Annoying Core Dumps

Has anyone seen this with any of the WPMUDEV plugins? I can't figure out what is causing this, but my host says they believe its a plugin crashing. That said, I cannot figure out which one is doing this.

Occasionally the file sizes of some of these suckers are huge. I bet I delete a gig worth of these every couple of weeks.

If this looks familiar to anyone, could you please tell me what I'm missing? I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

~ Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey NetPotion.

    I had this annoying issue once on a server. They are memory dumps and take up tones of space. Took ages to figure out. Excuse my vulgarness here but I call them cr*p dumps because although they can be useful they can also fill up your space quickly.

    You need to get your host to look into this one. There could be a number of issues causing this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_dump

    This was about 5 or 6 years ago now, but if I recall something on that server was not configured correctly by the company who we use to have our servers with before moving to UK datacentres(1and1 really doesn't equal 2 with them :wink:. That was an MU site as well.

    Those dumps should have debug information which your host can use to pinpoint the issue. I presume your using all the latest versions of themes, plugins and WP?

    If you have cPanel (use web file manager) or use SSH, this is much quicker for removing those files than over FTP.

    Do you see a pattern to when these bad boys are created? You could do the usual and deactivate your plugins and then add one at a time. Not knowing the cause or timings of when these are created though could mean this will be very time consuming.

    Let us know what the host says.

  • NetPotion

    Hiya Tim!

    Yeah, I contacted support (HostGator) and they told me they were coming from a plugin that was crashing, but didn't tell me which one. I've tried deactivating them one by one, but (unless I accidentally skipped one) it didn't fix anything.

    I may have to contact them again and see if they can figure it out. I *do* know that they just updated my WHCMS a while back and that's when I started noticing these files - but I'm not convinced there is a connection there either.

    I'm afraid I'm going to forget to clear those at some point and my drive will fill up. That would be bad. LOL

    Thanks for responding - I'll contact my host again,

    ~Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi NetPotion.

    I may have to contact them again and see if they can figure it out. I *do* know that they just updated my WHCMS a while back and that's when I started noticing these files - but I'm not convinced there is a connection there either.

    WHMCS shouldn't be an issue or do you have some plugins on that as well?

    I would email them again and get them to pinpoint the issue so you can deal with it.

    Is there a pattern? Could it be a cron? Do you have WHMCS installed in the same/sub directory of your site where these dumps and spat out?

  • NetPotion

    Hi Tim,

    They are dumping to the root of WordPress which is the root of the domain. It could be a cron. It happened at 5:30am this morning when there was no traffic - twice in a couple of minutes. I don't see anything in my error logs either. That's one of the things that drives me crazy.

    Autoblog *might* be doing it I guess. But that is set to run every 30 min's and these dumps don't happen that often. (thankfully)

    Most of my plugins are WPMUDEV so I will have to figure out which one of those run crons. Pro sites perhaps? New Blog Templates? I actually noticed this first after installing the WPMUDEV chat plugin. It pegged my CPU so I uninstalled it. I wonder if something might have stuck from that. Is that even possible?

    I know, I know.... I'm grasping at straws here. This is just *one of those things* ya know?

    Thanks!

    Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi NetPotion

    They are dumping to the root of WordPress which is the root of the domain. It could be a cron. It happened at 5:30am this morning when there was no traffic - twice in a couple of minutes. I don't see anything in my error logs either. That's one of the things that drives me crazy.

    Do you know if you were doing anything at those times? It could be something you did.... You could have hit save on a page and then something triggered this.

    As I mentioned for us it was a configuration issue on the server with some software crashing as a result, I don't recall the exact details to be honest as it was so long ago but it related to PHP and thus by extension WP.

    On many operating systems, a fatal error in a program automatically triggers a core dump; by extension the phrase "to dump core" has come to mean, in many cases, any fatal error, regardless of whether a record of the program memory results.
    The term "core dump", "memory dump", or just "dump" has become jargon to indicate any storing of a large amount of raw data for further examination.

    Ask your host what is crashing, whats causing the crashing and what those huge dumps refer to.

    Take care.

  • NetPotion

    WELL.....

    I contacted my host again and the had another look. I think I'm worse off than I was before now.

    They extracted the core dumps and gave me a list of the files names contained within.

