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Bug#566208: linux-image-2.6.26-2-486: e_powersaver causes constant lockups

On Thu, 2010-01-21 at 19:24 -0500, Ross Vandegrift wrote:
> Package: linux-image-2.6.26-2-486
> Version: 2.6.26-19lenny2
> Severity: critical
> Justification: breaks the whole system
> After upgrading linux-image-2.6.26-2-486 from 17lenny1 to 19lenny2, I
> started experiencing 100% reproducable system lockups on a VIA C7
> system.  No errors in the logs, no oops, no BUG, nothing - just a hard
> lock.  No keyboard LED response and no sysrq functionality worked.
> Sometimes the system wouldn't complete the boot process without
> freezing.  Sometimes it would last three minutes or so before
> freezing.  I could reproduce the lockup with "cat /dev/zero > file".
> Every time, within 10 seconds, the system would freeze.
> After a lot of trial, error, and searching, I discovered that the
> e_powersaver module was being loaded and the lockups went away if I
> unloaded it.

It is cpufrequtils, not the kernel, that selects which cpufreq driver to
load, so I will assign this bug to cpufrequtils.

However, we will reconsider whether this module should be built at all.

> The kernel build help text indicates that the module shouldn't ever be
> used, and is highly dangerous:
>      This adds the CPUFreq driver for VIA C7 processors.  However, this
>      driver does not have any safeguards to prevent operating the CPU out
>      of spec and is thus considered dangerous.  Please use the regular ACPI
>      cpufreq driver, enabled by CONFIG_X86_ACPI_CPUFREQ.

This warning has been added recently.  The kernel team is not in
possession of a time machine.


Ben Hutchings
Any smoothly functioning technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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