INFO: Npviewer.bin Process Can Slow Down Linux


I woke up this morning. The computer was still on. I move the mouse to wake up the screen. I get right to my wife’s desktop. “That’s not very nice of me,” I thought. “I never set the option to lock the screen with a password.” As I got to select a screen saver she might like, I noticed the screen savers took a little long to load and ran kinda jerky. I didn’t get far down the list before I said, “Screw it, this is good enough.” I logged her out of her session and logged back in to mine.

When my desktop came to, everything was jerky. I utilize all the fancy compiz effects a heck of a lot more than my wife does, who is content to stick with Ubuntu’s default, not-all-that-intensive settings. I opened up System Monitor’s Resources tab to find both cores of my CPU being pegged at 100%. I opened up the process viewer, only to find nothing out of line. When I selected View All Processes, I saw about 8 copies of npviewer.bin, all of benign size minus one at 125MB. All were consuming 7%-8% CPU time.

A quick look to the Ubuntu forums revealed that npviewer.bin is the Flash plugin, a known resource hog no matter what platform you’re on. It also told of a pretty simple way to stop the madness in one blow: sudo pkill npviewer.bin. CPU went back to fluctuating between 5% and 25% per core.