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Re: slow windows foreground operation after installing cygwin-1.5.17-1

   *   /From/: Mark Hadfield <m dot hadfield at niwa dot co dot nz>
   * /To/: cygwin at cygwin dot com
   * /Date/: Mon, 30 May 2005 12:07:28 +1200
   * /Subject/: Re: slow windows foreground operation after installing
   * /References/: <

Mark Hadfield wrote:

Charles D. Russell wrote:

   The new cygwin1.dll (1.5.17-1) now lets me run fortran programs with
   static arrays that occupy most of the available memory, but it is no
   possible to run Windows programs (MSWord or even Windows Explorer)
   in the foreground while a big math problem is chugging along in the
   background. The foreground Windows process appears not to get enough
   priority in the
   time sharing allocation to function at a usable speed.

The problem disappeared after a clean reinstallation using setup to
re-download everything. (My actual intent was to have a smaller set
of download files in order to back up the current cygwin
installation to CD, but it happened to fix the problem.)

This may be flogging a dead horse (since you say the problem has gone away) but you didn't say what priority were you running the background program at. Since you didn't say--and it's obviously relevant--I wonder if you know about the facilities for setting program priorities. These include the Cygwin "nice" command and the "Set Priority" item in Task Manager (switch to process list and right-click on the process in question).

I do a lot of CPU-intensive, RAM-hungry numerical work in Windows 2000, with a variety of applications, some Cygwin and some not, and I have found that they *normally* interfere with foreground operation unless I reduce the priority of the background task. Part of the problem is that Windows GUI operations may to spin off low-priority tasks which then take *forever* to execute. The DDE system seems to be particularly prone to this. So I find myself adjusting priorities regularly.

Thanks for the advice. I didn't know how to set priorities in Windows. I have used "nice" with unix but had not looked for it in Cygwin. (IIRC, there is also a more precise way to set priorities in unix.) What struck me was the change in behavior on updating cygwin1.dll with no change in the Windows configuration. Some slowdown was expected when running a big background problem, but not enough to prohibit examining directories with Windows Explorer, or doing simple text editing with MS Word. Evidently I just had a corrupt installation.

I have been very happy with a four-year-old cygwin installation on a 64 Mb Windows 98 laptop running fortran programs that use nearly four times the physical memory. (Having no problems, I never upgraded.) I am glad to be able now, with the new cygwin1.dll, to make better use of the 512 Mb in my desktop.

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