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For some reason, my mysql server (debian lenny) has begun having semi-frequent flakiness. I don't think it's MySql itself that is causing the problems - but rather something "system related".
I have looked at all the typical suspects (/var being full, etc), and nothing in any of the log files jumps out at me. But there is 1 thing that might be an indicator: The error message in the subject line.
What is really wierd is that the sudo command DOES work.
Rebooting the machine resolves the problem ... for a while. Which is to say, I do not get the error message every time I use the sudo command.
Last indicator is in /var/log/auth.log - logons (and sudo's) during the period of time of system flakiness show no entries in the auth.log file. Despite the fact that I can indeed logon, su to root, and reboot the computer.
If nothing gets logged or written to in /var during that time then what does 'touch /var/tmp/testfile' result in (as unprivileged user, as root)? And running strace on your sudo command?
touch: cannot touch `/var/tmp/testfile': Read-only file system
And then this:
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)