[volunteers] (forw) svlug.svlug.org is going down!

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jun 30 14:04:04 PDT 2009

The software watchdog daemon rebooted the mailing list machine, this
morning.  Oddly enough, error "-8" is defined as "free for personal
use", but there's nothing about it in /etc/watchdog.conf .

Jusat before that happened, there were some kernel memory-allocation
errors, like this:

Jun 30 08:38:29 svlug kernel: __alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed (gfp=0x1d2/0)
Jun 30 08:45:46 svlug kernel: __alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed (gfp=0x1d2/0)
Jun 30 08:45:46 svlug kernel: VM: killing process watchdog
Jun 30 08:45:47 svlug kernel: __alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed (gfp=0x1d2/0)

What I think happened was that some runaway process -- my guess would be
spamassassin -- exhausted virtual memory.  The kernel's out-of-memory
killer ("OOM killer") thread happened to kill the /usr/sbin/watchdog
daemon process, which is A Good Thing, because, when /usr/sbin/watchdog
failed to write to /dev/watchdog within a minute, the kernel rebooted as

I honestly think that this may be the root cause of all of the system's
recent software problems: spamd choking on a piece of spam and bloating
its Perl process to the point of exhausing system RAM.

----- Forwarded message from root <root at svlug.org> -----

To: root at svlug.org
From: root <root at svlug.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:45:52 -0700
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-0.7 required=4.0 tests=AWL,BAYES_50 autolearn=ham
Subject: svlug.svlug.org is going down!

Message from watchdog:
The system will be rebooted because of error -8!

----- End forwarded message -----

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