Huge system slowdown while installing ports

Haravikk me at
Sun Aug 1 05:01:24 PDT 2010

I have version 1.9.1. The build of WINE included all dependents (practically everything was outdated so I decided it was better just to uninstall the lot and start fresh).

I have 10gb of RAM (usually running at over 6gb free), I have four striped hard-drives (non SSD); small file performance isn't great but I've never found it a problem when building software in XCode myself, and the benefit to large file access has far outweighed any slightly diminished performance elsewhere.

Looking at the processes I did see cc appearing, however it only appeared in incredibly short bursts (about 20 seconds at most) where it would be at close to 100% CPU utilisation (just for the process so one core-ish), but most of the time as I say it's just idling around 15% total system use even accounting for slow drive access I would expect it to at least be jumping around as each file is compiled rather than doing (as far as I can tell) nothing for minutes at a time.

Now that it's finally finished (it took about 13 and a half hours in total) I hopefully won't have many big ports to update, but it'd be nice to track it down if I ever do need to do a fresh install or whatever.

I am thinking of getting an SSD and setting up my home folder on ordinary hard-drives, but they're still a bit unreasonably expensive these days as I'd probably need a fairly large one to avoid having to move to much to standard hard drive. I generally find the performance is great though so it's more of a wish list thing than anything else, more likely to do it if I upgrade to a new generation of Mac Pro.

On 1 Aug 2010, at 09:19, Joshua Root wrote:

> On 2010-8-1 08:57 , Haravikk wrote:
>> I've actually always experienced this with Mac Ports, and I'm afraid I'm not sure what version I first tried, but when installing ports I often find that my system really crawls along at a snail's pace. Today I've spent nearly 13 hours installing the wine-devel port, even though kernel tasks (which I assume is the relevant process) has never gone beyond 15% CPU utilisation, yet light web surfing in Safari is sluggish, jerky, and sometimes unresponsive.
>> This is particularly annoying as I have an 8-core Mac Pro! There's plenty of CPU power remaining for other tasks, yet there's a bottleneck occurring somewhere because of MacPorts.
>> What I'd be interested in knowing is if there is anything I can do to debug and find whether this is occurring because of a conflict (besides turning things on and off please!) or how I might prevent it from happening.
>> I mean, is this occurring because everything is running under kernel tasks? If so, then is there a way to run it as its own independent process? I run MacPorts as root to ensure smooth installation, but I expect the bulk of the work could easily occur without root permissions, and without having anything to do with the kernel. Is this something I can change or a problem with MacPorts?
>> Not that this inconveniences me often, but I suspect that the pitiful CPU utilisation is why the ports take forever to build, and because they take forever to build my machine is slow for longer... well it's a vicious cycle, and it'd be nice if port updates could be snappier if it's at all possible =)
>> I'm using the latest MacPorts on OS X.6.4.
> Please give the actual number from 'port version'; from our point of
> view it's difficult to know whether a user actually has the latest
> version or just thinks they do. :-)
> How much RAM do you have, and what are your buildmakejobs and
> buildnicevalue settings?
> - Josh

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