Reproducible hang w/ kernels >2.0.10

Randy Gobbel (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 10:48:17 -0700

A few days ago I grabbed Crack 4.1 off of the net, compiled it, and started
running it over the password files of all the systems whose security I care
about. On the very small password file of my personal machine it completes
normally, but when I try to run it on a relatively large password file, I get
a system freeze after running for around 20 minutes. The freeze appears to be
completely reproducible. I thought at first that the problem might be related
to the beta-test X server that I'm running, but it happens whether or not X is
running. When I restart after one of these freezes, I get exactly the same
message from fsck every time:

Deleted inode 218291 has zero dtime.

There are no other error messages. In one instance the fsck message
complained about inodes 218293 and 242772, instead of 218291, but otherwise
it's always exactly the same. Crack's log file is corrupted near the end,
with 732 zeroes inserted on top of the correct data. Everything else appears
normal when the system comes back up.

The problem is clearly related to the file system, since I can get the program
to run to completion by having it log to stdout instead of to a disk file.
With a stable setup, the crash seems to happen at about the same place in the
run every time, though I haven't verified that carefully. It doesn't appear
to be related in a simple way to the number of log messages output, or the
number of passes through the dictionary.

Has any else seen anything like this? There's clearly a bug somewhere, but I
don't know if the problem is more likely to be in the kernel or in my
hardware. I haven't seen any other indication of any hardware problems. My
system is a 200 MHz Pentium Pro, with a Natoma chipset on an Intel
motherboard, Adaptec 2940UW SCSI adapter, a Quantum Atlas 4.3 GB hard disk,
and 80 MB of main memory (if you haven't looked at RAM prices lately, you
should). I started with Debian 1.1, have kept the kernel up to date since
then by applying patches as they appeared, and am now running 2.0.14.

Other than this list, is there an "official" place to report problems like
this? I'm leery of posting to the newsgroups, because when I did recently, I
was hit by a flood of junk email--which is why there's an anti-spam paragraph
at the end of this message, my apologies to all you regular folks out there.



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