Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 143061
kernel: journal_write_metadata_buffer: ENOMEM at get_unused_buffer_head, trying again.
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:07:05 EST
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Description of problem:
The newly install server not responding at all with the messages
kernel: journal_write_metadata_buffer: ENOMEM at
get_unused_buffer_head, trying again.
scrolling all over the console.
But the server still respond to network ping, though no logon is
possible either on console or ssh.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
This is not an ext3 problem. There are places in the kernel that deal with
memory allocation failures by retrying silently. There are others that return
immediately with ENOMEM. Ext3 in several places retries, but unlike almost all
other places, it also shows a rate-limited log message to show that memory is
So if you're under serious memory pressure, ext3 is simply the only component of
the kernel which will actually log the fact that it is having problems --- the
others do so silently. Ext3's messages are merely a sign of the root problem,
not a cause.
Tham, I changed RHEL3-U4(kernel-2.4.21-27.EL) to address this issue
by reclaiming bufferheads more aggressively. Can you try that kernel
and see if it fixed your problem? Also, if you can not do this right
away please get me several "AltSysrq M" outputs when you see the
system print out this message.
Thanks, Larry Woodman
This bug is filed against RHEL 3, which is in maintenance phase.
During the maintenance phase, only security errata and select mission
critical bug fixes will be released for enterprise products. Since
this bug does not meet that criteria, it is now being closed.
For more information of the RHEL errata support policy, please visit:
If you feel this bug is indeed mission critical, please contact your
support representative. You may be asked to provide detailed
information on how this bug is affecting you.