[unclug] Unstable RedHat 9 machine

James Jordan jwjordan at bme.unc.edu
Thu Jun 10 12:39:55 EDT 2004

Unfortunately, I am using NFS to mount /var/spool/mail among other 
directories. I don't see a way that I could disable NFS without breaking 
many services (Sendmail and Amanda being the two most important). 
Following your lead, I checked out Google groups and read the 
suggestions. I tried running tcpdump on the ports listed by "rpcinfo -p" 
looking for errors, but I've yet to see any. At the suggestion of Ben 
Aycock in OIS, I wrote a little Perl script to keep a minute-by-minute 
log of the output of "ps auxw" which clears every hour. Hopefully 
this'll give me a better idea of what is happening when the system 
crashes next (I'm sure I won't have to wait long!). James Jordan wrote:

>> I have an unstable RedHat 9 machine acting as my department's primary 
>> mail server and DNS server.  Obviously, having this machine crash on a 
>> *weekly* basis is unacceptable, and I'm at my wits end trying to figure 
>> this one out.  I notice that while no log shows any kinds of errors 
>> (that I can find that is), the console occasionally shows this error: 
>> "svc: short len 2, dropping request".  Suffice it to say, I have no idea 
>> what this means, and Google didn't help.  Does anyone have any idea 
>> where I should start, or something specific to look for?  I can say that 
>> all this instability seems to have started (though I can be 100% sure) 
>> with the replacement of the hard drive after a HD failure.  However, I 
>> have run hdparm with numerous options trying to rule out hardware 
>> problems, and I haven't seen any errors thus far.  I am running the 
>> latest kernel before RedHat moved to EL.  Thanks for any light you can 
>> shed on this!

Looking through Google Groups I see some folks mentioning this exact 
error as an issue with NFS.  Are you running any NFS services?


James Jordan
Systems Administrator
UNC Chapel Hill Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
jwjordan at bme.unc.edu

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