[Techtalk] rebooting bad?

Kai MacTane kmactane at GothPunk.com
Tue Aug 20 10:23:53 EST 2002

At 8/20/02 08:25 AM , hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk wrote:

>I have been told that with very ancient disc drives which have
>been chuntering along for a long time, spinning them down and up
>is the point they're most likely finally to die.

Good point; I hadn't thought of this (and likely wouldn't have; my uptimes 
never pass six months or so -- there's always a power failure, if nothing 

>Given I didn't check the services and stuff before shutting off,
>you might call this pilot error. But they do say it's take-off and
>landing that's where the most problems are, even for real pilots :)

And I would actually call that pilot error. I don't consider a new service, 
daemon, or whatever to be completely installed until it's in the init 
scripts so that it will come up on reboot -- automatically if need be. 
(What happens if there's a brief power failure while I'm out at a friend's 
house?) And I generally don't consider the testing and installation 
"complete" or 100% trustworthy until I've actually powered the system down 
and watched it come back up, including the new service.

(I like uptime, sure. But I don't consider it an end in itself.)

Another reason why just regularly rebooting could be bad is that, if you're 
running this machine as a server, you don't know who or what might be 
connected to it. Certainly if there are users with shell accounts on the 
box, they could be somewhat annoyed at having their login sessions 
spontaneously yanked out from under them. (I doubt that's the case with 
this machine. But if it is, my suggested solution: have the script run 
"shutdown -r 5" instead of "shutdown -r now".)

FTP sessions and NFS-mounted volumes are another thing to consider. 
Finally, if this machine is running mail or web services, people trying to 
access it during the downtime will be annoyed. Of course, if it's only used 
by people inside the company (as I suspect to be the case here), then I 
don't see any problems with the downtime.

                                                 --Kai MacTane
"I think that somehow/Somewhere inside of us,
  We must be similar/If not the same."
                                                 --Suzanne Vega,
                                                  "Left of Center"

More information about the Techtalk mailing list