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SubjectLinux halt/crash with imap server
We're running Linux 2.2.9 on a Samba, Imap, Sendmail, DNS, Web, etc.,
server for over 100 users. The system usually runs fine, but has been
crashing quite often recently. The machine completely locks and no
longer responds to pings when the problem happens. It's a Dell
Poweredge with the MegaRAID PERC controllers. We have 512MB Ram on it
and have notched up the number of file handles and some other buffer
related information in order to speed up the Samba server.

We've got an automated user, called report, that logs in to the server,
and retrieves items from the sent folder (which is 280 MB in size), and
sends and receives messages quite often. This imapd process can grow to
very huge sizes. After running top on the server, it seems that the
system tends to crash when trying to get the messages from that folder.

After a couple of crashes, I telnetted into the system and ran vmstat to
get an idea of what's going on. The output right before the crash is
below:

Does anyone have any hints or ideas to avoid these crashes? We're
thinking of moving everything over to an IBM AIX RS/6000 machine (at
least for the report user) if we can't find a solution to this
problem.

If you reply, please CC me, since I cannot always follow the linux
kernel mailing list. Thanks.

procs memory swap io
system cpu
r b w swpd free buff cache si so bi bo in cs us
sy id
1 0 0 988 1528 109092 282836 0 0 6260 26 679 458 10
12 78
1 0 0 988 2856 185988 203228 0 0 9 204 418 448 13
49 38
0 1 0 988 2788 213396 173440 0 0 463 3208 337 344 7
21 72
1 0 0 988 2320 239648 145556 0 0 129 2905 304 347 4
19 77
0 1 0 988 2616 253068 130036 0 0 28 3700 290 293 3
16 81
0 3 0 988 1608 254084 129868 6 0 148 3803 303 301 3
15 82
0 1 0 988 2724 266024 116196 0 0 38 3302 293 252 3
14 83
2 1 0 988 2808 253632 128416 0 0 11 4400 256 262 3
12 86
0 1 0 988 3164 259460 122356 0 0 27 4100 280 194 4
14 83
0 1 0 988 2916 276592 104648 0 0 13 4400 268 267 2
14 84
0 2 0 988 2820 268216 112724 0 0 21 4200 266 245 3
14 83
0 1 0 988 3176 264492 115812 0 0 139 1600 265 272
3 8 89
0 3 0 988 111136 264492 7840 0 0 28 2128 377 482
3 7 90
0 6 0 988 110144 264492 8072 8 0 44 4952 382 546
4 8 88
0 9 0 988 109828 264492 8164 0 0 17 5715 577 974
5 7 89
0 8 0 988 109988 264492 8240 0 0 17 4703 353 472
3 6 91
0 5 0 988 110528 264492 8340 0 0 20 5673 350 474
3 9 88
0 9 0 988 109124 264492 8340 0 0 0 3946 355 584
3 6 92
0 15 0 988 108672 264492 8340 0 0 1 3611 436 712
3 5 91
0 15 0 988 108672 264492 8340 0 0 0 3615 408 661
2 6 92
Thanks for your help,

Ben

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