Stability Issues on 5.4-RELEASE Box

alex at alex at
Wed Feb 28 22:39:51 UTC 2007

> I'm not running your application mix, but I've never seen random reboots
> unless there were hardware issues.  With 5.X these included having
> hyperthreading turned on, which I know caused problems with my dual XEON
> system.

Hmmm...two answers so far, two people saying "hyperthreading can be an 
issue." I'll definitely have that turned off ASAP.

>> * Issues with files that are not found on startup sometimes, but are 
>> other times. Prime example: the Zope CMS system that's been 
>> installed failed to find after a planned soft 
>> reboot, but found it with no trouble on a subsequent boot a few 
>> minutes later, with no config changes in between.
> Haven't seen that; are there any messages indicating you're having
> filesystem problems?

Thanks for asking; I see some new nasties in /var/log/messages:

Feb 27 09:05:37 www fsck: /dev/ad4s1f: PARTIALLY TRUNCATED INODE I=9397392
Feb 27 09:05:37 www fsck: /dev/ad4s1f: UNEXPECTED SOFT UPDATE 

>> Thus far, besides simply scanning log files, constantly watching 
>> "top" and "ps", etc., I've not been able to do much with the box. As 
>> I said, I upgraded OpenSSL/OpenSSH to current versions, and I 
>> installed pf as the firewall (there was none before I 
>> arrived...don't even get me started on that). This weekend the guy 
>> who was the previous admin will be running a Memtest for me and 
>> disabling hyperthreading (which there's no performance justification 
>> for, and which has caused me stability issues at least on Linux in 
>> the past), since the server is in Oregon and I'm in the DC area. 
>> That's about the extent of what I've been able to do to date, since 
>> this is a production box.
> How did you upgrade OpenSSL/SSH - cvsup + buildworld, etc., from the
> ports, or some other way?  I've always did this using cvsup since
> OpenSSL/SSH is now built into the OS

 From source on and I'm not yet familiar with 
all of the cool helper things that FreeBSD has such as cvsup, and I was 
conerned about getting those two specifically fixed fast when I first 
started this task (as the version on there was old enough that there 
were known remote exploits).

>> * Does 5.4-RELEASE have any known bugs that might cause stability 
>> issues like the ones I've described here? More importantly, would an 
>> upgrade to 6.2-RELEASE be worthwhile (as is my instinct), in terms 
>> of being generally more stable and/or having better hardware 
>> support? Would such an upgrade be possible/relatively painless to 
>> perform without being physically at a console, as has been the case 
>> with OpenBSD over the years?
> I am not running your mix, but I have a 4.11 box, a 5.5-STABLE box, and a
> 6.2-STABLE box, and haven't seen anything like this. the 4.11 box looks a
> lot like yours - Supermicro P4DC6 with dual Xeons, RAID1 with the onboard
> Adaptec controller + the add-in RAID board, RAID5 using vinum with an
> Adaptec (39160?) board. 5.X plus hyperthreading was definitely a problem
> with that system.  I have another similar box which I'm testing with
> 6.2-STABLE and haven't seen any problems yet.

Again, since the two answers I have so far say essentially the same 
thing here, it looks like my concerns about hardware are valid.

>> * Given my dmesg below, do you see any specific problems?
> The interrupt storm on uhci1+ is not a good thing.

Any thoughts on how to fix it?

Alex Kirk

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