(Seemingly) Spontaneous rebooting

Stephen Montgomery-Smith stephen at math.missouri.edu
Tue Dec 19 07:30:59 PST 2006

Joe Holden wrote:
> Ma wrote:
>> I have almost the same reboots on my server. :( And it may reboot 
>> serval times a day. I'd like to know how to get crash dumps? What is 
>> added in your rc.conf?
>> -- 
>> Ma Jie
> Hi, I used the rc.conf values as set out in rc,conf(5)
> root at claire# grep crash /etc/defaults/rc.conf
> dumpdev="NO"            # Device to crashdump to (device name, AUTO, or 
> NO).
> dumpdir="/var/crash"    # Directory where crash dumps are to be stored
> I set dumpdev to my swap partition, although nothing got dumped, 
> although I did upgrade it to -CURRENT as i'd exhausted everything else, 
> and its not crashed since, not wishing to flame/troll/whatever, but 6.x 
> seems to have a fair few issues.

I posted a dump of a crash I had with a recent RELENG_6 computer a few 
weeks ago.  It was one of those fairly useless dumps where the program 
counter seems to be completely meaningless.

I also had similar behavior about a year ago, which seemed to be 
produced by a bug that is now fixed.  (That one I could make it happen 
at will by running a multithreaded program on a 4 processor system, and 
"top -s0" at the same time.)  I do recall the nature of the crash is 
that sometimes it produced dumps, and sometimes it didn't.  And when it 
did they were useless.

The crash seemed always to be with a page fault.  I experienced it on 
two computers, both with SMP.

Anyway, what I am saying is that all these people might be seeing a 
genuine problem that by its very nature does not produce meaningful dumps.

If this problem is real, perhaps one solution is to put out release 6.2 
fairly soon, then lots of people will try it and experience this 
problem.  Then you guys will have lots of evidence to work with.  Then 
when you fix it, put out release 6.3 much sooner than otherwise 
anticipated.  (I should add that my wife accuses me of having humor that 
is too dry.)


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