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Re: Spontaneous PostgreSQL Server Reboot?

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Andrew Biagioni <andrew(dot)biagioni(at)e-greek(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Spontaneous PostgreSQL Server Reboot?
Date: 2004-03-30 04:33:35
Message-ID: 26103.1080621215@sss.pgh.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-admin
Andrew Biagioni <andrew(dot)biagioni(at)e-greek(dot)net> writes:
> On three different machines running the same PostgreSQL version (7.3.5) 
> on Linux and almost identical databases, I have been plagued by 
> occasional, unexplainable (to me) reboots of the computer.

Postgres can *not* cause a system reboot; it's only an unprivileged user
process.  (but see *)  You are dealing with either kernel bugs, hardware
errors, or some other root-level process requesting a reboot.

Even though it being three different machines would seem to rule out
hardware issues, I'd not jump to that conclusion ... you might be having
some kind of common-mode hardware failure.  Two questions to ask here:
	* did you buy all the RAM from the same vendor?
	* is the power utility flaky where you live?  (If you say "but
	  I've got a UPS", how old are its batteries?)

My money would be on a kernel bug though.  Are you up2date on kernel
patches?

			regards, tom lane

(*) ObFinePrint: at least, PG can't directly trigger a reboot.  One
scenario to think about is flaky RAM in an address range that doesn't
get used until the machine is under significant load --- since you say
Postgres is the only significant load on the machine, it's entirely
possible that triggering of a hardware failure is closely correlated to
what Postgres is doing.  Similar remarks apply to broken disk hardware.

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