rsync 2.5.6, No buffer space available error...

jw schultz jw at
Thu Sep 4 07:42:30 EST 2003

On Wed, Sep 03, 2003 at 03:49:12PM -0400, Matt Miller wrote:
> I have seen this error in many postings, but the solutions seem not to 
> apply in this case.  This error happens during a small file transfer 
> (gif image) and after 75% of a 165G rsync job (the building file list 
> portion is complete.)  Most solutions I saw were related to not having 
> enough RAM or running out of disk space.  Check out the machine specs 
> below the error.
> rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 4830 bytes: phase "unknown": 
> No buffer space available
> rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(515)
> rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 69 bytes: phase "unknown": 
> Broken pipe
> rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(515)
> uptime reports---- 11:17pm  up  8:43,  2 users,  load average: 1.65, 
> 1.40, 1.33
> IBM x330 server
> 2x1.4GHz PIII
> 4G RAM
> RedHat 7.2 (2.4.7-10smp -- required for veritas)
> rsync 2.5.6
> local vxfs source and destination (different filesystems) and 
> destination has 800G of free space
> (ideally the source will be on another machine, but I made it local to 
> simplify troubleshooting... same problem with an NFS source)
> rsync command used: 
>    rsync -Wav --stats /sourcedir /destdir >> /opt/rsync.log 2>&1
> and syslog reports:
>    Aug 31 04:07:57 moss kernel: ENOMEM in do_get_write_access, retrying.
>    Aug 31 04:16:05 moss kernel: journal_write_metadata_buffer: ENOMEM 
> at get_unused_buffer_head, trying again.
> anyone seen this?

Not an rsync problem.  This is a kernel issue.

You seem to be out of ZONE_DMA memory.  I don't know whether
you should be reporting this to RH or Veritas or IBM but
when you do be sure to send them /proc/slabinfo from the
moment of error.

One thing you might try is booting with mem=900M  Running
with more than 900M < n < 1G memory on 2.4 kernels is

	J.W. Schultz            Pegasystems Technologies
	email address:		jw at

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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