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On Solaris 10, how do you generally troubleshoot when a system hangs. For example - when i run a command say metastat and hit enter, the system hangs. press control C it comes out and on again running metastat and enter the system hangs. Please let me know how to trouble shoot this and which logs I can check with examples.


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Truss is a great command for quick troubleshooting, but Solaris has a decisive advantage for this type of work: DTrace. It will take some time to get fully up to speed with it, but never again will you need to wonder "what is it doing?"

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I would start with the truss command and the log files, you should monitor the follow files (thy record all system problems like disk errors, swap errors, NFS problems, etc):

tail -f /var/adm/SYSLOG
tail -f /var/adm/messages
tail -f /var/log/syslog
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suppose I added a new patch to the sstem using patchadd command, after restart the system hangs... how can I troubleshoot such a situation. I have checked for all dependent patches and installed them already, but still the system hangs. – user52840 Sep 9 '10 at 14:07
In that situation you would of course boot into single-user mode and start your analysis from there. And you can always boot from the CD and mount your root filesystem. It's very hard to make a modern Unix system totally unrecoverable. – Gaius Nov 7 '10 at 10:50

There is a difference between when a command hangs and when a system hangs:

  • if the system hangs all processes will hang
  • if a command hangs only it is affected

What seems to be your case is a command hang, which can be troubleshot with truss - just run

truss -f command

and you'll see what it is doing and what system call it will hang on. The -f flag will tell truss to also follow child processes.

Since you mention that you are running metastat it is likely to be a disk issue, so looking for information about failed disks in /var/adm/messages would be a place to start.

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does truss require root access ? – user52840 Sep 9 '10 at 14:05
‘truss‘ only require root access when you are trussing a setuid program – Martin Sep 9 '10 at 14:33

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