Big trouble with cron - high systemload and not working jobs

Phil Meyer pmeyer at
Thu Jan 18 18:01:02 UTC 2007

Götz Reinicke wrote:
> Hi,
> we do have some big problems with one of our RHEL3 (running the latest
> updates) Servers.
> Since last week the systemload increases within two or three days up to
> 60! and no cronjobs are done anymore, they hang.
> The jobs are the usual systemjobs (make-whatis, updatedb for slocate)
> and our backupscript which worked fine for the last two years.
> Furthormore some servises hang, e.g. NetAtalk (appletalk fileservises),
> ssh login and local login. For example Samba still works fine.
> If I reboot the server, all jobs will be killed and for one or two days
> the load is not above 1 and all servises are fine, crond ass well.
> Restarting or killing the crond and the cronjobs fail too.
> Any troubleshooting hints? googling didn't helped so far and there are
> no usable logmessages :-(
> Thanks a lot and best regards
> Götz Reinicke

First knee jerk is to look for hardware errors in dmesg and 

Check disk space.

Check swap space.  Are you running munin or another monitoring 
application so you can see what is happening to system resources

Just some thoughts.

Good luck!

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