Re: Serious reproducible 2.4.x kernel hang

From: Malcolm Beattie (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 11:52:47 EST

Chris Evans writes:
> On Thu, 1 Feb 2001, Malcolm Beattie wrote:
> > Mapping the addresses from whichever ScrollLock combination produced
> > the task list to symbols produces the call trace
> > do_exit <- do_signal <- tcp_destroy_sock <- inet_ioctl <- signal_return
> >
> > The inet_ioctl is odd there--vsftpd doesn't explicitly call ioctl
> > anywhere at all and the next function before it in memory is
> > inet_shutdown which looks more believable. I have checked I'm looking
> Probably, the empty SIGPIPE handler triggered. The response to this is a
> lot of shutdown() close() and finally an exit().
> The trace you give above looks like the child process trace. I always see
> the parent process go nuts. The parent process is almost always blocking
> on read() of a unix dgram socket, which it shares with the child. The
> child does a shutdown() on this socket just before exit().

We've done some more detective work. I can reproduce the hang too
by quitting the ftp client abruptly (^Z and kill %1 in my case).
Inducing the hang while stracing the daemon shows a recv returning 0
as expected when the socket closes. The daemon then calls "die":

    die(const char* p_text)
      /* Going down hard... */
    #ifdef DIE_DEBUG

and DIE_DEBUG is defined. bug() writes an error message and then does
three things:
    shutdown(2) on the sockets
    close(2) on the sockets
the last of which libc implements as
    rt_sigprocmask(SIG_UNBLOCK, [SIGABRT])
    kill(getpid(), SIGABRT)

Here's the interesting thing: doing an exit(0) before the shutdowns
and abort gets rid of the hang. The only unusual and potentially
untested thing I could find about the program was that it uses
capset() and prctl(PR_SET_KEEPCAPS). However, replacing the
"retval = capset(...)" call with a dummy "retval = 0" doesn't get
rid of the hang. So it looks as though some combination of
shutdown(2) and SIGABRT is at fault. After the hang the kernel-side
stack trace is always either the one I gave above (and I *did*
write down the address for inet_ioctl correctly; it's definitely
not inet_shutdown) or else
  do_exit <- do_signal <- schedule <- syscall_trace <- signal_return
(with exactly the same addresses as above except for the differing
schedule and syscall_trace ones) which appeared after the hang while
vsftpd was being run under strace.


Malcolm Beattie <>
Unix Systems Programmer
Oxford University Computing Services
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