[K12OSN] Server Help! (a little desperate)

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Fri Oct 1 18:16:18 UTC 2004

Shawn Powers wrote:

> Wow...
> Things have been going great this year, our entire district is using 
> thin clients.  Here's a very brief breakdown of how things are running:
> 1 Server handles DNS, TFTP, DHCP, NIS
> 1 Server handles NFS (/home), SMB
> 1 Server handles LTSP (running 4.0.1, but the TFTP and DHCP are farmed 
> out to the other server)
> For some reason, I've had 2 major "glitches" this year.
> Last week, eth0 (where clients connect) just quit responding.  The 
> server appeared fine, but was not pingable.  After a brief 
> panic, I just ran ifdown eth0, and ifup eth0 -- and I've had no 
> problems until today.  They started right after I left for lunch, of 
> course.
> Today, the LTSP server quit responding altogether.  When going to the 
> console, I couldn't even get THAT to come up.  I power cycled the 
> machine, and everything has come up just peachy -- BUT I'm very 
> worried now.
> I'm getting some "I told you so's" from the staff, who accused me that 
> putting all my eggs in one basket was a bad idea, and with linux you 
> get what you pay for, etc, etc, etc...
> My question?  Where do I start looking for some problems?  I've read 
> just about every bit of text in /var/log -- and nothing looks fishy.  
> At 13:00, messages just stopped being written to /var/log/messages.  
> There were no odd entries before it stopped.
> Are there other logs I should be checking?  Perhaps after school 
> today, I'll take the server down and run memtest...  Especially during 
> this first year, I need close to 100% uptime, and I've had bad luck so 
> far.

Tell us about your server hardware, and the more info, the better.

What you're describing sounds suspiciously like something I ran into 
with one of my PC's.  Oddly enough, switching cases (!!) fixed the 
problem.  It wasn't a GNU/Linux issue, because the same thing happened 
with Windows XP, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD on this same box.  The box would 
just randomly freeze, and it could be one day or four weeks between such 
freezes.  A power-cycle would fix things...for a while.  Eventually even 
that wouldn't do it, so I swapped mobos, CPUs, hard disks, SCSI 
controllers, NICs, even power supplies.  My fix makes no sense at all to 
me other than that there may have been some kind of short that I 
missed.  But then, I put a new mobo in this same case, and Bam!  it 
happened again.  That case is now in the recycle heap.  :-)

What you're describing sounds to me like a probable hardware issue, 
unrelated to GNU/Linux itself.  Too many people have had success with 
Fedora to tell me that it's a "Linux issue."

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