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Re: Strange server crash on woody with gallery/php

Urs Schroffeneger wrote:
> i'm maintaining a web-server through the web on a plain debian woody 
> box. [...]
> The problem comes when I try to upload a bunch of images. To do so, I 
> uploaded all my images to the server, and then gave the path to the 
> directory to the program.

That would cause a lot of disk I/O all of a sudden at that time.

> Gallery begins by copying the images to a temp directory, and then does 
> some rescaling via convert and netpnm.

In addition to the disk I/O the rescaling would cause a lot of CPU

> And there comes the problem: at 
> some point on the process, the server turns off. It doesn't shut down, 
> it turns off. Nothing in the logs:
> syslog has some " -- MARK -- " and then "syslog restart"

Off as in the power supply is switched off?  Or off as in the kernel
halted but power remained on?

> it doesn't seem to be the rescaling program, the bug comes some times 
> before rescaling, some times after. Gallery has some debugging messages, 
> so I tried some of the shell comands run to rescale, and had no problems 
> doing so. Only thing I know is that the process is a little processor 
> and disk intensive.

Although gallery may be triggering the problem I can't see how this
could be a gallery problem.  If you are causing a kernel panic or
otherwise crashing the machine then it is a kernel issue.

> I have only access to the machine by ssh and web interface, so it's not 
> really easy to test and restart the machine after a crash :-D

That makes things very tricky.

> To day, I tried the procedure while phoning somebody on site: The server 
> seems to shut off in half a second, without error messages. We did it 
> while looking on the console with ctrl-alt-F1 to see if the kernel 
> prints something to the console, but nothing appears, the screens only 
> turns black.

Turns black I guess does imply that the power supply was turned off.

> I don't know what this could be, the machine is new, and it's kinda 
> scary to put a machine with this kind of bug on the net.
> Any clues, things to try ? I tried with the gallery forums, but I can't 
> write there, I'm not getting my register confirmation with my password. 
> I'm now looking into apt-pinning to try this one out whith another 
> version of php, I read that php 4.1.2 had some bugs.

You say the machine is turning itself off.  That makes me think an APM
or ACPI function to turn the power supply off.  But perhaps it is just
crashing the kernel or halting the kernel and you are using a
vernacular description.  So there appear to be four possibilities and
all of them involve the kernel.

What version of the kernel have you installed?  You say Debian woody
which would mean to me the kernel-image-2.4.18-k7 or other
architecture specific package.  Then I would have loaded the specific
modules in /etc/modules that I would need for the machine such as
networking.  Check those for being reasonable.  Cross check that with
what is shown from /proc/cpuinfo for your cpu.  Is it a reasonable
combination?  You may be running the wrong kernel for your cpu.

If you have 'apm' or 'acpi' in your /etc/modules I would consider
removing those to remove the ability of the machine to turn itself
off.  But be careful since changes there might make the machine
unbootable and you would need console access to recover.


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