This message appears in my dropdown terminal at seemingly random times when no processes is running in that terminal:

Message from syslogd@debianator at Feb 24 18:57:58 ...
 kernel:[43089.321139] Disabling IRQ #43

I guess I can disable it from being printed with dmesg -n 1 but what does the message mean?

  • 2
    Might indicate it's having trouble with some hardware device. Check /var/log/messages (or your distro's equivalent) for a full stack trace and you can check /proc/interrupts to see what that IRQ number is associated with. – Bratchley Feb 24 '15 at 21:14

The message states that the kernel is disabling an interrupt, ie. (usually) ignoring messages from some hardware. This can for example be due to a conflict between two hardware components. You can have more informations about what is using an interrupt with commands like lspci -v or cat /proc/interrupts.


Received a similar message to this a while ago. Discovered it was a hardware issue with how interrupts were passed from the PCI controller to PCI-Express controller (Intel PCI6466 chipset). Check deeper into the logs, look for: irq 43: nobody cared (try booting with the "irqpoll" option)

There are several things that can cause this including incorrect drivers.

  • To check deeper into the logs I suppose I should figure out how journalctl works - or is there be a better place to start? – MajorBriggs Feb 26 '15 at 11:51
  • I'm not familiar with how debian does logging. I use RHEL 6 so I typically use "grep -i kernel /var/log/messages | grep -i irq | less" – pacmanwa Feb 27 '15 at 21:55

In your case, interrupt 3 is usually the console serial aux port - which if you have ttyS1 attached, you'll probably find it is now dead. IRQ 4 is the primary console port

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