SUMMARY 2: Processes hang, uninteruptible, swapped out. (tmpfs?)

From: Charles H. Buchholtz (
Date: Tue May 14 1991 - 10:44:53 CDT

I summarized my responses to sun-managers, saying

     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 in /pub/sun-fixes.

Well, I later recieved this from (Rob McMahon)

     I hate to be a party-pooper, but while this is a known bug (I was
     told id #10493994, although that seems to have too many digits,
     maybe that 9 got doubled), 100174-01 does *not* fix it. We're
     running 4.1.1 with patch #100174-01 and 4.1 with patch #100089-01
     and we've been seeing it. The workaround is not to use tmpfs :-(
     By all means install 100174-01, but when it breaks again pester
     Sun a bit.

The problem seems to occur here when directories are created within
the tmpfs, or when large numbers of files are created within
directories within the tmpfs. We run tmpfs on *many* of our systems
(4.1, 100089-01 installed) without any problems. The one system we
see problems on is used by *many* students with *small* disk quotas.
They frequently will do huge ftp/untar/tar/kermit operations within
sub-directories of the tmpfs.

We're considering dropping tmpfs on this machine, but keeping it on
the other machines since it hasn't caused any problems on them.
Alternatively, we're considering using tmpfs, but in addition creating
a separate /var/tmp (/usr/tmp -> /var/tmp) for users to use as
"scratch space". It seems like things will be OK if we can keep the
users from trampling through the tmpfs.

Thanks for all the infromative responses,

Charles H. Buchholtz
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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