Runaway bash on FreeBSD SPARC64

Daniel Bye freebsd at
Fri Oct 1 06:38:54 PDT 2004

Hi folks,

Not entirely sure this is the correct forum - if not, then a gentle nudge
in the right direction would be appreciated!  I've searched the list
archives and had a scan of Google, but nothing appropriate came back.

I am running FreeBSD/SPARC64 5.2.1-RELEASE-p10 on an Ultra 10.  On
occasions, bash(1) goes insane and grabs ever more memory.  Other
processes get forced out to swap, and bash itself eventually occupies all
physical RAM and starts paging as well. Most recently, I noticed bash's
SIZE in top reach 1031MB - which is well on the way to being all available
physical RAM and swap space.

Once it gets like this, bash fails to respond to kill(1), and the only way
to get normal service back is to force a reboot.

All I could find in /var/log/messages after having to reboot this morning
was this:

Oct  1 11:30:58 catflap shutdown: reboot by danielby:
Oct  1 11:31:16 catflap kernel: swap_pager: out of swap space

Which really doesn't say a lot.  There was a bash.core file dropped in the
shell's cwd, but got removed by an over-zealous cleanup script.

There appears to be no pattern involved - it can happen at any time, no
matter which user runs it (a real user or root), or what they are doing in
the shell at the time.

I run FreeBSD on i386 and AMD64 as well, and never see this behaviour. 
bash(1) is installed from the ports - currently version bash-2.05b.007_2

Anyone else seen this?  Or have any hints or suggestions on what I can do
to figure where the problem is?  I'm no hacker, but am willing to put in
some effort if it's required.

Thanks all,


Daniel Bye

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