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Periodic lockup problem with ext3

On several machines with ext3 we have a periodic "unresponsiveness"

Take for example our mailserver: When it handles a lot of
email (lots of deliveries to Maildirs), it shovels the data into the

But every now and then (the interval being >> 5s, the commit
interval) the machine becomes unresponsive, your hear a lot of disk
activity, and after about 12-18s the machine is back to normal.
Nobody knows what's happening during that phase.

The same with my laptop, but not as dire, since the machine doesn't do
that much disk i/o at all (except when untarring a kernel or patching
a kernel tree).

This happened with various kernels (2.4.20-pre9, 2.4.19-ac4) on
various machines.

Is this maybe an IDE problem with 2.4.x kernels?

Sorry for being so vague, but this has been baffling us.

Ralf Hildebrandt (Im Auftrag des Referat V a)   Ralf Hildebrandt charite de
Charite Campus Mitte                            Tel.  +49 (0)30-450 570-155
Referat V a - Kommunikationsnetze -             Fax.  +49 (0)30-450 570-916
| <- You must be smarter than this stick to ride the Internet 

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