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I am using ElementaryOS with the default Drivers and my Gala process is constantly using tons of CPU (sometimes more than 200%).

I have looked everywhere but couldnt find a solution. I tried to install the proprietary Intel HD Graphics 3000 and NVIDIA drivers but then I cant login in the system (black screen).

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 540M] (rev a1)

How can I fix the high CPU usage? machine :dell inspiron n5110

  • What are the default drivers? They will depend on your specific hardware. What is your question? How to fix the CPU usage or how to install the drivers? Please edit and clarify, giving us more details about your hardware. – terdon Sep 26 '14 at 12:53
  • how to fix CPU usage please – Ramy Sep 26 '14 at 13:03
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    Please also include the output of top showing the problematic process as well as the output of cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor. – terdon Sep 26 '14 at 13:14
  • ondemand @terdon – Ramy Sep 26 '14 at 13:17
  • Please edit your question to add extra information, it is hard to read and easy to miss in the comments. Also, please add exactly how you installed the proprietary drivers and which of the two graphics cards you are using. Is there a setting in your BIOS to choose one or the other? What is your machine? The more you give us, the likelier it is that we'll be able to help. – terdon Sep 26 '14 at 13:21
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Something makes you think that the video card driver is responsible for the 100% CPU usage, however this needs to be verified.

I suggest doing the following:

  1. find the id of the process that is taking 100% CPU e.g. pgrep gala, let's call this pid number $PID; if you find more than one process id, be sure to be pick the one that is responsible for the 100% CPU usage (htop will help you in this)
  2. capture some of the running syscalls with sudo strace -p $PID 2>&1 | tee gala_strace.log (replace $PID with process id you found at (1))
  3. if the output you see is relevant, consider submitting a bug to ElementaryOS team
  4. if the output is not relevant, you might need to use gdb and get more information from the running threads that are responsible for the high CPU usage

NOTE: I am proposing this approach because it's the only one that can identify the source of the 100% usage and at the same time be of use to find the real cause and of help to fix the bug upstream

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