[CentOS] Server locking up everyday around 3:30 AM

Johnny Hughes johnny at centos.org
Sat Mar 12 11:30:47 UTC 2011

On 03/11/2011 04:06 PM, PJ wrote:


> Interesting entries in /var/log/cron:
> -snip-
> (this runs 24/7 every 5 minutes as normal...)
> Mar 11 02:20:01 web1 crond[12919]: (webuser) CMD (wget -q
> www.domain.com/cron.php >/dev/null 2>&1)


> (fast forward to 3 AM, the same cron job starts getting delayed.... by
> 3:27 the server was non responsive. Never seen this before)
> Mar 11 03:01:01 web1 crond[13613]: (root) CMD (run-parts /etc/cron.hourly)
> Mar 11 03:07:20 web1 crond[13727]: (webuser) error: Job execution of
> per-minute job scheduled for 03:05 delayed into subsequent minute
> 03:07. Skipping job run.
> Mar 11 03:07:20 web1 crond[13727]: CRON (webuser) ERROR: cannot set
> security context


> I don't think it is a coincidence I'm seeing "CRON (webuser) ERROR:
> cannot set security context" around the same time the server stops
> responding.
> I'm not familiar with this message, anyone here seen it?
> cron daily fires off at 4:02, after all this stuff...
> nothing in cron.hourly..
> Getting warmer I think, but still cant figure it out!

OK, did the webuser job run at 03:00:01 or does it start at 03:05:01?

The system likely thinks that cron job is still running from the last
time it was initiated. (Be it at 03:00:01 or 02:55:01).

Is there anything that the php file called by the cron (via wget) is
supposed to do at 03:00 that is different than other times?

You might try something like this:

*/5 0,1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 * * *

15,30,45 3  * * * <current_cron_comamnd>

(those commands should run the cron normally except starting at 03:00,
where it should kick off at 3:15 instead of 03:05)

If it also fails to start at 03:15 then that would suggest that
something is happening to the cron job the last time it is run to make
it hang (or make the system think it is hung).

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