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Old 10-09-2012, 11:46 AM
Patrick O'Callaghan
 
Default Repeated segfaults in F17

On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 19:16 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> On 10/08/2012 02:15 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> > On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 09:46 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> >> On 10/08/2012 04:38 AM, Temlakos wrote:
> >>> Beginning about an hour ago, I've been hit with a ton of application
> >>> terminations. All of them say the same thing: "Signal 11 (SIGSEGV).
> >>> Which I believe translates as "Signal segmentation violation."
> >>
> >> In addition to what others already wrote, check if you aren't running
> >> out of memory (run "df" and check its output).
> >
> > df tells you about free disk space.
> Yes - My fault. I probably should have written "disk space" instead of
> "memory".
>
> > It has nothing whatever to do with
> > RAM,
> It depends. C.f. tmpfs, RAM disks etc.
>
> > besides which a lack of disk space (even in swap) would cause a
> > system error message, not a segfault.
> When running out of memory, inside of a program a malloc may fail, which
> may cause a pointer be set something invalid, which later may cause a
> SEGFAULT when the pointer is dereferenced.

If malloc fails it will return an error rather than a pointer. Now of
course a completely incompetent programmer might not bother checking the
return value, hence causing a segfault when the invalid pointer is used,
but the OP mentioned that several programs were getting segfaults in a
short period of time. It's highly improbable that all of these
(including widely used apps such as Thunderbird) are so badly
programmed.

poc

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:29 PM
Ralf Corsepius
 
Default Repeated segfaults in F17

On 10/09/2012 01:46 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:

On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 19:16 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

On 10/08/2012 02:15 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:

On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 09:46 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

On 10/08/2012 04:38 AM, Temlakos wrote:

Beginning about an hour ago, I've been hit with a ton of application
terminations. All of them say the same thing: "Signal 11 (SIGSEGV).
Which I believe translates as "Signal segmentation violation."


In addition to what others already wrote, check if you aren't running
out of memory (run "df" and check its output).


df tells you about free disk space.

Yes - My fault. I probably should have written "disk space" instead of
"memory".


It has nothing whatever to do with
RAM,

It depends. C.f. tmpfs, RAM disks etc.


besides which a lack of disk space (even in swap) would cause a
system error message, not a segfault.

When running out of memory, inside of a program a malloc may fail, which
may cause a pointer be set something invalid, which later may cause a
SEGFAULT when the pointer is dereferenced.


If malloc fails it will return an error rather than a pointer. Now of
course a completely incompetent programmer might not bother checking the
return value, hence causing a segfault when the invalid pointer is used,
but the OP mentioned that several programs were getting segfaults in a
short period of time.


I recall thunderbird and vlc having been mentioned.


It's highly improbable that all of these
(including widely used apps such as Thunderbird) are so badly
programmed.


Well, I would not want to exclude vlc (with its zoo of highly sensitive
and error prone libs underneath and within), thunderbird (with it's
unstable plug-in system) from this problems.


Actually, if the OP should be using /tmp on tmpfs, any program can tear
down anything else. I have seen "presumably innocent" compiler jobs
tearing down firefox and or thunderbird


Ralf

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:50 PM
Temlakos
 
Default Repeated segfaults in F17

On 10/09/2012 08:29 AM, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

On 10/09/2012 01:46 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:

On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 19:16 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

On 10/08/2012 02:15 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:

On Mon, 2012-10-08 at 09:46 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

On 10/08/2012 04:38 AM, Temlakos wrote:

Beginning about an hour ago, I've been hit with a ton of application
terminations. All of them say the same thing: "Signal 11 (SIGSEGV).
Which I believe translates as "Signal segmentation violation."


In addition to what others already wrote, check if you aren't running
out of memory (run "df" and check its output).


df tells you about free disk space.

Yes - My fault. I probably should have written "disk space" instead of
"memory".


It has nothing whatever to do with
RAM,

It depends. C.f. tmpfs, RAM disks etc.


besides which a lack of disk space (even in swap) would cause a
system error message, not a segfault.
When running out of memory, inside of a program a malloc may fail,
which

may cause a pointer be set something invalid, which later may cause a
SEGFAULT when the pointer is dereferenced.


If malloc fails it will return an error rather than a pointer. Now of
course a completely incompetent programmer might not bother checking the
return value, hence causing a segfault when the invalid pointer is used,
but the OP mentioned that several programs were getting segfaults in a
short period of time.


I recall thunderbird and vlc having been mentioned.


It's highly improbable that all of these
(including widely used apps such as Thunderbird) are so badly
programmed.


Well, I would not want to exclude vlc (with its zoo of highly
sensitive and error prone libs underneath and within), thunderbird
(with it's unstable plug-in system) from this problems.


Actually, if the OP should be using /tmp on tmpfs, any program can
tear down anything else. I have seen "presumably innocent" compiler
jobs tearing down firefox and or thunderbird


Ralf



I have an update.

The problems are a bit more manageable, when I cool off the computer
overnight, and after the last update package came through.


Ralf, you're right. Thunderbird and vlc give me the worst issues.
Thunderbird often crashes after the first load. And when Mozilla
converted FireTray from a separate app to an add-on, it was the worst
mistake they ever made. In Thunderbird, the unread-messages counter
always exaggerates after the first load. And later in the day, it either
doesn't count anything at all or doesn't count enough of them. I give up
figuring out what it's counting.


And vlc? Well, it will play my videos. It will play my home-burnt DVDs
that are not copy-protected. It will play some of my commercial DVDs.
But if the DVD has a menu system with any degree of complexity at all,
it will segfault and choke out. So I can't blame a failure of libdvdcss
for that. But I'm sure /some/ library on which vlc depends, is choking
up on some of the commercial DVDs, i.e. those that run with a lot of
advertising in advance of the main menu. In previous versions of Fedora
like F12 or F14 that was never a problem. Now it is.


I hesitate to mention vlc here. Today, vlc comes from rpmfusion. I do
not get it from fedora or fedora-updates. But since you, Ralf, wondered
about whether those two programs had special issues, I decided to share.


Temlakos
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