FreeBSD Locked Up

Konrad Heuer kheuer2 at
Fri Feb 13 02:22:22 PST 2004

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Loren M. Lang wrote:

> I have been using FreeBSD 4.9 on a Compaq Presario laptop for about 3
> 1/2 months now without any troubles, and before that RedHat Linux for
> about a year and a half.  Just yesterday morning though I awoke to find
> my system completely frozen, no screensaver was on, but I couldn't move
> the mouse pointer, switch vcs, or ssh in, though, strangely enough I
> could ping it.  Is there anything I can do now to try and figure out why
> it might of crashed or is there any possible cause?

I notice such phenomena from time to time, too. I don't know why it
happens, maybe because of insufficient kernel resources or driver problems
or hardware failures. ping is still possible in most of these cases since
response happens on a relative low level.

> Also, on reboot, I notice fsck took a considerable time to check the
> disk, though nothing major was found that interrupted the boot process.
> Is this because FreeBSD doesn't use a journalling filesystem?  I think I
> read somewhere that FreeBSD chose to use a filesystem with soft updates
> over a journalling one because it provides relatively equal data integrity
> compared to a journalling one, but is more efficient with the order of
> writing data, but does this mean that FreeBSD will always take longer to
> recover from a crash?

Beginning with FreeBSD 5.0, it is possible to mount a filesystem
immediatly even if it is dirty, caused by a crash. The file system check
will be delayed for some time till the system is running. That's possible
because soft updates also help to minimize the relevancy of
inconsistencies. In FreeBSD 4.9 and earlier, a filesystem check is
inevitable if the file system is dirty.

Konrad Heuer (kheuer2 at  ____            ___  _______
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Am Fassberg                   / _// __/ -_) -_) _  |\ \/ // /
37077 Goettingen             /_/ /_/  \__/\__/____/___/____/

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