12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 8, 2009 10:27 AM by redex
Deep Blue Level 1 Level 1
I was looking through Activity Monitor to quit a program and found two threads called 'ditto' under user processes which together are eating up about 70% of CPU resources. I had only Mail open at that time and that did show up separately. What are these two processes? Any information is appreciated. Thanks.

PowerBook G4 (1.33 GHz PowerPC G4), Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X
    Ditto is a Unix command for copying files. For instance, have you been running any backup software recently, or in the background?
  • Deep Blue Level 1 Level 1
    Not really, I had manually moved a lot of files from my computer to an external HDD yesterday, but that was simply drag and drop.
    Are these processes safe to quit though?
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10
    Hi Deep Blue,

    The only command using Terminal to copy a file that I can find in the Help menu is this;
    Copying a file
    To copy a file, use the cp command.

    For example, to create a copy of the file oneFile called secondFile, type:
    cp oneFile secondFile

    A file named secondFile is created with the same contents as the original file.

    The cp command will overwrite a file if the new filename you specify already exists.

    For more information on copying files, refer to the cp man page by entering: man cp

    I've looked high and low for "ditto" in my own processes, and it's not there but that does not mean it is safe to quit that process. Wait until a much more experienced UNIX user reads your post and replies. Better to be on the safe side.

    And go here... might shed some light: http://mawcikurl.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/slim-universal-apps-using-ditto/

    I found this also... good info: " ditto (included with OS X), however, seems to copy them just fine, and handles resource forks automatically. So I tested again with ditto instead of cp. Whereas the time gap with cp wasn't really measurable, ditto was about 15 seconds quicker than the Finder on my 3.2GB test copy. So if I were copying a huge folder, I'd probably try ditto, as it could save a few minutes of copying time." Here's where it is: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070528222745661 You were copying files to an external drive... so that makes sense.


    Message was edited by: Carolyn Samit
  • Deep Blue Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks, Carolyn. I did find that article before, but since the copying was done more than 12 hours ago, I didn't think that the process would still run and use up so much resource at this point. But I just discovered that the process pops up when I try to use Archive Utility to unzip a folder, just for the records.
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10
    < But I just discovered that the process pops up when I try to use Archive Utility to unzip a folder, just for the records. >

    Good to know. This is all a learning experience for sure.

  • Phil Ruff Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same symptoms. ditto has been running at 90% cpu and I can't figure out what process started it. This thread got me looking at Archive Utility. Sure enough, I can open a zip file that was downloaded and another ditto process is started and just hangs at 80% CPU.

    An fixes?
  • Striderz Level 1 Level 1

    same here, ditto running and taking lots of cpu using (via top -o cpu). No apps running and no copying going on, although I am a Time Machine user (but it's not syncing atm)

  • igzabier Level 1 Level 1
    nice of y'all to refer to articles that describe what ditto is(vaguely a copy command in terminal) BUT why is it sucking up my cpu usage when I am not doing anything, also Finder using 188% cpu !! this is both only started since quicktime 7.6 update, hey apple, ***!? any info would be appreciated as I can't run on battery for long ...
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10
    Hi everyone, and a warm welcome to the forums!

    BTW, I should mention that it's quite acceptable to start a new topic of your own to get more help...


    You'll likely get more helpers as well as keeping this topic more readable.

    It's likely some 3rd Party APP that got broken.

    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for action in Safe Mode...

    Reboot, test again.

    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it is some 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.

    Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...

  • SSSasky Level 1 Level 1
    I have exactly the same symptoms on my iBook G4, and it only started in the last month or so. I found Ditto using the activity monitor. I think Ditto opened for me when I was transferring a bunch of files back and forth to my external HD. I just force quite the application through activity monitor, and everything was back to normal.

    I've never had this bug happen before, but now it seems to happen all the time: must have something to do with a recent update.
  • xj ontic Level 1 Level 1
    i haven't proven this in a court of scientific research but i have at least isolated one exact cause+result instance of ditto being orphaned in a state of needlessly chewing 70% of my cpu.

    i have a .zip file archive that got broken while being downloaded, so a 144 mb .zip file has been truncated arbitrarily around 90 mb. it is, for all intents and purposes a corrupted .zip file, but perhaps the beginning of the file looks okay because when i ask mac os to unzip the file it happily begins the process (which starts the system process ditto)

    the unzip progress window acts as if everything is okay, "finishing" the unzip process, but then it just hangs there with the progress bar on 100%. the unzip destination temp file also hangs there, listed at the exact same size as the final completed .zip file's full unzipped contents. BUT the system process ditto has now jumped from 5% cpu usage to 85% cpu usage, dwarfing all other processes. i can feel the lag on every single click throughout the os. and even after i force-quit the unarchive utility, ditto is still running.

    i force-quit the ditto process from activity monitor and so far, nothing is broken. this exact scenario with broken .zip files has occurred now a few times for me since i've made the connected to the ditto process cpu-eating phenomenom.

    hope this is helpful!
    and thanks for posting the question, this thread enabled me to figure that out.

  • redex Level 1 Level 1
    This is the same thing that just happened to me (which is why I was searching it up), so I'd agree with this assumption. Corrupted .zip file, BOMArchive gets stuck, force quit that through Activity Monitor and then realized a few minutes later my machine was still acting like it had Photoshop open or something, and this "ditto" was at 90% CPU. Since it was started by me and not the root I deleted it and everything went back to normal.