Ever since I updated my server to NetBSD 4.0_BETA2 it has been working without any problems … until last Friday. After 80 days uptime it crashed while I was logged in remotely during my lunch break. I was lucky and the machine came up without any manual intervention. This is one of the things I really like about NetBSD: if the kernel panics it writes a crash dump, the machine restarts and NetBSD boots up fully automatically. That’s much more useful behaviour than printing out Aiiie, killing interrupt handler and waiting for someone to press the reset switch. Unfortunately I managed to crash the machine again until I figured out what was going wrong. I unmounted the /proc filesystem to stop Coreutils from causing more trouble and waited for someone to look into my problem report.
It didn’t take long until Antti Kantee, one of NetBSD’s filesystem experts, came up with an analysis. Two days later he provided a patch which fixed the problem on my system. The fix needs more testing (mostly with weird Linux applications) but should make it into the NetBSD 4.0 release.
So the bad news is that my NetBSD 4.0 installation lost the zero crashes since deployment label. The good news is that a serious bug was found and fixed.