This seems like it might be a hardware problem but I will ask here
anyway. I have been running Debian 3.0 on my system for about the past
10 months. In that time I have rarely needed to compile anything but
recently I have been trying to compile some rather large pieces of
software (linux 2.4.18, postgres, etc.).
I have noticed that these compile jobs will fail at random spots with a
segmentation fault or "signal 4". Sometimes I can simply run "make"
again and it will continue on to complete the job or fail further on in
a similar manner. I began to get suspicious of my RAM (which, by the
way, was upgraded about 14 months ago and never seemed to cause me
problems) and thus I tried to compile large pieces of software on
freebsd and netbsd. Both gave me the same sort of trouble: kernel
panics, bus errors, seg faults, etc. And, as with Debian, I could
sometimes re-run "make" several times for a successful build.
At this point I decided to run memtest86 3.0 to see if it could catch
any errors. I left it running for about 12 hours while I was away. It
ran through several passes of its 11 or so tests with no errors
detected. This, coupled with the fact that I would only get these
errors while compiling, left me rather dumb-founded.
I have tried looking through various mailing list and newsgroup archives
to see if anyone had similar problems. Naturally, given the vague
nature of this problem, I failed to find anything that might point me in
the right direction for getting to the bottom of this.
If anyone could give some helpful suggestions about what I do to help
determine what is causing this annoying behavior I would much