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Panic! UNIX® System Crash Dump Analysis by Kimberley Brown, Chris Drake

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Chapter 2. My System Is Hung!

System hangs can be a great source of frustration for system administrators. At some time or another, every system administrator has looked at a system and wondered if it was alive, dead, or just incredibly slow. After a few long moments, the admin begins to realize that he has been staring at a “hung” system.

What is a system hang?

System hangs come in all sorts of varieties, but they exhibit one common symptom: the system is no longer completely usable. Unlike panics, which instantly render the system completely unusable, a system hang might slowly eat the system resources, finally resulting in a completely useless system.

What conditions cause hangs?

One common source of system hangs is a deadlock, or a situation wherein ...

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