Thanks to all those who responded. Here's the original question:
>Environment: Sun 4/490 running SunOS 4.1 with patch 100089-04
> installed. /tmp is tmpfs, /usr/tmp -> /var/tmp -> /tmp
>Problem: Processes hang while swapped out. They are un-interuptible,
>and use no CPU time.
>These processes are frequently related to /tmp in some way. There
>have been similarly hung processes which had no clear association with
>/tmp, however, since I did not determine exactly what the hung
>processes were doing, I have not ruled out /tmp as a common factor.
>Often, it seems that there is a file in /tmp which hangs any process
>which tries to read from it. For instance, "cd /tmp; ls" worked, but
>"cd /tmp; ls -l" hung. This is repeatable, once it happens, I can
>hang as many processes as I want to by accessing that file.
>After booting, the file, the hung processes, and the problem are gone.
>I have not been able to find any way of clearing these processes other
>than booting the system.
>I would love a patch number, but any other advise or information will
>be appreciated. As always, email me and I'll summarize for this list.
The answer I was looking for came from dhutches@UCSD.EDU, who said:
>Well, this is a known bug (in tmpfs) for SunOS 4.1.1. Patch number
>100174-01 will fix it. As for SunOS 4.1, I don't know, as we never
>installed it here (went straight from 4.0.3 to 4.1.1). We did see the
>exact same problem that you're seeing though (before we installed the
>patch). The 4.1.1 patch is available from princeton.edu in
Charles H. Buchholtz email@example.com
Systems Programmer (215) 898-2491
School of Engineering and Applied Science 200 S. 33rd St, rm 154
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104
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