Seen multiple rcu_sched stall messages in a customer device and it gets crashed/hung. Under this condition, the device is not accessible via SSH or 3G. Kernel version is 3.2.54. "rcu_sched detected stall on CPU 0" is repeated many times, what does this indicate? This device exhibits this crash during a power cycling test. acpower_isr()/poe_isr() is used to update AC power status/PoE status during each switch-over. Does this causing the issue? (unable to release the lock?)

[<c4011504>] (dump_backtrace+0x0/0x110) from [<c43924bc>] (dump_stack+0x18/0x1c)
 r6:c962e080 r5:c96462e0 r4:c9ec4674 r3:c96429bc
[<c43924a4>] (dump_stack+0x0/0x1c) from [<c4082188>] (__rcu_pending+0x88/0x38c)
[<c4082100>] (__rcu_pending+0x0/0x38c) from [<c4083218>] (rcu_check_callbacks+0xe8/0x17c)
[<c4083130>] (rcu_check_callbacks+0x0/0x17c) from [<c4043ac4>] (update_process_times+0x40/0x64)
 r8:23339c9a r7:00000000 r6:c6f06ae0 r5:00000000 r4:c8ac8000
[<c4043a84>] (update_process_times+0x0/0x64) from [<c406513c>] (tick_sched_timer+0x9c/0xdc)
 r7:c9ec44a0 r6:c8ac9dd8 r5:c8ac8000 r4:c9ec4598
[<c40650a0>] (tick_sched_timer+0x0/0xdc) from [<c405805c>] (__run_hrtimer+0xf4/0x1c8)
 r9:c8ac9d20 r8:23339580 r6:c9ec44d8 r5:c9ec44a0 r4:c9ec4598
[<c4057f68>] (__run_hrtimer+0x0/0x1c8) from [<c4058db4>] (hrtimer_interrupt+0x124/0x288)
[<c4058c90>] (hrtimer_interrupt+0x0/0x288) from [<c40139e0>] (twd_handler+0x28/0x30)
[<c40139b8>] (twd_handler+0x0/0x30) from [<c407f880>] (handle_percpu_devid_irq+0xd0/0x150)
 r4:0000001d r3:c40139b8
[<c407f7b0>] (handle_percpu_devid_irq+0x0/0x150) from [<c407be30>] (generic_handle_irq+0x34/0x48)
[<c407bdfc>] (generic_handle_irq+0x0/0x48) from [<c400e5e0>] (handle_IRQ+0x80/0xc0)
[<c400e560>] (handle_IRQ+0x0/0xc0) from [<c40081d0>] (asm_do_IRQ+0x10/0x14)
 r5:20000013 r4:c4395234
[<c40081c0>] (asm_do_IRQ+0x0/0x14) from [<c400d738>] (__irq_svc+0x38/0x120)
Exception stack(0xc8ac9dd8 to 0xc8ac9e20)
9dc0:                                                       c96ae534 00000013
9de0: 00000001 00000001 c96ae52c c82385a0 00000001 00000001 00006000 d0800000
9e00: d0800000 c8ac9e2c c8ac9e30 c8ac9e20 c40d2f4c c4395234 20000013 ffffffff
[<c4395218>] (_raw_spin_lock+0x0/0x30) from [<c40d2f4c>] (alloc_vmap_area.clone.18+0xa8/0x2f8)
[<c40d2ea4>] (alloc_vmap_area.clone.18+0x0/0x2f8) from [<c40d3268>] (__get_vm_area_node.clone.19+0xcc/0x164)
[<c40d319c>] (__get_vm_area_node.clone.19+0x0/0x164) from [<c40d3bec>] (__vmalloc_node_range+0x5c/0x1d0)
[<c40d3b90>] (__vmalloc_node_range+0x0/0x1d0) from [<c40d3da0>] (__vmalloc_node+0x40/0x4c)
 r8:c400de84 r7:00000080 r6:00b7a080 r5:0000465c r4:0000465c
[<c40d3d60>] (__vmalloc_node+0x0/0x4c) from [<c40d3ee4>] (vmalloc+0x30/0x3c)
[<c40d3eb4>] (vmalloc+0x0/0x3c) from [<c406de40>] (sys_init_module+0x5c/0x1878)
[<c406dde4>] (sys_init_module+0x0/0x1878) from [<c400dd00>] (ret_fast_syscall+0x0/0x30)
acpower_isr() [105]
poe_isr() [136]
INFO: rcu_sched detected stall on CPU 0 (t=204330 jiffies)
  • You should specify which kernel version this is, and try if you can with another (higher) version to see if the problem remains. Nov 28, 2017 at 11:04
  • Kernel version is 3.2.54, since this is a customer unit, can not check with other version.
    – Ravi
    Nov 28, 2017 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


From the stack we can see that this CPU is stuck in a spinlock while trying to allocate memory (_raw_spin_lock inside alloc_vmap_area). More interestingly, it seems this is happening while trying to load a new module (sys_init_module), which just calls the module's initialisation code (through a pointer jump, which is why you don't see it in the stack trace).

This means that this is extremely likely to either be a kernel bug that's exercised when loading this module, or a bug in the module itself (probably the latter since vmalloc is almost certainly called by the underlying module).

You need to find the module which is responsible for this bug -- look at the processes stuck in D state when this happens, or use something like eBPF to trace new calls to module initialisation.

  • When this happens, would not be able to access the unit. How do I check the process status that time?
    – Ravi
    Nov 29, 2017 at 11:43
  • 1
    @Ravi You can use something like atop to do logging, then view processes in D state with atop -r, navigating to the time desired. Of course, in a volatile state like this, this is not guaranteed to work, but there's a reasonable chance that it will be able to continue.
    – Chris Down
    Nov 29, 2017 at 12:06
  • Unfortunately don't have many such utilities on the unit.
    – Ravi
    Nov 30, 2017 at 12:10
  • Edited- crash logs. Does this "rcu_sched detected stall on CPU 0" is due to acpower_isr()/poe_isr()? _raw_spin_lock() is holding back the CPU indefinitely? Unfortunately there is no debug utility present in the controller which is in this bad state...
    – Ravi
    Dec 5, 2017 at 4:53

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