Re: Reiserfs, 3 Raid1 arrays, 2.4.1 machine locks up

James A. Pattie (
Wed, 21 Feb 2001 10:43:12 -0600

Colonel wrote:

> Sender:
> Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 08:45:02 -0600
> From: "James A. Pattie" <>
> Colonel wrote:
> > > There seem to be several reports of reiserfs falling over when memory is
> > > low. It seems to be undetermined if this problem is actually reiserfs
> > > or MM related, but there are other threads on this list regarding similar
> > > issues. This would explain why the same disk would work on a different
> > > machine with more memory. Any chance you could add memory to the box
> > > temporarily just to see if it helps, this may help prove if this is the
> > > problem or not.
> > >
> > >
> When the machine stopped responding, the first time, I let it go over the weekend
> (2 days+) and it still didn't recover. I never saw a thrashing effect. The
> initial memory values were 2MB free memory, < 1MB cache. I never really looked at
> the cache values as I wasn't sure how they affected the system. when the system
> was untarring my tarball, the memory usage would get down < 500kb and swap would be
> around a couple of megs usually.
> Well, it still looks like you have a good test case to resolve the
> problem. Can you add memory per the above request?
> I should drop out of this, it seems I had a one time event. Something
> to keep in mind is /boot should either be ext2 or mounted differently
> under reiser (check their website for details). You should probably
> try the Magic SysREQ stuff to see what's up at the time of freeze.
> You should probably run memtest86 to head off questions about your
> memory stability.

I added memory yesterday and got it to work after having 64MB in the system. the free
memory (cache/buffer) was over 30MB. I didn't have any problems then.

After I got everything installed, I bumped the memory back to 48MB and it is running
fine. I don't have the 17+MB ramdisk taking up the memory anymore, so the system has >
15MB of cache/buffer available at all times, even running ssh, sendmail, squid,
firewalling, etc.

> Just to check on the raid setup, the drives are on separate
> controllers and there is not a slow device on the same bus? I've been
> running the "2.4" raid for a couple years and that was the usual
> problem. Reiserfs is probably more aggressive working the drive and
> it may tend to unhide other system problems.

They are on seperate controllers. The second controller has the CD-ROM drive (32x) which
should be faster than the hard drive (since the drives are older).

> --
> "... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited by
> a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you
> wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret,
> or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed
> the floor under your bed." - Unix for Dummies, 2nd Edition

James A. Pattie

Linux -- SysAdmin / Programmer PC & Web Xperience, Inc.

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