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xfsdump hanging in uninterruptible sleep

To: linux-xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: xfsdump hanging in uninterruptible sleep
From: Bernd Strieder <strieder@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 23:14:39 +0200
Organization: Universitaet Kaiserlautern
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The filesystem in question is on a 36GB SCSI drive, the only 
partition on this drive. The fs contains 22 GB of data, quota is 
used with few exception. The filesystem is exported to about 15 
Linux clients, 1 Debian, the others SuSE8.2 and 8.1 , and 1 
OpenBSD client. The server is P3 2-way SMP with 4GB of RAM.

Occasionally xfsdump is hanging in uninterruptible sleep. 
Occasionally means, that it happens sometimes, but I have not 
been able to trigger the problem.

Usually xfsdump is run at night writing about 20 GB via rmt to a 
Sun box with a DLT streamer attached to it. If the problem 
happens, it must be at the beginning of the dump, from the 
backup logs I have.

I have not found a way to kill xfsdump in this state, the machine 
has to be booted, or the other night the next xfsdump started 
will get into the same state. There are no diagnostics somewhere 
in the system, syslog, console, dmesg. ps says xfsdump is in 

The problem happens with the SuSE-kernels delivered with SuSE-8.1 
and 8.2, and with all patched Linus with XFS patched, and with 
-ac kernels. All kernels I have tried show the problem. Before 
the update to SuSE 8.2 it took once 3 months between two cases 
of hanging xfsdump using a vanilla 2.4.21 kernel with xfs 1.2 

I have tried xfsdump to /dev/null and putting the system under 
load (more disk load, more network load), but I could not 
trigger the problem. The tape drive swallows about 5MB/sec, by 
dumping to /dev/zero the rate is about 15MB/sec, which should be 
more stress to the system.

Twice, the hanging xfsdump was not noticed for some days and the 
system got instable, kernel NFSd hanging, which made a reboot 

Any ideas?

Bernd Strieder

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