apt-get infinite loop 10.10 post logon

Asked by Paul Bryant

apt-get periodically gets stuck in an infinite loop consuming 100% of one processor.

HP Pavilion ZD8000 (mod 8230)
P4 3.4 GHZ Hyperthreaded CPU (logical dual processor)
2GB memory
ATI M24 Radeon mobility X600 graphics
Broadcom BCM 4318 (Airforce One54G Wireless (Rev 02)
Realtek RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)

I did a clean install of 10.10 and it has been working well other than performance issues with the wireless connection (another conversation). The system has been operational for approx 4 weeks and in the past seven days I've noticed that one of the processors is being utilized at 100%. Obviously a loop and so I went into system monitor and switched it to 'Show All Processes' and apt-get was showing 100% CPU utilization. The apt-get process could trigger at any time. It appears to be random. The system could run all day and nothing happens or I could just start it up and 5 minutes later I'll hear the cooling fans come on. I stopped the process which then returns the cpu to the OS but obviously this is a nasty solution and why is this 'apt-get' process doing this?

The system used to run Windows XP Media Center and I felt it was time for a newer OS. MS does not support Vista or W7 on this system and I've been overall impressed with Ubuntu 10.10. I'm not a Linux expert nor for that matter am I a Windows expert. I use computers in my daily work, I'm not a 'systems' guy, just your average user.

any help would be greatly appreciated.

regards, Paul.

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Ubuntu apt Edit question
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Paul Bryant
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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

ave you logged a bug

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Torsten Spindler (tspindler) said :

What version of apt are you running? What is the output of

$ dpkg -s apt | grep Version

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Paul Bryant (paul-a-lemars) said :

Hi Torstein,

thank you for replying so quickly. this is the output from your query;

Version: 0.8.3ubuntu7

Needless to say, after I reset the machine this morning it hasn't occurred again, but I'm certain it will come back. Also for some reason whenever I switched wireless networks this morning, update manager would trigger and half way through it would prompt me for the Ubuntu 9.0 install disk. I ignored it and the update would continue normally although the update manager would tell me that it was 8 days since the last update even though it had updated the previous evening. The last time this happened was this morning and since the update manager didn't complete properly there was a exclamation mark in the form of an icon in the top left of the screen's control bar. Apparently this is what prevented me from installing software from within the Ubuntu Software center. I subsequently went into the Synaptic package manager and looked at the settings/repositories/other software tab and found that the Ubuntu 9.0 Install disk was marked as a source even though I've never had this disk and this machine has certainly never seen it. I disabled the entry and the issue appears to have gone away along with the source listing. I'm sorry that this is one of those hairy 'oh heck where do I start!" posts but there you go that's what happened and I guess you guys would want to know about it.

Just as an aside I want to say Ubuntu Linux absolutely rocks! I had consigned this machine to the scrapheap because of Microsoft's lack of support. With Ubuntu 10.10 it runs really well (apart from the odd hiccup) and even with the old X600 graphics processor Gnome runs fantastically with all the eye candy switched on. Now if I could only get the wireless speed back up to XP rates.


Paul Bryant.

BTW in reply to actionparsnip, I didn't log it as a bug because I wasn't sure it was one or maybe something got out of sync. Is it usual for Ubuntu Linux to have almost daily updates?

Revision history for this message
Torsten Spindler (tspindler) said :

It is a known bug with the version of APT you're using on Maverick:


Having a CD ROM source in sources.list[.d] will cause this loop as the systems waits for the cd to be mounted. While the problem has been fixed in apt and Natty is not affected, Maverick still is. I don't think the bug is severe enough and that the work around is particularly easy (disabling the cdrom sources), so that the bug does not qualify for a Stable Release Update (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/StableReleaseUpdates).

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Paul Bryant (paul-a-lemars) said :

Thanks for the help Torsten, I hadn't realized it when I did it but you confirmed the work-around. The CD ROM is indeed disabled now and the bug is no longer a factor.

Thank you.

Paul Bryant