Subject: Unkillable process
To: NetBSD current-users <>
From: Bjoern Labitzke <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/03/1999 22:46:30

Some time ago I described this problem and got a few hints about what to
do to investigate the problem. A short time after that I meant I had
figured out the problem as building a new kernel, installing it, but not
rebooting. But now the problem resurfaced and I definitely didn't
misbehave in that way.

In my case there seems to be a problem with vgetty (from the
mgetty+sendfax package). When I receive a phone call both my ISDN-"modem"
and my telephone ring. When I pick up the phone vgetty seems to get
confused and prints in the log that it exits

02/03 14:09:31 y00  vgetty: experimental test release 0.9.1 / 17Nov98
02/03 14:09:31 y00  mgetty: experimental test release 1.1.19-Nov24
02/03 14:09:31 y00  reading generic configuration from config file /./usr/pkg/etc/mgetty+sendfax/voice.conf
02/03 14:09:31 y00   reading /./usr/pkg/etc/mgetty+sendfax/voice.conf...
02/03 14:09:31 y00   conf lib: read: 'part generic'
02/03 14:09:31 y00   section: part generic, **found**
[conf section cut out]
02/03 14:09:32 y00  tcsetattr failed: Invalid argument
02/03 18:49:41 y00  vgetty: Watchdog timer expired, exiting...

For whatever reason I always got that tcsetattr error, probably some small
configuration problem. But that didn't hinder the correct function of the
simulated answering machine. It seems that I got a call at 18.49:41, when
I was away or something other happened right then. (Probably a call with
less than four rings after what the modem should be told to pick up.) That
seemed to confuse vgetty, as it told it was exiting. BTW: I didn't edit
out any output between the error and the final message.

After the final message the process hang around in the system, unkillable.
Only a reboot got it working all right again.

I would appreciate any hints (sorry, I deleted the old hints, as I thought
the problem solved) about points to look at, what data to gather to get
help etc.

Oh, btw: It is a i386-port NetBSD-current system rebuild at least once a
week if a build completes.

Thanks in advance,


Bjoern Labitzke  <>
   Use PGP! (Don't you use envelopes for your letters?)
   9B00 9D82 A087 DC20 7293  BB27 0174 0C15 78AB A9FE