(SOLVED) LinuxMint slows then hangs

I installed 64 bit LM19 Tara, about 4 months ago, hoping to correct sluggish functioning of LM 18.x. The slow down is getting worse and the 2008 " Dell Optiplex 740, w/64bit chip, now hangs daily and all I can do is a hard reboot, as the mouse / keyboard are not functional.

I am using less than 5% of my 1 TB drive, so it’s not a storage issue.
included are USB connected drives , which cause no difference if mounted or not.
My main usage is movie streaming, and Email with side trips to the web for tech articles and shopping. I have run this machine for the last 4 years 24/7 with only an occasional reboot. 3 of those years was with LM18. It had Win Vista prior to that. I have Firefox sand boxed.
OS on SDA1 and data is stored on Ext4. I keep up with all the updates, level 1 thru 4.
No complaints about Linux. I think it is a great O/S. I think this has been caused by something I did. But I don’t know what.
I need a diagnostic program, to delve into this. Still a “Newbie” after 3+ years, but I’m also age 74. and it takes me a bit longer to get things done.
Would appreciate any assistance I can get.

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Have you checked on the kernels is the active one although there are 4.18’s to use as well? All you do is remove the old ones. I am not sure that would help much. As you don’t have a storage problem, you could just do an upgrade to 19.1 which you can do through update manager. This might clear things as it will need a reboot. I also notice that you don’t reboot that often which I think you should do as it only takes seconds and it refreshes things. Also running as long as you do on a hdd for 4 years is quite hard on it as the average life span is about 5 years for them (not 100% on that figure as it used to be) So it could be that you hdd is getting worn out and you may have to replace it.

Before you do anything whatever you feel is best remember to do a TimeShit so you can undo any changes, if they cause problems.

I am not familiar enough with diagnostic tools that are available for and work well with Mint, because to be honest I have never had to use one since coming across from Windows .

Sorry I made a mistake earlier and should have put Timeshit not time shot, which was confusing.

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Thanks Electric Dandy Slider,
yes I have previously done the 19.1 Tara, and Just now, the Kernel to 4.18.0 -15 install. But I never remove the older kernels. Hard drive diagnostics say the drive is good.
Yes my issue also, (never using Diagnostics since switching from Vista) I did a screen shot, and before the sound of the shutter played it was a good 8 seconds, and the dialogue box that asks to save it took almost 30 seconds to appear. Used to be…
both would appear within 4 seconds…
not a whole lot of problems buffering the streaming movies… but to
open KolourPaint {filename/open with KolourPaint} is a heartbreaking 10 -12 seconds. This too used to be almost instantaneous. When opening a folder, I need to first [click] select it, then [doubleclick] it. Used to be just [Dbl-Click.] would open. sometimes switching from one directory to another, would take 6 -12 seconds. all this even after a reboot.

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Hi Flyboy,

Dell Optiplex Manual

The manual states your Optiplex has the AMD (Athlon or Phenom) processor, and integrated graphics. Depending on your precise model, how many ram slots are available, (8GB being the max, 4x2GB ram modules), and if you could or able to source either the extra ram and a graphic card to fit to the PCle slot. This would help improve your graphics issues.

Due to it age and modern software requirements, Linuxmint Cinnamon is overwhelming your veteran computer. Ideally I would suggest you back up all your data to an external disk and install a lightweight desktop, such as Lubuntu, antiX or Manjaro Openbox, as they would use less of your computers perish resources.


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this definitely sounds like a possibility with and 11+ year old system. @Flyboy, can you provide us with the specs of your processor and RAM to help see if this is probable? in the meantime, htop isn’t necessarily a diagnostic program, but it will show you ram usage and some other internals to help start getting an idea what is going on :slight_smile:

I have just seen this. Timeshift is not a screen shot. It is similar to creating a system restore point in Windows. Sorry I should have been clearer, but I am so used to using it now that has become second nature for me to do so. If you have not set it up yet, it is easy to do and is the first thing you see on the Welcome screen under first steps. If you don’t have that when you log in then just search for it and it comes up. When you have done this if things go wrong then you can alter the state back to what it was before you make the changes.

I would also agree with @anon56357095 and @01101111 have suggested to you. My suspicion is that your hardware at present can’t cope with Mint Cinnamon. And as @01101111 if you can upload your specs it would help us to further understand and may be offer other solutions.

a great program. definitely worth an install in my opinion as well :slight_smile:

Yes, Understood.
I installed Timeshift, prior to U/G to 19.x

Cinnamon?? I thought I was still using Mint desktop…

Results of <uname -a>
Linux OptiPlex-740 4.18.0-15-generic #16~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Feb 7 14:06:04 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

results of < inxi >
Resuming in non X mode: glxinfo not found. For package install advice run: inxi --recommends
CPU~Dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (-MCP-) speed/max~2000/2300 MHz Kernel~4.18.0-15-generic x86_64 Up~6:40 Mem~788.0/1992.1MB HDD~1160.2GB(6.6% used) Procs~166 Client~Shell inxi~2.3.56

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Please run this command:

  • inxi -Fxz

It will print out the specifications of your computer. Including details of desktop type and which distro.

When replying use preformatted text see </> symbol above.

