Freebsd 5.3 - long uptimes...

Garance A Drosihn drosih at
Sun Jan 9 16:27:18 PST 2005

At 4:26 PM +0000 1/9/05, Robert Watson wrote:
>On Sun, 9 Jan 2005, Mark wrote:
>>  > FreeBSD will run for years without a boot in many cases.
>  > Ah, this point fascinates me. Running for years? Do you ever
>  > have to recompile your kernel? :)
>The longest personal uptime I've had is just under two years, and
>that was for a UPS-backed natbox in my parents' basement.  [...] At
>some point, the power went out for longer than the UPS could keep
>it up, so the uptime went tumbling down...  I think it was up for
>about 540-550 days at that point.

My main "production-system" use of FreeBSD is for a chat server,
which needs to be up all the time or everyone stops "chatting" and
starts yelling at me.  The longest uptimes I've had so far are:

*     373 days 10 hours   (a 6-hour long power outage)
*     599 days 14 hours   (a UPS melt-down failure)
*     497 days 18 hours   (hard disk failure)

The third one many really have been an OS failure, which I will not
bother trying to describe in detail...

One problem with long uptimes like that:  If the system does finally
die due to an OS error, it is hard to get motivated to track it down.
After all, the OS has had two years worth of changes committed to it
since the time you compiled the snapshot which *maybe* has an error!

To remain safe when going for long uptimes like this, I had a second
machine running the same release of FreeBSD, and I could build the
latest snapshot of the OS on that.  I would then then copy over the
bits and pieces needed to keep the production system safe (such as
new versions of sendmail or sshd).

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   gad at
Senior Systems Programmer           or  gad at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  drosih at

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