Summary: LPD keeps spawning

From: Wei Wu (
Date: Wed Sep 11 1996 - 09:40:46 CDT

Dear managers:
  Several days ago I posted the following message to this list:

>* System: Sun Sparc 10 running SunOS 4.1.3.
>* LPD spawned 30+ running lpd's; very slow system response :-)
>* rebooted machine, cleaned up printing queues, cut /etc/printcap to size
> 0, got 30+ lpd's in a few minutes;
>* applied Jumbo lpr patch (100305-15), same problem persists.

  As mysterious as the problem, so is the solution: use a real BSD
partition for /tmp instead of sharing with swap. In details:
1) My system's /tmp was shared with swap space, which consisted of one
swap partition and one swap file.
2) created a new partition on hard disk, created BSD file system on it,
mounted it to /mnt, then dumped /tmp to /mnt (you want to do this when the
system is least loaded, or better yet, do it in single user mode);
3) umount /mnt; umount /tmp; mount /dev/<new-partition> /tmp

  Coming to this solution is incidental: I tried to replace the whole
Sun lpr/lpd with LPRng (which is quite worth recommending), and noticed
that LPRng could not created a file lock on /tmp. That suggested Sun lpd
might be doing the same thing without luck, thus spawning to death.

  Two things remain mystery to me: Why Sun lpd needs file locking on
/tmp, although I have a separate /var file system, and all lpd spooling
are directed to /var ? Secondly, why it took so long for the problem to
develop? I recall that a similar incident happened a few months ago, but
was "solved" by reboot. Is it possible that adding a swap file to the
shared tmp/swap space would trigger the problem?
  If you could shed some light on these mysteries, I might be able to
sleep easier :-) .

  For their generous replies and help, my thanks go to:
Brett Lymn <>
Fedor Gnuchev <>

WU Wei, Supervisor of Scientific Computing
Physics Department, Washington University
St. Louis,MO 63130,USA
phone (1)314-935-4746 fax (1)314-935-6219

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