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Old 06-19-2001, 02:27 PM   #1
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Server unresponsive to connection attempts

I finally talked my supervisor into getting rid of a bunch of Access databases and start using MySQL on a Linux box instead (Mandrake 7.2). But I've run into a problem and being a Linux newbie I don't know how to solve it.

When the server has been recently booted, I can ping it, telnet into it, ftp files to and from it and connect to the database from a Windows desktop application. As long as some kind of external access continues, the server remains responsive. If I leave the server alone for several hours (overnight while no one is at work) then all attempts to connect to the server timeout.

When the server is in this state, I can log into it from the console and ping routers and workstations on the network. If I go to a workstation that I just pinged successfully from the server, pings to the server from the workstation timeout.

I'm currently using a Compaq Deskpro PC for my Linux box. Since its not a true server, I was thinking maybe it had some kind of energy saving mechanism that put the machine into a sleep state after a period of inactivity. So far, I haven't been able to find any setting to indicate that this is true.

Has anyone seen this before? I could hack something to keep the machine "alive" by making some kind of connection on a regular basis. I would rather find out the source of the problem and fix it if I could. Any ideas or hints would be appreciated.

Old 06-19-2001, 03:57 PM   #2
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did you check for any type of energy settings within the bios? sometimes they are there. not too sure myself on anything else that would cause this.
Old 06-19-2001, 04:14 PM   #3
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I'm curious as to what would cause your pings to be 'one-way' after this occurs. Is this only the case after you have had your server drop into power saving for a while?

Also if you can't find the setting in the BIOS have a look into wether your system supports "Wake on LAN" if this is the case you should be able to get a cable to run from your network card to you motherboard to alert the system to actvity on your LAN, hence making the machine wake back up.

good luck

Old 06-19-2001, 06:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I didn't know whether the problem was hardware or software related. Based on your input, I'll focus on the hardware side tomorrow and see if I can come up with a solution. I just wanted to make sure that this wasn't a well known Linux problem that all the gurus knew the solution to. If I can get it solved, I'll post what I did for future reference.

trickykid: I tried to get into the bios of this particular machine and couldn't get it to work. On a Compaq of this type you should push F10 at boot time to get into the bios. It always ignored this and continued booting. I don't know why??? I tried ESC, DEL, F2, etc. but nothing worked. I'll try again tomorrow.

jharris: Yes, the server only goes into one-way mode after a long period of inactivity. Otherwise, it works exactly like I want it to. If this machine doesn't have the "Wake on LAN" feature, they have a stack of PCs I might be able to cannibalize for better parts. Thanks for the idea.
Old 07-06-2001, 10:04 AM   #5
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This is a followup post to let anyone who reads this know how I resolved the problem. I hate finding someone who has the same problem I'm having but then never posts the solution!

For a point of reference, let me say that I'm an application programmer. Networking and hardware are a definite gray area. Configuring my first Linux box didn't help either. I was trying to set the machine so that it would do just a few things: serve up MySQL data, allow me to telnet in to administer the database and allow me to ftp files I had developed on my laptop. When loading Linux I tried not to load any extra daemons or programs that were not related to these tasks.

Through an oversight on my part there were a couple of DHCP programs running on the machine. Whenever I would boot the machine, it would have the correct "static" address At some point one of these programs was acquiring a new IP address for the server. Why it was doing this or how is beyond my knowledge. This is why pings to the static address were unresponsive, but pings from the server to the desktop would work. Stopping these programs from starting at boot time solved the problem.


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