files that end in
".db" [find .local/share/evolution -name *.db]. See
<http://www.whitemiceconsulting.com/2011/11/all-those-sqlite-databases.html>  I do not believe this is a problem with current versions of evolution; but 3.6.x is *old*.


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Systems Administrator, Python Developer, LPI / NCLA

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Re: Evolution performance

reid
Hello Adam -

Thanks for the advise.  

Answering your earlier question, yes there is about 500meg, I think,  in local mail (inbox) and at least that much more in folders.  The Inbox is of course under "On this computer", but so are all of the folders.  I'm not sure if that's part of the problem or not.

I can't tell for sure if 3.6.4 is mbox or maildir.  I've looked for documentation and haven't been able to figure that out yet.  I think it's maildir.  And I'm honestly not sure what the steps would be to migrate from mbox to maildir.

I have tried a few of your suggestions; purging the .cashe and also emptying the trash but there didn't appear to be performance impact.

I did try a different tack; I installed Mint17 on Vituralbox, installed Evolution (rev 3.10.4, migrated my wife's mail data to that and saw a big improvement.  But there are major differences in her architecture and mine.  I have much faster CPU and a SSD drive.  So, I think my plan is this.... get her on a an upgraded OS, install the new Evolution and see if that helps.  If not, put in an SSD, and then upgrade the CPU if needed.  Does that make sense?

Thanks

Reid


On Mon, 26 May 2014 15:50:14 -0400
Adam Tauno Williams <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 2014-05-26 at 10:28 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:
> > Hello group-
> > I have a performance question:
> > My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to
> > me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to
> > load
> > She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool
> > the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but
> > should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD
> > Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU
> > isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid
> > until software and data load.
> > Does this seem right?
>
> Does she have lots of local mail?  [as in: downloaded from POP
> accounts].
>
> At some point Evolution changed from using [by default] MBox format for
> local mail to Maildir - I do not recall what version that was - but that
> can result in a big performance improvement as with MBox every folder is
> one file [all messages in a single file].  If you can either upgrade or
> just move her local accounts to Maildir that might help.
>
> Another thing to try is to just purge the cache
> [~/.cache/evolution/mail/ in current versions; I don't know what 3.6.x
> used, there is a wiki pages about versions and their data directories].
>
> A third thing is that while many applications use sqlite many did not
> [or do not] vacuum their databases which results in slow performance and
> file bloat.  These are the files that end in
> ".db" [find .local/share/evolution -name *.db]. See
> <http://www.whitemiceconsulting.com/2011/11/all-those-sqlite-databases.html>  I do not believe this is a problem with current versions of evolution; but 3.6.x is *old*.
>
>
> --
> Adam Tauno Williams <mailto:[hidden email]> GPG D95ED383
> Systems Administrator, Python Developer, LPI / NCLA
>
> _______________________________________________
> evolution-list mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To change your list options or unsubscribe, visit ...
> https://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/evolution-list


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Re: Evolution performance

Matthew Barnes
On Wed, 2014-05-28 at 12:25 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:
> I can't tell for sure if 3.6.4 is mbox or maildir.  I've looked for
> documentation and haven't been able to figure that out yet.  I think
> it's maildir.

"On This Computer" storage format:

Evolution 2.x is mbox.

Evolution 3.x is Maildir.

Matthew Barnes

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Re: Evolution performance

Emre Erenoglu
In reply to this post by reid


On May 26, 2014 6:36 PM, "Reid Vail" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello group-
>
> I have a performance question:
>
> My wife is running ubuntu 13.04 with Evolution 3.6.4 and it seems to me that it takes a long time to load; about 30 seconds from start to load
>
> She does have quite a lot of data.  Using the Evolution backup tool the compressed file is about 1gig.  Her machine is not stellar but should be sufficient.  She has a standard 7200-rpm drive and a AMD Athlon II X3 processor.  When I watch on the system monitor the CPU isn't working that hard, memory is fine, but the HD light is on solid until software and data load.
>

Hi is it possible that the disk is heavily fragmented or developing some bad blocks which forces it to try to read the same location several times until it succeeds? Worth making a disk check.

Emre


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Re: Evolution performance

Ralf Mardorf-2
On Thu, 2014-05-29 at 10:31 +0400, Emre Erenoglu wrote:
> Hi is it possible that the disk is heavily fragmented or developing
> some bad blocks which forces it to try to read the same location
> several times until it succeeds? Worth making a disk check.

Fragmentation shouldn't be an issue, when using a Linux or BSD file
system.

