Your system sounds like its thrashing due your processes wanting to you
more memory than is available in your system.  (BTW, this has nothing to
do with e2fsprogs).

Some links to pages that might be helpful:

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  System slows down to almost freeze

Status in e2fsprogs package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  For quite a while sometimes my system slows down to almost freeze
  where it becomes unusable. The problem seems to be related to heavy
  disk i/o, but I have not been able to pinpoint the cause. The problem
  seems to occur when I both use the bitcoin core application for
  Bitcoin Gold and VirtualBox. I normally use VirtualBox to run two
  Windows 2008 servers.

  It seems in the end the system sorts itself out and starts running
  normal again, but it often causes to destroy the status of the Virtual
  Machines, sometimes resulting in a Virtual Machine going into 'guru-
  meditation' mode.

  Normally my system is fast enough to run everything. I have 8 Gb
  memory, 5 hard disks and an Intel I5. I tried to spread the load over
  the hard disks, but that doesn't seem to have any effect on the
  slowing down of the system.

  My feeling is that the problem is somehow related to some disk i/o
  system independent of the individual disks. Mostly the problem is
  solved by stopping the Bitcoin Core Gold program, but that is very
  hard to do, as even a terminal window takes minutes or up to an hour
  or so to respond. That also makes it very hard to identify the
  problem. I have several monitoring programs installed, but can't use
  them when the system is in this 'almost frozen' mode.

  I am using Ubuntu 16.04.4. The problem is not to x.x.4 version of
  Ubuntu 16.04.

  ProblemType: Bug
  DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
  Package: e2fslibs 1.42.13-1ubuntu1
  ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.13.0-38.43~16.04.1-generic 4.13.16
  Uname: Linux 4.13.0-38-generic x86_64
  ApportVersion: 2.20.1-0ubuntu2.15
  Architecture: amd64
  CurrentDesktop: LXDE
  Date: Mon Apr 16 04:45:11 2018
   gcc-7-base 7.1.0-10ubuntu1~16.04.york0 [origin: LP-PPA-jonathonf-gcc-7.1]
   libc6 2.23-0ubuntu10
   libgcc1 1:7.1.0-10ubuntu1~16.04.york0 [origin: LP-PPA-jonathonf-gcc-7.1]
  InstallationDate: Installed on 2017-01-21 (449 days ago)
  InstallationMedia: Lubuntu 15.10 "Wily Werewolf" - Release amd64 (20151021)
  SourcePackage: e2fsprogs
  UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

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