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Subject2.6.20.4: NETDEV WATCHDOG and lockups

Hi there,

we have serious problems with 2 of our servers: both shiny new amd64
dual core, with both 2GB RAM, 32bit kernel+userland (Debian/testing).
Both servers have 2 NICs, RTL8139 (eth0, irq10) and RTL8169s
(eth1, irq11).

Both boxes are running fine but after "a while" they lock up and
eventually restart all of a sudden. The last messages in the logfile

14:15:11 db2 kernel: NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
14:15:14 db2 kernel: eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x45E1

Then the box reboots, nothing else in the log.

As the servers have been set up recently, we only know that it happend
with Debian's 2.6.17-? kernel. When we upgraded the installation, we
went to 2.6.18-4-k7 and the problem persistent. We're using now vanilla and while the problem persists, it takes longer to lockup (~20h
as opposed to 4-5h). While this is a good thing for us, it's now harder
to reproduce (we have to wait longer).

Searching the archives turned up quite a few results but no real fix and
lots of old postings too. We then disabled ACPI completely and booted
with 'noapic'. Now both boxes are running for > 20h and we're curious
how long they make it. However, booting with 'noapic' slowed down both
servers *a lot*.

From /proc/interrupts we can see that only CPU0 (core 0) is handling
interrupts while CPU1 does not. We compiled with CONFIG_IRQBALANCE=n so
that irqbalance(1) would work - but to no avail.

Please see for details for both
hosts and feel free to ask for more details. Although both boxes are in
production we'll be happy test more bootoptions/patches and the like.

BOFH excuse #266:

All of the packets are empty.
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