Running nALFS freezes the machine

Chris Martin cmartin at
Fri Jan 23 07:22:41 PST 2004

Thank you for your swift reply.

>>>>> On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 07:48:49 -0700, "Kevin P. Fleming"
 <kpfleming at> said:

>> Chris Martin wrote: A second try (running mkfs.ext3 again on each
>> partition) with hda10 (2 Gb) as root failed freezing the machine --
>> no keyboard, blank screen, no remote login -- the same behaviour as
>> before.

Kevin> That is quite bizarre, I've never seen nALFS fail in that way
Kevin> before. If the kernel you are running on that machine supports
Kevin> Alt-SysRQ-T you can use that to determine what's running when
Kevin> this occurs (unless the machine doesn't even respond to
Kevin> that). However, I suspect this problem is more likely a
Kevin> hardware issue than anything else (see below).

No, the keyboard is dead -- no Ctrl-Alt-Del: reset followed by e2fsck
to put things right again.

>> Comparing the nALFS compilations (both 1.2.1) under SuSE and LFS
>> 5.0, the object files are different sizes. SuSE's Glibc is version
>> 2.3.2-88 and its GCC is 3.3.1-24.

Kevin> Yes, using different glibc's and gcc's will certainly produce
Kevin> different size binaries.

The differences are quite large (the configuration of nALFS was the
same: just --prefix=/opt):

52376 Jan 22 10:55 ../nALFS-1.2.1-lfs5.0boot/./src/src_nALFS-parser.o
11748 Jan 21 11:12 ./src/src_nALFS-parser.o

28056 Jan 22 10:55 ../nALFS-1.2.1-lfs5.0boot/./src/src_nALFS-win.o
14908 Jan 21 11:12 ./src/src_nALFS-win.o

  659 Jan 22 10:55 ../nALFS-1.2.1-lfs5.0boot/./src/.libs/nALFSS.o
  671 Jan 21 11:12 ./src/.libs/nALFSS.o

> I am at a loss to see what to do next -- other than run it under SuSE
> again: I will happily provide more information or run debugging under
> instruction if there is any interest in finding out more.

Kevin> I can think of a couple possibilities... if you can live
Kevin> without this machine in operation for a day or so, run
Kevin> memtest86 on it (with all tests enabled) for 24 hours. This
Kevin> will stress the motherboard and memory subsystem much more than
Kevin> even normal operation would and tell you whether it passes
Kevin> muster.

Thank you for your advice -- I have just run 10 kernel compilations in
sequence with no trouble and memtest86 was run after the first setback
for most of a day (though not 24 hours).

Kevin> The next thing I'd do is to try a known-good host; either a
Kevin> Knoppix version or one of the LFS boot-CDs. Don't install it to
Kevin> your hard drive; just boot from it, compile nALFS and try to
Kevin> run.

Running it from the SuSE installation on the machine (greyarea) is
fine. The existing LFS-5.0 installation on greyarea was created
running nALFS-1.2.1 under SuSE 9.0 and runs without trouble (except as
noted above ;) ).

Could there be something subtle in the configuration of the kernel?
The configurations of all three machines are derived from addedvalue's
but I have no idea how to check that something vital isn't missing
(there have been no kernel panics or anything else untoward).

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