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Thanks for the quick reply!
Also, I previously ran < inxi --recommends>, installed the missing program from the software Mgr, rebooted, and still get the same message…

Resuming in non X mode: glxinfo not found. For package install advice run: inxi --recommends
System:    Host: OptiPlex-740 Kernel: 4.18.0-15-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
           Desktop: MATE 1.20.1 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1) Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine:   Device: desktop System: Dell product: OptiPlex 740 Enhanced serial: N/A
           Mobo: Dell model: 0YP806 v: A00 serial: N/A BIOS: Dell v: 2.1.6 date: 05/04/2008
CPU:       Dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (-MCP-) arch: K8 rev.F+ cache: 1024 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips: 8016
           clock speeds: max: 2300 MHz 1: 2000 MHz 2: 2000 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Cedar [Radeon HD 5000/6000/7350/8350 Series] bus-ID: 03:00.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.org 1.19.6 ) drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
           tty size: 125x25
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Cedar HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 5400/6300/7300 Series]
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 03:00.1
           Card-2 NVIDIA MCP51 High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:10.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.18.0-15-generic
Network:   Card: Broadcom Limited NetXtreme BCM5754 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express
           driver: tg3 v: 3.137 bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1160.2GB (6.6% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD10EAVS size: 1000.2GB
           ID-2: USB /dev/sdf model: 2ACE size: 160.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 915G used: 25G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.14GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 27.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 52.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 168 Uptime: 7:40 Memory: 922.3/1992.1MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.191) inxi: 2.3.56

Hi Mint installs in the Cinnamon Desktop Environment if you installed to it. The other choices for Mint are Mate and Debian. Desktops. You are still using the Mint desktop, but the "flavour " for want of a better word is the Cinnamon one.

I have not used the Mate Edition and perhaps others will know better if that might be a better choice for you given your hardware. You will still have Mint and everything you like about it just a different version - if that makes sense to you.

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Yep… That’s what I thought< Inxi -Fxz >
says I’ve installed this:

Desktop: MATE 1.20.1 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1) Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara


I missed the formatting line… will include in future…

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I think Mint xfce may work better for you. But with only 2 Gbs ram it will be slow. If you could up the ram to say 4 gbs it would be much better.


Okay the highlights:

Dell Mini Tower 740
Linuxmint Mate 19
AMD Athlon 64 dual core CPU
AMD/ATI Cedar Graphics card
100Mbps Internet connection
Internal disk and external disk
2GB ram.

Mate is considered to be lighter than the Cinnamon desktop. As per first thoughts, ram is an issue, from the inxi print out, you are using 50% of your ram 922.3/1992.1 MB.

Are you using a VGA or Display port cable, and is it connected to the graphic card port at the back of the computer. See below picture, rear view (No 6) slot is where your monitor cable should be attached to the Graphic card.

Tweaks and other tricks to follow. But really if you can purchase more ram (4Gb of ram minium), this will improve things.



OK. Thanks for your time and effort.
I am using a HDMI cable from card in slot 6 to a large “LG” brand, 34" flat screen TV.

Currently, Hospital bills / meds / Doctor visits, put a strain on new purchases. But I did manage to order 4 GB RAM from Amazon.
should be here in a week or so.
I’ll just have to eat spaghetti, for a couple of extra meals… :expressionless:

Looking fwd to those tweaks and tricks.

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Spaghetti on toast, lol, at least it ain’t beans on toast, Blazing Saddles camp fire symphony :rofl:

I do hope you ordered DDR2 synch Dram non-ecc memory (2x2GB modules), as the Dimm capacities of each slot is 2GB or up 4 modules at 2GB.

I would suggest you practise doing the tweaks with your current desktop when your extra ram arrives, delete the Mate desktop using Gparted through the LiveCD and then install Linuxmint Xfce or Lubuntu, with your usual “Erase and Install Linuxmint” to sda.

Tweaks and tips

Reduce Swappiness and cache pressure (both share same file)

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness normally set at ‘60’, ideal for a server, not desktop

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
scroll to bottom of file and add the following

# Reduce the swap tendency


cat /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure normally set at 100

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
scroll to bottom of file and add the following

# Reduce Cache Pressure

Important to run this command:

sudo update-grub
sudo shutdown -r now

Clear thumbnail cache

rm -v -f ~/.cache/thumbnails/*/*.png ~/.thumbnails/*/*.png
rm -v -f ~/.cache/thumbnails/*/*/*.png ~/.thumbnails/*/*/*.png


sudo apt install dconf-editor

click on org > gnome > desktop > thumbnail-cache
click on maximum-age and set it to 30 days
click once on maximum-size and set it to 50Mb

Clear Recent Files
cat /dev/null > .local/share/recently-used.xbel

Check file and filesystem
sudo apt autoclean && sudo apt autoremove
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt clean

Broken Packages
sudo dpkg -l | grep ^..r
sudo apt install -f

Check boot up time
systemd-analyze time
systemd-analyze blame
systemd-analyze critical-chain

Disable network service
sudo systemctl disable NetworkManager-wait-online.service (if it retards boot up time)

Good luck with the quacks



Charles, just a thought have you been here https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/first-mint-cinnamon.html and done any of the things that are suggested and looked at the things on the site. You can trust it completely, I know many people who have used the site. I have done so ever since I started with Mint. I don’t know everything on all the pages, but it might be worth a look along with the other advice given here.

Let us know how you get on with things.


Flyboy has the Mate desktop.

Extra reading :sunglasses: