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SOLVED: athk5 the cuprit (New system, emerge --sync hangs)
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joseph_t_adams
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: SOLVED: athk5 the cuprit (New system, emerge --sync hangs) Reply with quote

Hi all!

I built a new Gentoo system, Intel i5, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA3 HDD. I am having a great deal of trouble with it. The first obvious problem is that emerge --sync has never worked. It usually runs for about 30-40 seconds and then hangs. I had to use emerge-webrsync to get Gentoo installed. The performance of this system in general is awful; many processes seem to hang inexplicably, although the system as a whole does not lock up. But my first concern is getting syncing working again. I suspect that whatever has broken this may be responsible for the other system problems.

I have another Gentoo system (different arch) on the same network, which works fine.

Emerging a ton of software, including all the kde*-meta ebuilds, has worked fine with no errors other than the occasional broken ebuild.

Things I've tried:

* Verified safe CPU temps under very heavy load (they top out around 50C)

* Run memtest86 successfully

* Tested the HDD with smartmontools

* Pored through system logs and dmesg output - nothing out of the ordinary

* Masked the current rsync ebuild (3.09r2) and tried with 3.08

* Booted with a completely different kernel (a Knoppix live USB) (but then chrooting into the Gentoo partition to do the rsync)

* Experimented with UEFI settings

* Experimented with different kernel config options (using genkernel, started with generic modular kernel, gradually pared down unneeded drivers and built needed ones directly into the kernel). I've tried various SCSI, SATA, and networking options, including removing IPv6, routing, and bridging support

About the only other thing I have not yet tried is swapping out components, and the only components I actually can swap out, without buying additional hardware I wouldn't otherwise need, are the WiFi card (a fairly generic cheap Atheros), the power supply (which is a decent one, from PC Power & Cooling, and is putting out the correct voltages according to UEFI), and the hard drive.

One additional data point is that CPU usage when starting KDE is very high . . . I understand this is so common as to be considered a feature, not a bug, but I do have a lot of desktop effects enabled as well as semantic desktop. However, the rsync hangs occur even without X or KDE running and at that point CPU, network, and RAM usage all look fine to me.

Any thoughts about what might be causing this? I'm really at a complete loss; I do generally know how to build machines and install Gentoo; I've done probably close to a dozen of them over the past 10 years.

Thanks!



Joe


Last edited by joseph_t_adams on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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joseph_t_adams
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: New system, emerge --sync always hangs Reply with quote

Update: Replacing the WiFi card with another (ath9k based, not ath5k) seems to have greatly improved things. Unbelievably, a *second* replacement card, also ath5k based like the first, exhibited exactly the same problem. I'm guessing that my motherboard must hate the ath5k for some reason. Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic that this will be a permanent fix.
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