In article <Pine.GSO.4.02A.9809131325020.4060-100000@laureline>,
Cyrille Chepelov <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> everything works fine, until someone tries to change his password. The
> first ten users could change their password, but now, whenever they do
> this, the "passwd" process locks up, can not be killed (tried kill -1 and
> -9), and subsequent calls to "sync" lock with the same symptoms.
> After a reboot, I tried to change a password under strace's control.
> Passwd locked itself up while calling "sync()", after succesfully changing
> the password.
This is a sign that an IO has got stuck in the kernel's block device
buffer cache. Given that the problem is in the sync(), it is most
likely to be that a write to the password file or lock file itself
which is causing the problem.
> I can give the passwd file if someone is motivated to try to reproduce the
> problem (but I'd be happier without doing so <grin /> )
It won't help: the problem is down in a device driver somewhere, and
is most unlikely to be related in any way to the file contents. My
first reaction would be to run "badblocks" on the disk ("e2fsck -c")
to check for and to relocate bad blocks on the disk, and then to try
again. If it is still reproducible, then let me know.
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