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Solfe
2011-Nov-13, 03:31 AM
I have a silly Linux question. I am testing out Mint and wanted to know if leaving it on for days would be a problem.

A few years ago I encountered a person who managed to crash their XP machine by leaving it on for days at time. This was a networked computer and I convinced her to stop leaving it on over night for conservation reasons. Is there a name for that type of crash and does it apply to Linux?

I do know that sometimes Macs "dislike" being left on when connected to a network, while a single stand alone Mac doesn't have a problem being left on for weeks at a time. I assume the same is true of single XP machines.

John Jaksich
2011-Nov-13, 03:43 AM
I have a silly Linux question. I am testing out Mint and wanted to know if leaving it on for days would be a problem.

A few years ago I encountered a person who managed to crash their XP machine by leaving it on for days at time. This was a networked computer and I convinced her to stop leaving it on over night for conservation reasons. Is there a name for that type of crash and does it apply to Linux?

I do know that sometimes Macs "dislike" being left on when connected to a network, while a single stand alone Mac doesn't have a problem being left on for weeks at a time. I assume the same is true of single XP machines.


You should have no problem as long as no one has root access---or what is known as super user status for Linux.



In regards to the Mac and M/S Windows---I would say as long as the anti-virus and fire-walls are good --then problems would be minimal.

But, giving anyone the means to access a computer w/o a strong password is always asking for trouble--IMHO

Solfe
2011-Nov-13, 04:19 AM
Actually I wasn't concerned about intrusions, it was more a "time to failure" question. Does Linux have an issue being left on 24-7?

Rhaedas
2011-Nov-13, 10:11 AM
Actually I wasn't concerned about intrusions, it was more a "time to failure" question. Does Linux have an issue being left on 24-7?

Both Linux and Windows running for a host server have to stay up 24/7. A larger percentage (64% from wikipedia) of internet servers run Linux or some *nix variant.

Usually a failure like BSOD would be not from being up continuously or connections to a network, but from what programs are running and how long term execution might affect such things as memory leaks or other things that might cause loss of resources for the OS. The older Windows had this problem in varying degrees (although I've run my XP 24/7 with no problems with only reboots for crucial updates). I think Linux is a lot better at separating programs from the OS, and I believe Win7 is as well.

baskerbosse
2011-Nov-13, 10:22 AM
I've had Linux systems with uptime counted in years running just fine.
A system is not going to fail from simply being left on ( unless it's Windows ;-) )

Peter

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-13, 10:33 AM
Just checking:

[henrik@gorm ~]$ uptime
11:30:25 up 152 days, 22:26, 2 users, load average: 0.13, 0.08, 0.07

From what I remember, that boot was caused by the building having the power rewired so there was an outage of half an hour.
That's a publicly visible webserver btw.

There was an issue several years ago with a desktop Windows version which had a high-speed time counter which would roll over after 3-4 days and cause a crash, that might be what you're thinking of, it's not relevant for Linux and neither for any recent Windowses either.

slang
2011-Nov-13, 10:52 AM
There is no reason to regularly reboot a well maintained XP, Linux or other UNIX like system computer. There are exceptions of course: windows might want a reboot after patches have been applied, unix machines may need reboots for some configuration changes, etc, etc. Personally I like keeping machines on, so I won't need to start all the applications I usually have running. At work I typically have over 40 windows open.. Want to see looooong uptimes?

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html

kamaz
2011-Nov-13, 10:58 AM
That was GetTickCount() which would roll over after 49.7 days and crash Windows 98. Of course, Windows 98 would usually crash for other reason sooner than that...

With regards to the OP's question, modern OSes (both Windows and Linux) are not inherently unstable. The problem is that there is a lot of buggy programs which leak memory (i.e. increase their memory use over time due to bugs) and if such a program runs continuously for a few days, it will use all the system memory, causing a crash. Web browsers seem to be one of the worst offenders here.

There is no problem running a server continuosly for years, because server software is usually better written and rarely leaks memory, but running a workstation is another matter. On the other hand, you could probably run a linux workstation without reboot for years too, provided that you regularly restart your applications, e.g. by logging out...

Solfe
2011-Nov-14, 01:58 AM
Thank you all. I was "testing" the OS on my hardware and left it on for days to see how long it would take to fail. Since that doesn't seem possible, I guess I can just turn it off and call it a day.

swampyankee
2011-Nov-16, 12:10 AM
Linux, FreeBSD, and other real o/s are expected to run until the hardware breaks. There are even o/s that are expected to keep running after the hardware breaks ;)

boppa
2011-Nov-16, 01:10 AM
I had a xp machine under my care for several years, its run time was at 3 years 24/7 when I left, and last time I checked with the owner its still running, never been shut down, never been rebooted and was close to 8 yrs then
Admittedly it's a bit of a special case, it was acting as a server in a internal lan with no network access at all to the outside, never had a single update installed, just the original xp sp1 install
An old 800mhz P3 machine it's never broken down, never had anything done to it, never even had to clean the guts out (hepa filters on the case)and all the original hdd's fitted to it are still functioning (5x 20Gb drives)

It's probably one of the few that could claim to run times of that length without ever having a single breakdown ever- even it's original monitor is still functioning (although very dark apparently) and the monitor was rarely turned on

Solfe
2011-Nov-17, 02:42 AM
I wondered about Windows 7. My wife has one of those but we turn it off every night. It has a big touch screen monitor and she is very protective of her machine as I promised to install some version of Linux on it when it fails. I made sure that she has enough memory and drive space to last a few years without little things being a concern.