Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 454848
unstable file system after kernel update
Last modified: 2008-07-14 20:03:30 EDT
Description of problem:
Randomly, files appear to be missing, leading to application failures.
When immediately trying again the exact same command it (usually) works.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
I can reproduce this problem by repeatedly running SCons (make replacement)
on a large source tree. About 10% of the SCons runs end with some kind
I have direct evidence that the problem is connected to the kernel version:
After rebooting with kernel 220.127.116.11-40.fc8 I'm seeing the SCons
After rebooting with the older kernel 18.104.22.168-137.fc8 the machine is
completely stable again.
Other machines with a newer kernel are unstable, too.
Other machines with the older kernel are stable, too.
Steps to Reproduce:
perl cctbx_bundle.selfx 4 # this will take ~10 minutes
About 10% of the time there are SCons warnings or spurious recompilations.
I'll attach an example output with 99 bin/libtbx.scons results, showing
8 "missing SConscript" warnings and one spurious set of recompilations.
The other 90 calls are OK.
The same problem exists under Fedora 9, all versions from the day it
was released (same day I installed it) to at least this kernel version:
22.214.171.124-76.fc9.x86_64 #1 SMP Fri Jun 27
The first kernel version I know is broken is 126.96.36.199-10.fc8.
I've also seen at least one "make" failure, while building
Python 2.5.2 from sources. So it is not just SCons. SCons
just happens to trigger the kernel problem exceptionally
Created attachment 311450 [details]
example output of 99 bin/libtbx.scons runs
i'll take a quick look over the testcase, thanks.
For those playing along at home, you need tcsh to run the testcase.
.... and python-devel. :)
Anyway, I ran 100 builds on 188.8.131.52-40.fc8 and saw no errors.
On a whim, can you add default_relatime=0 to your boot commandline and see if it
makes any difference?
post-boot grep "default relative atime updates" in dmesg to be sure...
> On a whim, can you add default_relatime=0 to your boot commandline and see if it
> makes any difference?
Will do that over the weekend; the machines are too busy right now.
In the meantime, I did this:
1. install fedora 8 from dvd, starting from scratch (i.e. disk repartitioned)
2. yum install tcsh; adduser ralf, no other customizations
3. run 100*bin/libtbx.scons
4. yum update + reboot
5. run 100*bin/libtbx.scons
Step 3. shows no errors.
(I got stuck at step 4 with this: ERROR with rpm_check_debug
but got around this via: yum remove NetworkManager; yum update)
To my surprise, step 5. also shows no errors!
The kernel version after yum update is still as reported yesterday:
The only difference to what I did before are the missing customizations
of the system that I usually do: activate NFS (server & client),
NIS, automount, some other misc. things. I'll do that asap and will
report what happens.
Followup to comment #5: I applied all customizations step by step, rebooting
and testing several times. The machine remained stable all the way to the end.
Saturday I ran "yum update" on the Fedora 9 machine, and is is stable now,
too, for the first time.
Today I rebuilt another unstable Fedora 8 system from scratch, exactly the
same way as the one in comment #5, only that I did everything in one go
and didn't reboot+test after each step. At the end is was NOT stable.
I have absolutely no clue how this can be, except that "yum update" may
have given me different updates on Friday (first machine) and today
(second machine). But then again, why should it be "NOT OK", "OK", "NOT OK"?
Nothing here really makes sense.
Rebooting the second FC8 machine with the original kernel (184.108.40.206-42.fc8)
made it stable again. This is similar to what I observed on another machine
mentioned in my original posting.
For completeness, eventually I ran rpm --install --force
on the machine I did today (just because we've been using that kernel
for several months without problems) and it is still stable.
Summary: a few days ago I had three broken machines, today I have them
all fixed somehow in three different ways, and I have zero explanations.
I'll keep my hand off the systems now, quietly hoping that somebody
will somehow find and fix the root cause of the problem, without ever
knowing how much trouble it has caused me.
If you wind up with a problematic system again, please do try turning off the
default relatime and see how that goes.
I'm not sure there's a lot we can do w/o a reproducer but please do keep us up
to date, and re-open, if you get more info.