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'D' processes on a healthy system?



Hi folks,

I just pulled up a fresh, powerful, and errorfree server on Debian
woody, with some packages from testing.

When this machine becomes loaded, certain processes become unusable
for a couple of seconds. top shows me this:

19268 madduck   18   0  2208 2208  1076 D     1.3  0.4   0:00 sanitizer
    6 root       9   0     0    0     0 DW    0.3  0.0   1:10 kupdated
 8457 root      10   0  1156 1156   820 R     0.3  0.2   0:02 top
10843 postfix    9   0  1364 1364  1016 D     0.3  0.2   0:00 cleanup
 3156 madduck    0   0   636  636   540 D     0.1  0.1   0:00 procmail
28356 root       9   0   292  288   240 R     0.0  0.0   0:01 supervise
28706 root       9   0  2060 2036  1724 D     0.0  0.4   0:00 sshd
21395 root      15   0  1944 1944  1876 D     0.0  0.3   0:00 zsh

notice the number of processes in       ^
uninterruptible sleep mode in this column.

this was after i did something like:

  while true; do echo test | sendmail madduck; mailq; done

sure, I am stresstesting the system, but my laptop, which is running
testing/unstable is not showing this behaviour, and its load goes far
higher at times.

what is this an indication of? hardware problems? software problems?

thanks,

-- 
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 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
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