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kernel says load is >30, processes hang

Hi AXPers,

my PC164, RH4, kernel 2.0.30, heavily working as a web and database 
server normally runs at a load of under 3. 
But sometimes, usually after weeks of uptime, the kernel seems to 
'loose' processes, i.e. these things eat lots and lots of CPU-Time 
(at least they are reported to, the system is not slowed down much...) 
and I can't kill them. They (or the kernel rather?) don't give attention
to any signal I would send them.

They are reported to have PPID 1 (init). There are different programs
that "disconnect" (even shell scripts).

You might think "OK, so your kernel lies about its load, so what?" - 
but the real problem, of course, are other programs like sendmail that
rely on the correct load to be reported, otherwise they stop serving 

So reboot is my last resort. And I just hate having to do this.

Anyone seen this?

PS: I'm currently working on updating the kernel. And maybe that's the
only real and clean fix. But as this is a remote system, a quick (even 
dirty) solution, would be appreciated gratefully.

Andi Hechtbauer                                           anti@spin.de 
System Administration                         voice: +49 941 94 65 937
SPiN GmbH               http://www.spin.de/     fax: +49 941 94 65 938  
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