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Message log reports "Trying to vfree() nonexistent vm area"

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7
  • Kernel 2.6.18-274.el5

Problem

On the message log, the below error message is encountered like

RHEL 5.7 instances randomly display the following error and call trace.
kernel: Trying to vfree() nonexistent vm area (ffff8102ce540000)
kernel: WARNING: at mm/vmalloc.c:329 __vunmap()
kernel:
kernel: Call Trace:
kernel:  [] __free_fdtable+0x1c/0x30
kernel:  [] free_fdtable_work+0x36/0x43
kernel:  [] run_workqueue+0x9e/0xfb
kernel:  [] worker_thread+0x0/0x122
kernel:  [] worker_thread+0xf0/0x122
kernel:  [] default_wake_function+0x0/0xe
kernel:  [] kthread+0xfe/0x132
kernel:  [] child_rip+0xa/0x11
kernel:  [] kthread+0x0/0x132
kernel:  [] child_rip+0x0/0x11
RHEL 5.7 instances randomly display the following error and call trace.
kernel: Trying to vfree() nonexistent vm area (ffff8102ce540000)
kernel: WARNING: at mm/vmalloc.c:329 __vunmap()
kernel:
kernel: Call Trace:
kernel:  [] __free_fdtable+0x1c/0x30
kernel:  [] free_fdtable_work+0x36/0x43
kernel:  [] run_workqueue+0x9e/0xfb
kernel:  [] worker_thread+0x0/0x122
kernel:  [] worker_thread+0xf0/0x122
kernel:  [] default_wake_function+0x0/0xe
kernel:  [] kthread+0xfe/0x132
kernel:  [] child_rip+0xa/0x11
kernel:  [] kthread+0x0/0x132
kernel:  [] child_rip+0x0/0x11

Cause

Due to a bug in kernel 2.6.18-274.el5 an attempt to use the vfree() function on a vmalloc()'ed area could result in a memory leak.

Solution

Update the kernel to kernel-2.6.18-274.3.1 or higher as per the advisory article: RHSA-2011-1212 (http://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2011-1212.html)

Reference

https://access.redhat.com/site/solutions/61734

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