mke2fs and kernel VM issues

From: Samuel Flory (
Date: Thu Feb 15 2001 - 20:43:21 EST

  What is believed to be the current status of the typical mke2fs
crashes/hangs due to vm issues? I can reliably reproduce the issue on a
heavily modifed VA kernel based on 2.2.18. Is there a kernel which is
believed to be a known good kernel? (both 2.2.x and 2.4.x)

Failure pattern:

mylex raid 5 array 8 x 9G drives (not really all that big)
>=512M of RAM (1G of RAM works)
no swap (Not sure if this makes a difference.)

The system is attempting to create a single partition containing the
most of the entire RAID array.

buffy: Installing with LIVE AMMO
Creating partitions...
Initializing filesystems...
Out of Memory: Killed process 106 (portmap), saved process 2165
of Memory: Killed process 2123 (buffy), saved process 2165
(mke2fs).willow: LOAD
<3>Out of Memory: Killed process 195 (sisyphus_upload), saved process
2165 (mke2
fs).<3>Out of Memory: Killed process 2165 (mke2fs).

(Note that most of the above proccesses were dialog interfaces waiting
for user input or perl scripts waiting for mke2fs or buffy to exit.)

PS- Conversations with various VA empolyees indicates that others within
VA, and at least one vendor are seeing hangs while creating really large
filesystems on RAID arrays. (mostly 1/4 TB or larger) These issues
appear to come and go, and are endemic to the 2.2.x kernel line. Both
lnz and tytso seem to believe the issues to be vm entirely related.

Solving people's computer problems always
requires more hardware be given to you.
(The Second Rule of Hardware Acquisition)
Samuel J. Flory  <>
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Feb 15 2001 - 21:00:28 EST