Samba server CRASH

Roman, James (J.D.) jroman6 at
Thu Nov 9 17:56:56 GMT 2000

Sounds oddly like a memory problem, but not necessarily.  Unfortunately, you
will probably need to spend more time than you want watching the server to
see what is happening.  VM is probably "Virtual Machine".  Use something
like "top" to monitor memory usage and the apps that use the most memory.
Use "df" to watch hard disk usage. 

If you are running X windows all the time, change your default runlevel to 3
in the /etc/inittab file, so you just have a terminal. You can always type
"startx" after you've logged on.  After you start X, Red Hat has a number of
visual tools to monitor memory and swap usage, xosview is my favorite, but
xsysinfo is also good.  (By the way, have you tried to use CTRL-ALT-F1 to
switch to a terminal to log in, after X has crashed?)

If you have a monolithic volume (mount shows /dev/hda1 /, and a swap file
and that's it) then you may be running out of hard drive space. Seperate out
/var and /home onto separate volumes, that way if they fill up, it won't
lock the server. (Normally sending a large print job which is spooled to
/var is the culprit.)

Also you may want to look for core files to see if there is a memory dump.
This will tell you the last things that the server was doing before the
crash.  Make sure you have enough swap space to hold your entire memory
dump.  If necessary, I think Linux will let you use multiple swap

Also see if you have a run away process.  Use "ps ax" to keep an eye on the
processes throughout the day. I print them once an hour to trouble shoot
this.  See if any unusual ones keep multiplying or if there are a large
number of zombie processes.

Hope this helps. If not, give some more details and about the server and
samba configuration.

-----Original Message-----
From: Werner Maes [mailto:werner.maes at]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 11:36 AM
To: samba at
Subject: Samba server CRASH


Some of our Samba servers sometimes completely crash with this message
on the console:

"VM killed process smbd".

If this occurs, we are obliged to power off our server and restart the
server. You
can no longer login nor can you enter the combination "Ctrl-alt-del".
We use Red Hat Linux 6.2 and Samba 2.0.7.

Does anybody have an idea what this message means and how to avoid these

situations? I have no idea what VM means...

If you have any information, feel free to contact me.

Kind regards,

Werner Maes

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