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Re: Evolution performance

Emre Erenoglu
On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 12:13 PM, Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 2014-05-29 at 10:31 +0400, Emre Erenoglu wrote:
> Hi is it possible that the disk is heavily fragmented or developing
> some bad blocks which forces it to try to read the same location
> several times until it succeeds? Worth making a disk check.

Fragmentation shouldn't be an issue, when using a Linux or BSD file
system.

Yes, this is what it's said about ext, but i don't believe in it much. Any file system can be subject to fragmentation with extensive read write edit operations, in my personal belief :)

For example, my ext4 data partition, fsck states:
DATA: 44595/26689536 files (4.7% non-contiguous), 42054610/106736384 blocks
Although this is a pretty empty partition, I still have 4.7% non-contiguous. Worth checking on your wife's computer, if this is used since long time...

--
Emre

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Re: Evolution performance

Adam Tauno Williams
In reply to this post by reid
On Wed, 2014-05-28 at 12:25 -0400, Reid Vail wrote:

> Hello Adam -
> Thanks for the advise.  
> Answering your earlier question, yes there is about 500meg, I think,
> in local mail (inbox) and at least that much more in folders.  The
> Inbox is of course under "On this computer", but so are all of the
> folders.  I'm not sure if that's part of the problem or not.
> I can't tell for sure if 3.6.4 is mbox or maildir.  I've looked for
> documentation and haven't been able to figure that out yet.  I think
> it's maildir.  And I'm honestly not sure what the steps would be to
> migrate from mbox to maildir.

It is probably maildir, so not a problem there.  Only way it would be
mbox is if you upgraded the account from Evolution 2.x.

> I have tried a few of your suggestions; purging the .cashe and also
> emptying the trash but there didn't appear to be performance impact.

Nope, if the mail is under "On this computer" the cache shouldn't be the
issue

> I did try a different tack; I installed Mint17 on Vituralbox,
> installed Evolution (rev 3.10.4, migrated my wife's mail data to that
> and saw a big improvement.

GOOD MAN!  Testing in a virtual machine before breaking things!!!! Man,
I wish more people would take that approach! :)

Indeed, the post 3.6.x releases of Evolution are in my experience each
noticeably more responses than the last.  3.8.x was a big improvement.

> But there are major differences in her architecture and mine.  I have
> much faster CPU and a SSD drive.  So, I think my plan is this.... get
> her on a an upgraded OS, install the new Evolution and see if that
> helps.  If not, put in an SSD, and then upgrade the CPU if needed.
> Does that make sense?

Data on an SSD never hurts. :)  The CPU seems an unlikely culprit,
anything even a few generations old probably has plenty of HP for a
desktop.  Kludegy I/O subsystems kill responsiveness.  If you can watch
with top, or even better dstat, when Evolution starts then you can see
if you begin paging and just to see the general I/O pattern - we are
interested in disk & memory, not really so much with CPU [a saturated
I/O subsystem can spike CPU utilization - making CPU *look* like the
bottleneck when the spike is actually an effect not a cause].

These tests work best [are most telling] after a cold start or flushing
the buffers.  

   sync && echo 3 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

The above makes LINUX forget what it has buffered, and [nearly anyway]
start from scratch - which keeps things it has previously cached from
messing up test results.

You can also watch I/O in extreme detail:
<http://www.whitemiceconsulting.com/2011/04/blockdump-logging.html>

Otherwise beyond I/O the debugging page is always a good read:
<https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution/Debugging>


--
Adam Tauno Williams <mailto:[hidden email]> GPG D95ED383
Systems Administrator, Python Developer, LPI / NCLA

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Re: Evolution performance

Adam Tauno Williams
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf-2
On Thu, 2014-05-29 at 10:13 +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Thu, 2014-05-29 at 10:31 +0400, Emre Erenoglu wrote:
> > Hi is it possible that the disk is heavily fragmented or developing
> > some bad blocks which forces it to try to read the same location
> > several times until it succeeds? Worth making a disk check.
> Fragmentation shouldn't be an issue, when using a Linux or BSD file
> system.

It is rare for fragmentation to happen to the extend it is a problem -
especially with file-systems that support extents, etc...  I generally
assume that if fragmentation is causing a performance issue then the
host is probably starved for memory or the I/O subsystem is broken in
some way [causing responsiveness issues, which shouldn't really happen
except with pretty had hardware... aka, most cheap laptops].

But the easiest way to defrag a filesystem is to backup, wipe, and
restore [tar /home, rm -fR /home/*, untar].

--
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Systems Administrator, Python Developer, LPI / NCLA

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