Re: Linux-1.3.19

Ryan Smith-Roberts (
Wed, 16 Aug 1995 11:25:47 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 15 Aug 1995, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> I have gotten a few reports of "strace" completely freezing a few
> machines. So far these reports have had two things in common: a Pentium
> processor and gcc-2.7.0. It may be that the Pentium 4MB page table code
> does strange things on some machines, or that gcc-2.7.0 compiles the
> code to something I never meant it to be.. I'd like to hear if the
> people that can make this happen could try an older compiler to check.

I believe that on the net someone specified (was it Thomas Koenig?) they
had used 2.6.3 to do it and it was still there. Also, unmounting /proc
(with the resulting failed open on /proc/[pid]/mem) was armor against the

Also note that, with me and as I remember with everyone else, the bug is
not a freeze bug, it is a reboot bug. Sudden, instant reboot, to the
point that

strace touch > strace.log

on a synchronous-mounted ext2fs fs doesn't leave any files. This
resembles very strongly the reboot bug I run into while compress-tarring
large directories.

> Anything else that has problems with this kernel?

I'm getting cross-VT corruption, where the text on one VT appears on
another (which is never active, and it doesn't happen to that VT after I
switch back to it, for a while). This corruption can be from a couple
lines of obvious garbage (random characters of random colors) to text from
other VTs (even VTs that aren't currently scrolling, but just sitting
there with for example a login prompt) to entire screenfuls of output
from another VT with a kernel compile going on in it.

This isn't a common occurrence, but it's certainly not rare, either. And
apparently totally random.

this mind intentionally left blank              |   Linux - anything else
Ryan Smith-Roberts --   |   would be uncivilized!

"In /this/ house, we obey the laws of THERMODYNAMICS!" -- Homer Simpson