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High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

New member | Level 2

I am using Dropbox to store my media library, which includes large videos (300MB - 12GB). During the process of recording / transcoding I am writing to an ignored file pattern starting with ".~", so something like ".~The Croods.mkv". When complete I rename to the real filename, such as "The Croods.mkv". The intent is to 1) not store an incomplete file if the process dies and 2) prevent Dropbox from processing the file while it's being written. Although Dropbox isn't syncing the ".~" file, there is high I/O and CPU usage related to these files. I'm using the 'top' command and can see the i/o wait is between 40-50 % and CPU 20-40 %.

 

I thought Dropbox would ignore ".~" files completely. This is causing issues with my DVR software because the i/o wait is increasing the load and sometimes the DVR process can't start recording soon enough.

 

I've considered creating the file outside of the Dropbox folder but the Dropbox folder has it's own filesystem, so 'renaming' the file is actually a copy and delete. Dropbox has high i/o usage while copying a large file too, so not really a better solution.

 

Any solutions? This seems like a bug because Dropbox doesn't sync '.~' files, why would it do processing on them? I can't imagine the inode notification handling would need to use that much i/o.

9 Replies 9

Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

Dropboxer

Hi there @double16, let's see what we can do on this. 

 

Since the desktop app is constantly trying to make sure that you have the latest versions of your files available, the increased activity on your computer may be due to all the processes it's trying to run. 

 

What you can do is pause the desktop app from syncing, make all the relevant changes to the files and, once you're done, resume syncing again. 

 

Could you try that out and let me know if it does the trick for you?

 

Thanks!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

New member | Level 2

That's not easily done. My DVR software is automated so I would need to somehow extend it to call the Dropbox CLI. I've watched the CLI status and it's reporting only the '.~' file being written.

Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

Dropboxer

Hmm, would ignoring these files from syncing be a viable option in this case?


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

New member | Level 2

They are already ignored. According to the Dropbox docs, any file beginning with ".~" is ignored.

Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

Dropboxer

I see, since you've tried some extensive troubleshooting on this, could you check this page to see your options for contacting our team?


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

New member | Level 2

Thanks for your time in trying to resolve here. I have a ticket open.

Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

Dropboxer

No worries, @double16!

 

You could let me know its ID (eg. #1234567) to pass your comments from here along, if you'd like.


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

New member | Level 2

Ticket #11646157

Re: High I/O and CPU on Linux when writing to ignored files

Dropboxer

I found it and have forwarded this discussion along to the member of the team who will be reviewing this for you. 

 

As soon as they have more info, they will get back to you via email. 

 

In the meantime, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to give us another nudge. 


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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