System perforamance 4.x vs. 5.x and 6.x

Kris Kennaway kris at
Thu Feb 14 23:39:40 UTC 2008

Brett Bump wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Feb 2008, Kris Kennaway wrote:
>> We are going to need more information about your system.  What do you
>> mean by "peak activity"?  What is running on the system when it performs
>> badly (check top -S, ps, gstat, vmstat -w, vmstat -i).  What is your
>> kernel configuration, dmesg and relevant aspects of the system
>> configuration?
>> Kris
> I would call 120 processes with a load average of 0.03 and 99.9 idle
> with 10-20 sendmail processes and 30 apache jobs nothing to write home
> about.  But when that jumps to 250 processes, a load average of 30 with
> 50% idle (5-10 second waits on single character ssh echo) a bit busy.
> That usually means my heavy pop3 users are checking in at the same time
> someone (or 2 or 3) have sent email to the large volume listservs.  Proc
> stat doesn't show as much as gstat and iostat.  Gstat alwasy shows my
> drive with /var/mail being 97-100% busy and iostat will always show hi
> tps rates, but never anything above 8MB/s (4.10 gave me 30MB/s+).
> Kernel is generic with ipfirewall quota and smp (no ipfw rules yet).

OK, then you definitely need to update to 6.3, quota support in older 
releases had performance problems.

> [Thu Feb 14 09:59:23 2008] [notice] child pid 43464 exit signal Abort trap (6)
> httpd in malloc(): error: recursive call
> [Thu Feb 14 10:07:34 2008] [notice] child pid 85706 exit signal Abort trap (6)
> httpd in free(): error: recursive call
> [Thu Feb 14 10:48:39 2008] [notice] child pid 45621 exit signal Abort trap (6)
> httpd in free(): error: recursive call

These typically indicate application errors, or errors in how the 
applications are compiled (e.g. linked to inconsistent sets of libraries).


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