Strange behaviour with CentOS on a PE2900.

Peter Serwe peter at
Tue Dec 26 20:42:21 CST 2006


I have a PE2900 that I'm attempting to get CentOS 4.4 (binary compatible 
with RHEL4) running on.

I seem to be having this very odd problem that I don't get on other Dell 
machines running the
same distribution with different hardware configurations.

I have a brand new poweredge 2900 with 10 SAS drives configured in two 
via the built-in PERC 5 raid controller as:

raid 1: 2x73GB

raid 10: 8x300GB

It's got 4GB of ram, and it's intended to be an NFS filestore.

For some strange reason, logging in with ssh works great, it returns a 
prompt, all seems well.

I go to run a simple command like 'top' or 'yum -y install <package>', 
and my xterm/ssh session
just locks.  In some cases, it's drawn half of the top screen and hung, 
in other cases, it doesn't even
do that.  Kill the xterm window, bring a new one up, right back in, try 
it again, it repeats.

What's interesting to me is that I have all kinds of other 'lesser' 
systems running CentOS 4.4, and
I have none of these issues with them.  My ~1.1TB raid 10 drive is 
sliced up into 4 parts, with the
big one being about 950GB.  Near as I can figure, I haven't hit any 
limitations, but I'm stumped
by something that I *think* is probably either relatively trivial, or 
just a straight out hardware
incompatibility.  One thought is that it could be related to the Gb 
ethernet devices (bge).

Commands like 'ifconfig -a' work great.  'dmesg | grep eth0' locks up 
the session,
'top -S' locks up the session.  'ls -als' might or might not lock up the 

One more relevant bit to add, this behavior does not exist from the 

Anyone have *any* information that might be relevant?   Pointers to 
I might need to provide or examine to figure this out?

I'm running kernel-2.6.9-42.0.3.EL-smp-i686


Peter Serwe <peter at infostreet dot com>

"The only true sports are bullfighting, mountain climbing and auto racing." -Earnest Hemingway

"Because everything else requires only one ball." -Unknown

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