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"undead" network interface

My roommate's computer is turning into an undead monster in regards to
the network interface. He's constantly downloading things over our
shared DSL line and most of the time it's not really much of a problem.
At times, however, the network usage will get so bad that just trying to
go to load a simple webpage (e.g. google) will take 2 - 3 MINUTES.

Sometimes this happens while he's at work. In this case, I ssh into his
box and do an "ifdown eth0" and everything is fine... for about 2 hours.
After roughly two hours each time, his network interface will come right
back up on its own and start chewing up bandwidth again. At this point
I'll have to ssh in again, and repeat the process.

I know that various flavors of Windows have always had an auto-reconnect
feature, but I didn't think that a default Debian install would exhibit
this same behavior. We have 7 computers running Debian in the house, and
his is the only one that does this.

The only two possible culprits that I can think of are vmware and/or bit
torrent. He uses vmware relatively frequently, and the various vmware
modules stay loaded at all times. However, I'm rather sure that I've
unloaded the vmware modules AND taken the network interface down before,
and still had it come back up later.

The only other idea that I have is that perhaps bit torrent is leaving a
process running in the background which is letting people connect to him
even though he closes all of his downloads. However, from everything I
know about bit torrent (I don't use it myself) I had thought that it
would only establish connections WHILE you were downloading something.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Alex Malinovich
Support Free Software, delete your Windows partition TODAY!
Encrypted mail preferred. You can get my public key from any of the
pgp.net keyservers. Key ID: A6D24837

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