Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd



  • Due to a recent power cut, due to the Mrs knocking a power switch when cleaning, our SG-1100 didn't have a graceful shutdown and I'm very new to Netgate and PFSense.

    When we turned the power back on, it got stuck in a loop, for the second time in a week, and I had to run the /sbin/fsck -y / process to get it to start, which leads to question 1;

    1. Is the hardware or software sensitive to not being shut down or restarted gracefully? It very rarely happens to be honest and is quite unique, but I've never experienced problems like this before where I've had to manually intervene to get routers working again?

    2. Now it is back up and running, I've noticed vnstatd isn't running. When trying to start the service, it thinks for a while, then won't start. Any ideas?

    Many thanks.



  • So I managed to get vnstatd working again. I tried reinstalling the package, which didn't work, but what did work was stopping and restarting the graphing in 'Status Traffic Totals'. Just thought I'd update the thread in case anyone was interested.

    I am still interested in feedback with regards to how robust the system is to less than graceful shutdowns though?



  • Hi,

    1. You have MAC's or other PC's that run whatever know OS in your house ?
      Ripe out the power cable, count to 10 and put it back in. Make it a really comparable test, and shut down the screen on these device, so you can't see anything. Chances are really big that these devices don't boot any more neither.
      Activate the screen and you see the OS - if it actually started - is waiting for some user input about defragmenting == chkdsk == fsck.
      Btw : before you actually test all this, ask yourself if you have recent backups, and time to re install Windows 10 ^^^

    @WannabeMKII said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    it thinks for a while

    Your kidding ? Forget about the dashboard of the GUI. That's a nice one to look at when all is well. You have a question ? Then the real info is on the Status > System Logs > System > General page. That's were all the process 'log' all special things. Because pfSense is based on 'NX' type of system : no new = good news. Only important events and all the errors etc are logged.
    You, as the admin, has to look at that page, we can't come over now for known reasons.

    @WannabeMKII said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    I am still interested in feedback with regards to how robust the system is

    True, not all hardware behaves the same when it comes to power losses. The same goes for file systems used : a 'fat'type system has no resilience at all, Ext4 or ZFS is far better.
    SSD's, when they detects an unusual power down situation, could have enough power pre-charged to end up the current writing command before it dies. Old fashioned hard disk drive consume to much power and are clueless is such a situation.

    Btw : @home and at work all disk-based systems are protected by UPS's - which are needed also for my NAS's (also known as disk based ^^)



  • @WannabeMKII Sounds to me like you need a Battery Backup UPS that the SG-1100 is plugged into if it is that sensitive when it is not powered down gracefully.



  • @Gertjan said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    1. You have MAC's or other PC's that run whatever know OS in your house ?
      Ripe out the power cable, count to 10 and put it back in. Make it a really comparable test, and shut down the screen on these device, so you can't see anything. Chances are really big that these devices don't boot any more neither.
      Activate the screen and you see the OS - if it actually started - is waiting for some user input about defragmenting == chkdsk == fsck.
      Btw : before you actually test all this, ask yourself if you have recent backups, and time to re install Windows 10 ^^^

    I agree, any sort of loss of power, especially when sudden, is far from ideal and the likes of chkdsk does run, but that's the thing, it does run eventually without user interaction as it gives a countdown timer to cancel it (well, it used to, I've not used a Windows machine for years now). However, I've used a number of routers over the years that I've not experienced startup issues with after a power cut. I guess it's a case of getting used to a different system with pfsense and I now know that it doesn't automatically run any kind of checks and start itself up again. I guess I was surprised that it needed user interaction to take it out of a reboot loop, so a learning for me and something I certainly need to take into account if I'm away from the device.

    @WannabeMKII said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    it thinks for a while

    Your kidding ? Forget about the dashboard of the GUI. That's a nice one to look at when all is well. You have a question ? Then the real info is on the Status > System Logs > System > General page. That's were all the process 'log' all special things. Because pfSense is based on 'NX' type of system : no new = good news. Only important events and all the errors etc are logged.
    You, as the admin, has to look at that page, we can't come over now for known reasons.

    Again, it sounds like a learning curve for me as this is my first time using pfsense and always learning and willing to learn, I'm just after friendly advice and feedback so many thanks for the pointer.

    @WannabeMKII said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    I am still interested in feedback with regards to how robust the system is

    True, not all hardware behaves the same when it comes to power losses. The same goes for file systems used : a 'fat'type system has no resilience at all, Ext4 or ZFS is far better.
    SSD's, when they detects an unusual power down situation, could have enough power pre-charged to end up the current writing command before it dies. Old fashioned hard disk drive consume to much power and are clueless is such a situation.

    That's great and useful feedback that I'm certainly going to take on board from a pfsense perspective, many thanks again.

    Btw : @home and at work all disk-based systems are protected by UPS's - which are needed also for my NAS's (also known as disk based ^^)

    I have a UPS for my server, which unfortunately isn't near the pfsense box, so it's something I'm going to look at.



  • @jdeloach said in Sensitive Software & Unable to start vnstatd:

    @WannabeMKII Sounds to me like you need a Battery Backup UPS that the SG-1100 is plugged into if it is that sensitive when it is not powered down gracefully.

    Yeah, this is something I'm going to have to look at, just a small UPS for the pfsense box. Any recommendations for a small UPS?


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