[svlug] System Panic Makes My Life Easier

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Thu Jul 28 21:19:28 PDT 2016

On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 05:44:38PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Ivan Sergio Borgonovo (mail at webthatworks.it):
> > Hitting *hard* hardware in the proper way to test it is *hard*.
> > You could get an idea about it looking at what memtest does, and I'm not 
> > even sure memtest covers all memory technology.
> Memtest will not always catch bad RAM.
> The method whose links I posted upthread, which is running iterative
> kernel compiles in a loop with 'make -j N' for sufficiently high values
> of N to exercise _all_ RAM, does.  Details in the links.
> > If I had to test hardware I would, as Rick suggested boot from a live 
> > distro, possibly one specialized in testing hardware... and well that's 
> > exactly what you find if you google it ;)
> > 
> > http://www.inquisitor.ru/about/
> Please note that VA-CTCS was what VA Linux Systems, Inc. used to
> torture-test hardware.  It was used for multiple days of burn-in per
> unit at the factory, and it was used for multiple days of burn-in on all
> returned units received under RMA.
> And then VA's successor in the hardware business, California Digital
> Corporation, used it that way, too.  
> I had the privilege of working at both those firms, and I can say that
> if a machine doesn't seize up under multiple days of VA-CTCS
> stress-testing, it's pretty solid.  (It does not test desktop-centric
> hardware components such as GPUs, though.)

Hi Rick,

I understand GPGPUs are key hardware components for consumer platforms. And in
the past 5 years GPGPUs have become the hottest technology in datacenters as
well. For example:


Computational loads have evolved with the emergence of deep learning
algorithms. And GPGPUs in the datacenter are at the tip of the spear of
bleeding edge ML and AI related distributed applications these days.

> That's why it's my go-too for general hardware stress-testing to this
> day, although I'd go straight to the 'make -j $BIGNUM' iterative kernel
> compiling for RAM-testing and skip memtest.
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Karen Shaeffer                 Be aware: If you see an obstacle in your path,
Neuralscape Services           that obstacle is your path.        Zen proverb

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