Please help me diagnose this crazy VMWare/FreeBSD 8.x crash

Joe Greco jgreco at
Mon Apr 2 18:43:37 UTC 2012

> On 03/30/2012 07:41, Joe Greco wrote:
> >> On 3/29/2012 7:01 AM, Joe Greco wrote:
> >>>> On 3/28/2012 1:59 PM, Mark Felder wrote:
> >>>>> FreeBSD 8-STABLE, 8.3, and 9.0 are untested
> >>>>
> >>>> As much as I'm sensitive to your production requirements, realistically
> >>>> it's not likely that you'll get a helpful result without testing a newer
> >>>> version. 8.2 came out over a year ago, many many things have changed
> >>>> since then.
> >>>>
> >>>> Doug
> >>>
> >>> So you're saying that he should have been using 8.3-RELEASE, then.
> >>
> >> That isn't what I said at all, sorry if I wasn't clear. The OP mentioned
> >> 9.0-RELEASE, and in the context of his message (which I snipped) he
> >> mentioned 8-stable. That's what I was referring to.
> > 
> > And since both the poster and I made it clear that this doesn't seem
> > to be a case of "it fails reliably on a machine of your choosing",
> > just installing random other versions and hoping that it's going to
> > cause a fail ... well, let's just say that doesn't make a whole lot
> > of sense.  Or at least it's a recipe for a hell of a lot of busywork,
> > busywork not guaranteed to return any sort of useful result.
> And since you can't reliably reproduce the problem, how do you expect us
> to? I understand that these sorts of bugs are difficult/annoying, etc.
> Been there, done that.

Nobody expected you to.  We're trying to figure out any commonalities
that might exist; these may serve to help shed light on where the
problem lies.

The interesting thing is that I took it and looked at it and came to a
conclusion that might have been wrong, though I think the trail of
reasoning I used was itself reasonable, given my exceedingly small (one
example of problem) sample size.

Mark's able to actually *reproduce* the problem on separate installs
and with circumstances that are at least somewhat different than what
my theory involved, though it is not quite possible to rule out some
sort of corruption.

Since I have to *assume* that many sites run some sort of FreeBSD on
their VMware gear, given that VMware actually lists it as a supported
version and VMware generally does things "for profit", I am still kind
of of the opinion that this is some sort of corruption bug, one that I
triggered inadvertently, but one that Mark's environment reproduces
rather more frequently.  That just seems so unlikely, but more unlikely
things have come to pass, so I'm holding onto it as my working theory ;-)

I still plan to try to recover my broken VM from backups at some point
if time permits.

But in short, to answer your question:  I don't *care* if you can
reproduce the problem.  As a user, you can't win.  If you don't report
a problem, you get criticized.  If you report a problem but can't figure
out how to reproduce it, you get criticized.  If you can reproduce it
but you don't submit a workaround, you get criticized.  If you submit a
workaround but you don't submit a patch, you get criticized.  If you
submit a patch but it's not in the preferred format, you get criticized.


... JG
Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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