Problems with SMP on 6.1-STABLE-200608

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Mar 28 15:01:37 UTC 2007

"Don O'Neil" <lists at> writes:

> I've been having problems with my server freezing up, having the #2 CPU
> 'shut down', kernel panics, and all sorts of nastyness....
> Originally I thought it was exim, or possibly bind, or bad hardware (mb, cpu
> or memory)... I've swapped out the motherboard & CPU's & memory from an old
> server that was running 4.11 ROCK SOLID for years...
> At first I thought the problem was solved, but now it's popping up again...
> The 2nd CPU gets 'shut down', or kernel panics, esentially taking the system
> offline.

There are lots of things this could be, and I certainly wouldn't rule
out hardware problems (power supply?).  Figuring out the problems
directly would certainly involve looking at more details than you're
listing here.

> If I install a single CPU (non-smp) kernel, then the system works fine... (I
> did this on the old motherboard before I swapped it out, and it worked fine
> too).. So I'm wondering if there is an SMP bug or problem I'm running into.
> I'm running 6.1-STABLE-200608, an ISO image I downloaded from the archives
> when I built the box (NOT 6.1-RELEASE). 

The whole point of making releases is that it's much easier to support
a small number of known reference software configurations.

> I'm runining an Intel Serverworks motherboard with 2 1.4 GHz PIII's... The
> problem only seems to show up under high load.

I don't think I've heard of anything similar.  I think there are a
bunch of these boards out there.

> I'm wondering what I should do here... 
> I'm concerned about doing a binary upgrade to 6.2 won't fix the problem, and
> I've tried using freebsd-update, but it complains about the version not
> being compatible. 
> If I do a binary upgrade from CD, will it also update the kernel sources so
> I can build a new one? Will it complain about it not being compatible?

It can give you the sources; that's a menu option during the install.
That should work fine.

> Is there a way to 'force' the ID of the system to be 6.1-RELEASE so that
> freebsd-update will work? 

Well, yes, but there's a reason for the check, you know...

> Will doing the 6.1-6.2 binary upgrade as posted by Colin also update the
> kernel sources? 

I don't know what procedure he described, so I don't know.  But if you
update to 6.2-RELEASE, then it will be easy to get the right sources
afterwards.  Again, that is the advantage of having releases.

> Would my best option really be to start over with a fresh install rather
> than upgrade? (this would be painful)

If it's that painful, you'd probably be well served to have a spare
system to stage changes on.  In addition to being good risk
management, it saves you time, which is worth something too.

> I'm going to try to test out 6.2 on the old MB/CPU combo to see if I can
> re-create it under 6.2 as well before I do anything. As well as try doing an
> upgrade on the bench from CD from 6.1-STABLE-200608 to 6.2-RELEASE... Since
> this is a production server (and for months it was burned in with no
> apparent issues) I only have 1 shot at this to do it right.
> Any help/recomendation would be appreciated.

Good luck.

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