    /home/********/public_html/index.php
    /home/********/public_html/wp-admin/includes/file.php
    /home/********/public_html/./wp-blog-header.php
    /home/********/public_html/wp-blog-header.php
    /home/********/public_html/wp-config.php
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    /home/********/public_html/wp-content/mu-plugins/admin-menu-editor-pro/menu-editor.php
    /home/********/public_html/wp-content/mu-plugins/communities-framework.php
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    /home/********/public_html/wp-load.php
    /home/********/public_html/wp-settings.php
    SCRIPT_FILENAME=/home/********/public_html/index.php
    wdp_un_check/home/********/public_html/wp-content/plugins/site-wide-text-change/site-wide-text-change.php0x2b966fb5aa67e.php

    They added

    And when attempting to look into the core dump further we are only presented with the small tidbit of information:
    (gdb) bt
    Cannot access memory at address 0x7fffdbf28f20
    This leads us to believe that a php script is attempting to access or allocate memory that is not available, which results in a core dump.  Unfortunately we have not been able to determine what precisely is causing the core dumps to occur.

    I have no clue what all this means. Anyone have any ideas? It seems the whole site is tumbling down randomly and I don't know why.

    Thanks,

    ~ Corey

  • NetPotion

    Add-on to previous post

    I'm getting an error message that might be related afterall:

    [19-Dec-2011 19:26:26] PHP Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 31719424) (tried to allocate 30720 bytes) in /home/********/public_html/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1794

    My host told me that a php script is attempting to access or allocate memory that is not available.

    Trouble is, there is no line 1794 in "wp-includes/pluggable.php" so I can't track it down that way either. :slight_frown:

    ~ Corey

  • NetPotion

    Well, I'm going to systematically go through all of my plugins and disable them to track this down.

    I just disabled a group of them today and my admin section sped up significantly, so I have a suspicion I may have hit on the culprit. Once I figure out what is causing this, (and I will), I will post the name of the offender here so that nobody else has to go through this. ; )

    ~ Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi Corey.

    You could always tell your host to just disable the core dump files. Not sure how large your hosting company is or how many high level techs they employ so here is a quick link which could help them:

    http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-disable-core-dumps/

    WP when using many plugins can be resource intensive.

    Have it set so that the site can use 384MB's.

    How was this set?

    And are those changes visible from within a the php info? You could create a php file, name it any thing you like and have it contain the following:

    <?php
    phpinfo();
    ?>

    Load it in your browser and check for memory settings to be sure they were set higher.

    Take care.

  • NetPotion

    No luck yet. I'm going to continue disabling plugins and see if I can track it down - but I'm starting to loose hope at this point. : (

    If you want to mark this as resolved, it's fine. I will update it either way. Your call. =)

    Thanks Tim - and again, congrats on the new baby. You should be concerned with 'baby dumps' right now, not worrying about 'core dumps'. heh heh heh heh heh

    Thanks Tim

    ~ Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Thanks Tim - and again, congrats on the new baby. You should be concerned with 'baby dumps' right now, not worrying about 'core dumps'. heh heh heh heh heh

    Core dumps, baby dumps, there all dumps at the end of the day!!

    Thanks, I appreciate it! I've been a little bit of a baby bore since the little one was born. ha ha.

    Those dumps will most likely not be important and looking at the log they extracted it looks fine, they are for development environments and the host could have them turned off to save your fingers wearing out the delete button. Tell them you will bill them for a new DEL key.

    Take care and thanks again! :slight_smile:

  • NetPotion

    Make sure you are spending waaaayyyy more time with that baby of yours then you think you should my friend. If you don't, you WILL regret it later. What you think is too much now will seem to be waaaayyyy too *little* later.

    Take it from one who knows all too well. It's the #1 thing I would change if I could go back in time. Seriously.

    Also, your wife/girlfriend will forever remind you of what you were doing at this point. lmao ; )

    Happy New Year! =)

    ~ Corey

  • Timothy Bowers

    Make sure you are spending waaaayyyy more time with that baby of yours then you think you should my friend. If you don't, you WILL regret it later. What you think is too much now will seem to be waaaayyyy too *little* later.

    I know I know, but I plan on her staying this age, all cute and small. :slight_smile:

    I work when she is sleeping. But my work is primarily online and I have to work. :slight_smile:

    Also, your wife/girlfriend will forever remind you of what you were doing at this point. lmao ; )

    My wife, Helen works with me we have a hosting and domain registration company as well as working here. :wink: She also runs a company with her Father, wedding photography which is mainly weekends. The great thing about working for myself is I'm always with the baby as well!

    Happy new year to you also!

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