One of the trials of experimenting with Linux, is that every now and then, I really mess things up! This past weekend, I managed to cause some bad sectors on my hard drive while playing with some software that ended up freezing up. The hard reset of the machine caused the damage.
Fine, I’ll reinstall Mint 17 which won’t take long, and I do a complete backup to my ownCloud server automatically so nothing lost but a little time.
Once everything was restored to my liking though, I found a weird problem. My system was slow and sluggish, often freezing up for long periods of time. Opening the System Monitor found the problem quickly though. The program mate-settings-daimon was eating 100% of the CPU cycles on all 4 CPUs in my machine!
Some digging around found that it was a known bug that was supposed to be fixed, but I was sure having problems!
Digging through the Linux forums found it to be a common problem, even with Mint 17.1. The most common cause turned out to be the keyboard NUM lock, causing the extra compute cycles. Supposedly, going into settings and turning off NUM lock was supposed to fix the problem. Nope, that didn’t help.
What finally ended up being the problem for me, and perhaps for you, was that when my system installed, it set an important permission incorrectly.
In the /run/user/1000/dconf/ directory the file called use was showing it was owned by root but since I’m user 1000, it should have been owned by me! As I watched the file, you could see it refreshing itself, dozens of times a second, eating all your CPU time Checking the logs, proved the permissions to be the problem as over and over, a Permission Denied message would display for that file..
Opening a terminal window in superuser mode lets us change the permissions. Use sudo caja then right click on the file user and select Properties. Make yourself the owner of the file with full permissions and then close caja and reboot your computer.
My CPU time from mate-settings-daemon went from 99% to 0% as it should have. Now it only shows usage when it’s supposed to!