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Bug 87857 - Kernel Panic: Attempted to kill the idle task! - 2.4.20-8smp
Summary: Kernel Panic: Attempted to kill the idle task! - 2.4.20-8smp
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: kernel
Version: 9
Hardware: i686
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Arjan van de Ven
QA Contact: Brian Brock
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2003-04-03 07:54 UTC by Chris Hubick
Modified: 2007-04-18 16:52 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2004-09-30 15:40:44 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)
dmesg output from working non-smp kernel. (deleted)
2003-04-03 07:55 UTC, Chris Hubick
no flags Details
dmesg from working 2.4.21-pre3-ac5 smp kernel (deleted)
2003-04-06 04:35 UTC, Chris Hubick
no flags Details
The oops (deleted)
2003-05-06 10:37 UTC, Anders Carlsson
no flags Details

Description Chris Hubick 2003-04-03 07:54:50 UTC
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030314

Description of problem:
I get a "Kernel Panic: Attempted to kill the idle task!" when booting the
2.4.20-8smp kernel.

The system boots fine using the non-smp kernel.  I am using the stock kernel
binaries shipped with RH9 on a dual Pentium III 733Mhz machine.  It booted fine
using the smp kernel shipped with RH8 (I hadn't upgraded kernel from what
shipped initially with RH8).  This was a clean install of RH9, replacing 8.

It says:  "Kernel Panic: Attempted to kill the idle task!" it also says on a
separate line "In idle task - not syncing".  It also printed a call trace, which
had cpu_idle, call_console_drivers, and printk in it.

The motherboard is an MSI model 694D Pro (MS-6321).  The manual says it is based
on the VIA Apollo Pro133A VT82C694X (510BGA) chipset.  It also uses a VT82C686A
(352BGA) PSIPC PCI Super-I/O Integrated Peripheral Controller.

Since output quickly scrolls off the screen... it is hard to tell what exactly
it was doing at the time... but I think the panic was shortly after printing out
the "Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M" line.

I can try to provide more details of the error, or my system, if someone can
indicate what is needed.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Comment 1 Chris Hubick 2003-04-03 07:55:57 UTC
Created attachment 90862 [details]
dmesg output from working non-smp kernel.

Comment 2 Michael Wolfinger 2003-04-05 09:01:41 UTC
As reported by, I encountered the same problem with my
Dual-PIII 733MHz, MSI 694D Pro MS-6321. Also, the system runs stable with the
(single CPU) 2.4.20-8 kernel.
RH9 runs stable for me with a 2.4.21-pre3-ac5 with smp support.


Comment 3 Chris Hubick 2003-04-06 03:18:41 UTC
Confirming 2.4.21-pre3-ac5 smp works.

I first tried vanilla 2.4.20, which did NOT work, same problem.  So I
tried the AC kernel Michael recommended, which seems to be working fine so far.

Comment 4 Chris Hubick 2003-04-06 04:35:43 UTC
Created attachment 90930 [details]
dmesg from working 2.4.21-pre3-ac5 smp kernel

Comment 5 Michael Wolfinger 2003-04-09 07:18:25 UTC
Unfortunately, the kernel panic does also occur with the new 2.4.20-9smp kernel 

Comment 6 Anders Carlsson 2003-05-06 10:37:45 UTC
Created attachment 91514 [details]
The oops

This is the oops I get when booting (and then a panic since the kernel tries to
kill the idle task). After a couple of tries I was able to boot the SMP kernel
without getting a panic. I'm not a kernel expert but it sounds like some sort
of race condition to me

Comment 7 Anders Carlsson 2003-05-06 10:54:09 UTC
(Sorry about the spam)

After some further investigation, I was able to successfully boot without
getting a panic when specifying "idle=poll" to the kernel.

Comment 8 Arjan van de Ven 2003-05-06 11:04:08 UTC
what modules are in use ?
it looks like something installed an idle handler and then unloaded it, incorrectly.

Comment 9 Anders Carlsson 2003-05-06 17:03:34 UTC
How do I check what modules are in use?

(When I debugged this some time ago I renamed the module directory temporary so
I'd be sure that no modules were loaded, but I still got the oops)

Comment 10 Peter van Egdom 2003-05-29 14:50:22 UTC
You can get a list of the loaded modules with the command "/sbin/lsmod".

Comment 11 Alan Cox 2003-06-05 16:50:20 UTC
Does "apm=off" help as an option here ?

Comment 12 Ivo 2003-06-16 08:42:16 UTC
Some more points:
- The kernel panic still happens with kernel-smp-2.4.20-18.9
- boot option "apm=off" does not help, nor does "noapic"
- the "idle=poll" as mentioned by Anders Carlsson works for me as well
- the only modules on the initrd are jdb.o and ext3.o
- my machine has 1.5GB of memory, another afflicted machine has 1GB
  booting with less than 1GB of memory, e.g. with mem=960M also works!

Comment 13 Yi Chu 2004-05-10 16:27:09 UTC
I encountered the same problem with my Dual-PIII 800MHz, MSI 694D Pro 
MS-6321. Both the 2.4.20-8smp and 2.4.20-31.9smp Kernel got oops 
during boot. "idle=poll" works fine without oops. 
I also tried disabling BIOS USB keyboard and USB mouse support as 
mentioned in "". And this time 
both smp kernel boot and worked fine without the need of "idle=poll".

Also, by disabling BIOS USB keyboard and USB mouse support, I sovled 
the Fedora Core 2.4.22-1.2115nptlsmp kernel booting oops.

Comment 14 Bugzilla owner 2004-09-30 15:40:44 UTC
Thanks for the bug report. However, Red Hat no longer maintains this version of
the product. Please upgrade to the latest version and open a new bug if the problem

The Fedora Legacy project ( maintains some older releases, 
and if you believe this bug is interesting to them, please report the problem in
the bug tracker at:

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