System hangs or hung_task panic due 'vmtoolsd' unlink of /tmp/vmware-root/vixScript0 while /tmp is frozen

Solution In Progress - Updated -

Issue

  • hung_task or system hang on a VMware guest system using vmtoolsd
  • Looking at the backtrace of vmtoolsd, it is trying to remove (unlink) a file and gets stuck in __sb_start_write
PID: 37991  TASK: ffff880434b57500  CPU: 2   COMMAND: "vmtoolsd"
 #0 [ffff8804373bdcd8] schedule at ffffffff81529990
 #1 [ffff8804373bddb0] __sb_start_write at ffffffff811900ec
 #2 [ffff8804373bde40] mnt_want_write at ffffffff811b0b54
 #3 [ffff8804373bde70] do_unlinkat at ffffffff8119fc0b
 #4 [ffff8804373bdf70] sys_unlink at ffffffff8119fde6

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
    • seen on kernel 2.6.32-504.8.1.el6
    • seen on kernel 2.6.32-431.11.2.el6
  • VMware guest with vmtoolsd installed

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