Way OT: How long does your box run for?

Murray Taylor murraytaylor at bytecraftsystems.com
Sun Sep 5 16:36:26 PDT 2004

698 days - Cyrus IMAP server.
Had to shut it down to move the server farm to another building...

On Sat, 2004-09-04 at 06:41, Garance A Drosihn wrote:
> At 9:45 AM +0100 9/3/04, Andy Holyer wrote:
> >I explained that generally some upgrade comes along that requires
> >a reboot, but I realized that I don't know how long a box would
> >stay up in the maximum. So, come on, this should be fun, what's
> >the biggest uptime you've ever had for a BSD box?
> I don't think it would ever "require" a reboot.  The question is
> whether you need to reboot to apply some prudent updates and
> security fixes.
> I have one server that I try to keep up as much as possible.  The
> three longest runs on that machine are:
>     373 days 10 hours, ending in July 2000  (long power outage)
>     599 days 14 hours, ending in Sept 2002  (UPS failure)
>     497 days 18 hours, ending in Apr  2004  (disk failure)
> The first one ended because a power-station going into campus was
> flooded (due to some construction in the area), and the building
> did not have any power for about four hours.  My UPS lasted about
> three and a half hours before giving out.
> The second one was that the UPS itself melted down!  Well, it did
> not quite melt, but it was seriously overheating and I had to
> shutdown all the machines connected to it and unplug everything.
> The UPS was literally too hot for me to touch, and once it cooled
> down enough (which took about four hours), I could see that the
> battery had started to melt.
> The third was a disk problem, but I also believe it was a OS error
> because the disk *getting* the error was one I should have been
> able to ignore.  However the OS was confused over which disk got
> the error, and it kept resetting the disk-controller for the main
> system disk, instead of the one for the disk which had the errors.
> So, I suspect the fault for that reboot is half hardware and half
> the OS itself.
> If you are going for long up times, then the stupidest thing you
> can do is "install it and forget it".  While I have long uptimes
> on this machine, I also have only a few network services running,
> and there are only two or three people who can log onto the
> machine (and I trust them).  I use the ports collection to keep
> many things up-to-date, and for some things in the base system
> (like sendmail), I recompile them on a different machine and
> then copy the pieces over to this server.  So, I manage to apply
> the vast majority of security fixes, even though I do not reboot
> and I do not have to stop/restart the main service that this
> machine provides.
Murray Taylor
Special Projects Engineer
Bytecraft Systems & Entertainment
P: +61 3 8710 2555
F: +61 3 8710 2599
D: +61 3 9238 4275
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E: murraytaylor at bytecraftsystems.com
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