SUMMARY: Mystery Messages

From: David Steiner (
Date: Sat Feb 17 1996 - 08:56:02 CST

Sorry to take so long to get this back to the list but the problem took
a serious drop in priority.

The original (paraphrased) problem:

One of our IPCs running 4.1.4 went down with the following message:

Jan 30 19:29:05 host1 vmunix: panic: sleep from interrupt service

and then rebooted.

At the same time I received the following message on my log host:

Jan 30 19:29:05 loghost syslogd: Bad terminal owner; root owns '/dev/ttyp3' but utmp says admacct


First of all, thanks to Hal Stern, Kevin Sheehan and Perry Hutchinson for
their advice.

Hal and Perry agreed that the "sleep from interrupt service" message indicated
a (rather ugly) driver problem that should never happen. The log host message
appears to be an "unimportant glitch." Kevin suggested using kadb and
traceback to find the offending call.

That's as far as I have taken it. After talking with the user who was logged on
at the time, I discovered that he was using a commercial program that
we have been running for some time now. The software is pretty stable. The
commands that were being issued at the time of the crash are also pretty
commonly used. Since we have never seen this problem before and it has not
occurred again, I have decided to write it off as a random event (at least
until it shows up again). If it should happen again, at least I have an idea
of where to start looking.

Once again, thanks to those who responded.


David R. Steiner University of Vechta
System Administrator _____ ___ ____ __
Remote Sensing/GIS // // // `` // |
                                            // === //='' //--|
email: _//_ __// _//_ _//_ _|_
fax:(+49)4441-15445 Vechta, Germany

* All decisions are based on insufficient evidence. -Nickel Hunsenmeir *

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