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Old 08-17-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
haertig
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD, Raspbian, Arch
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syslog: Hints of "The Shining"


My system unexpectedly ran out of space in the root file system today. Normally I use about 15Gb of a 128Gb SSD for root. Plently of extra space available.

I think Jack Nicholson from The Shining slipped into my computer. The problem was a repeating entry, over and over - more than 100Gb worth - of just one phrase in syslog:

Are you sure you want to delete the registry key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v3.5'? (Yes|No)

Obviously this is something from Wine/PlayOnLinux, as I was installing the .NET framework into a WINEPREFIX yesterday.

I deleted syslog.1 (it was huge!) and rebooting to make sure whatever Wine program was stuck would die. Normally I don't resort to "The Big Hammer" and reboot, but this system has been up for about a year now and I figured a reboot would not be unreasonable.

I know Linux reserves some space on a filesystem just for the root userid, so you can troubleshoot stuff like this in the presence of a full filesystem. But I would have expected that since syslog is owned by root, it would have eaten up that reserve space too. But it didn't. And I'm glad Linux is evidently smart enough to prevent that! Lord help me if this had been an actual Windows system...
 
Old 08-18-2017, 06:23 AM   #2
wpeckham
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Registered: Apr 2010
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Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat, DSL, Puppy, CentOS, Knoppix, Mint-DE, Sparky, Vsido, tinycore, Q4OS
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Interesting! I wonder what caused that to happen. It did not happen during my install, but I am running Q4OS base and the underlying distro may make a difference.

Did you have a question?
 
Old 08-18-2017, 10:50 AM   #3
haertig
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No, I didn't have a question. I posted this more or less as an advisory to anyone who might run into a similar problem sometime.

I realize that the problem was more than likely a fluke. Some bug in a winetricks installation script - I used "winetricks dotnet35sp1". That winetricks script had long since exited (apparently - I was returned to my command prompt), but unbeknownst to me, was still spinning in the background, flooding syslog with messages, until my root file system finally ran out of space. My warning was: When the planets line up just right and create some rare circumstance, this endless loop and spamming of syslog could happen.
 
Old 08-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #4
wpeckham
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Thank you for the warning. I will watch for another incident like this. One of us should open a bug report on this if it happens again, with all of the information they might need to squash the bug.
 
  


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