Quite Stumped here, need suggestions

Robert Richards richard.robert at gmail.com
Sun Dec 14 12:22:49 PST 2008

Hi All:

I am running: FreeBSD 6.3-RELEASE-p5 #3: Sun Oct  5 15:31:05 EDT 2008
On a Sager 8800 Laptop. I have had FreeBSD installed for about a year,
and all is working perfectly. I can bring up KDE, run many apps, all
without a problem, except for ONE recent development. Every so often
FreeBSD initiates a clean shutdown on it's own. Xwindows goes down
cleanly,  kernel modules are unloaded, processes are stopped, drives
are cleanly dismounted, and the system is powered down. It's exactly
what you would expect if you issued a shutdown -h now command.  No
core files are generated, and messages, even when the OS is brought up
with verbose logging shows nothing.

After trying many things, including running with a previous kernel, a
GENERIC kernel, running in single-user mode, running minimalist,
etc.... I decided to buildworld and buildkernel and essentially
reinstall everything.

While updating sources via cvsup, there was a shutdown. A subsequent
attempt completed successfully. I then cleared out /usr/obj and did a
make buildworld. After 39 minutes a shutdown. Repeated this, and a
shutdown happened after 7 minutes.  I repeated this in single user
mode, with older kernels, with GENERIC kernel, same results, the
system shuts down cleanly at some point. Never at the same point or
doing the same task (Yes I used script  as well; script simply exits
as if make said all done! ).  It's as if a ghost-root issued a
shutdown -h command.

One additional clue. If I bring the system up "without acpi" the
shutdown is instant, and unclean. No scripts are run, drives are left
dirty, but still no clue in the logs.

I am now stumped! What could cause the system to shut down in this
fashion? With acpi active, the init scripts are executed in shutdown
mode. What could cause the kernel to believe it has received a command
to shutdown like this?

I am not new to this stuff, but I have never seen anything like this.
I AM new to FreeBSD, I had been running Linux for years until
recently, and absolutely love the order, consistency, layout, and
clean architecture of this OS. But this is weird!

Where to look? What to try? I am truly stumped here.


"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

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