Intermittent hangs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 vmware guest with irqpoll enabled

Solution Unverified - Updated -

Issue

Intermittent hangs on RHEL5 servers running under VMware with the irqpoll kernel option enabled. Problem spans multiple ESX, RHEL and network configurations. Symptoms of the hangs can vary:

  • Keyboard / mouse usually do not respond, but sometimes give partial response (e.g. to SysRq)
  • Occasionally keyboard / mouse still respond, but may programs do not make forward progress
  • System sometimes responds to ping or other network services, sometimes does not

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8
  • irqpoll option enabled on kernel command line
  • VMware guest (this may not be a necessary condition, but the problem has only been observed so far on VMware guests)

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