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Old 09-29-2005, 01:43 PM   #1
Pandamatak
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Menlo Park, CA
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Non superuser process predictably crashes RH9 with Kernel Null Pointer error


Hello, I'm trying to migrate my unix installation to Linux from Solaris for various reasons, one of which is the availability of the Intel IPP library for Linux and not Solaris. I've run into a problem where a simple user process is predictably (though not consistently at the same place) crashing the system. What worries me most about the Linux migration is that a simple user process (non root) is able to crash the system inadvertently (I mean without trying to do something malicious like while(1) fork() etc.) This kind of thing has never happened with Solaris.

Once the system crashes, it responds to ping, but nothing else works -- Can't telnet, ssh or anything. Only a hard reset brings it up again and most worryingly, the logs (in /var/log/messages) are as clean as a whistle on startup. However, I noticed that occasionally, I do get a log about a Kernel oops and a seemingly ominous message that says:

...
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: Code: 89 50 04 89 02 c7 41 04 00 00 00 00 c7 01 00 00 00 00 ff 0b
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: <1>Unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at virtual address
00000004
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: printing eip:
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: c0148bfc
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: *pde = 00000000
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: Oops: 0002
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: nls_iso8859-1 nls_cp437 usb-storage vfat fat sd_mod autofs sis900 ipt_R
EJECT iptable_filter ip_tables sg sr_mod microcode ide-scsi scsi_mod ide-cd cdrom keybd
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: CPU: 0
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: EIP: 0060:[<c0148bfc>] Not tainted
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: EFLAGS: 00010016
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel:
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: EIP is at rmqueue [kernel] 0x6c (2.4.20-6smp)
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: eax: 00000000 ebx: c033f580 ecx: f77cfa00 edx: c033f588
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: esi: 00000000 edi: c0340750 ebp: c033f580 esp: c603be48
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: ds: 0068 es: 0068 ss: 0068
Sep 27 12:38:46 zoe kernel: Process testproc (pid: 1013, stackpage=c603b000)
<machine dead at this point. Hard-reset follows>
Sep 27 13:01:00 zoe syslogd 1.4.1: restart.
...

<machine dead at this point. Hard-reset follows>

Sep 27 13:01:00 zeta syslogd 1.4.1: restart.

The problem is that testproc does not always result in a crash, but if it's put in a loop and called repeatedly, then it's almost guaranteed to crash the machine within 10 minutes or so.

I installed Redhat 9 on my test machine (which is an Intel 3.2GHz Pentium processor on an ASUS motherboard. I can get post the specs of the mobo if any of you need. When I run uname -va, it shows:

Linux zoe 2.4.20-6smp #1 SMP Thu Feb 27 09:59:40 EST 2003 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

I suppose I could post the contents of this testroc user program, but I didn't feel it to be relevant since it has no business crashing the Kernel running as non-root anyway. I can confirm that it's not trying to do anything malicious.

Any help from the experts among you in educating me to run a more robust installation will be greatly appreciated. And of course, I will be glad to help out others in future with the knowledge I get from you guys.

Thanks.

&
 
Old 09-29-2005, 09:03 PM   #2
Pandamatak
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Posts: 8

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Update on the hang

Forgot to mention that I'm not running X on this PC. The default runlevel in /etc/inittab is 3 and it functions purely as a server. Most of the work on it is done by people ssh'ing into it remotely. And that's one of the reasons why the hang is a critical problem (since it locks up ssh as well).

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