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Old 10-29-2004, 03:03 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX
Distribution: Debian
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System goes to lunch after about 24 hours

I'm all for giving people, and even machines, a rest. But for some reason, my HDD installed Knoppix 3.6 is exhibiting some odd behaviour if it's left on for long periods of time. What happens is that the machine eventually blanks the screen after about 30 minutes of inactivity, and works fine if I move the mouse or hit the keyboard to wake it up. Even leaving it this way over night is not a problem.

But after about 24 hours of operation, something kicks up on the machine that eats CPU and has the HD going crazy to the point where it's almost impossible to even shut the machine down without unplugging it or holding the power key for several seconds. Because it is so non-responsive in this state, I can't even get a ps -ef to give me a result in a terminal session I left open.

I normally use the XFCE desktop that comes with this version of the distribution, and I'm wondering if that might be having some wierd interaction with some power setting or KDE setting or...

Any ideas?
Old 10-29-2004, 03:18 PM   #2
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No idea as to what may be causing it at this stage,
but an idea on how to find out what's happening ...

How about a cron-job (run every five minutes) that
redirects top's output to a file?

*/5 * * * * top -b -n 1 > ~/`date +"%F_%H%M"`.log

Old 10-30-2004, 03:29 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX
Distribution: Debian
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Actually, I'm now wondering if this might not be some cron job that's running on a daily basis. Is there any way to determine what jobs are in the cron queue? Alternately, I notice a number of files under cron.daily, and am wondering how safe it would be to move these and see if that's the problem... Or am I going to make things worse when cron tries to run one of these and the file isn't there?

Old 10-31-2004, 03:48 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
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Yes, I guess it is cron which starts these buggers. Moving files away from cron.daily won't do any harm (apart from the cron jobs not being run at all).
You could even check for /etc/crontab and /var/spool/cron/* files.
Old 10-31-2004, 09:08 AM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX
Distribution: Debian
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Well, I've commented out all of the entries in /etc/crontab and /etc/anacrontab, so we'll see if the system is still responsive tomorrow :-)
Old 10-31-2004, 09:16 AM   #6
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speed this up, move those files to cron.hourly

Old 11-01-2004, 07:27 PM   #7
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX
Distribution: Debian
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Well, after close to 36 hours everything is running fine. So it's pretty obvious that the problem is something either in cron.hourly getting crazy after a while - or more likely something rather wrong in cron.daily.

Taking a look in cron.daily I see:

Several of these look like things I don't really need. Any idea if there are any of these I "should" be running? I'm guessing logrotate, but anything else? This is a result of a Knoppix 3.6 HD Install in case that is a useful clue...



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