Process "runner" - help plz, eating CPU processes


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Questions and Answers : Macintosh : Process "runner" - help plz, eating CPU processes

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Steve
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Message 937242 - Posted: 1 Oct 2009, 23:44:55 UTC

Checked apple support and google with no luck - haven't seen this before, am not that Mac/Unix savvy. Help appreciated!

iMac 10.5.8, and been running just BOINC and browser, iWork - nothing special otherwise installed besides FireFox.

Anyhow - the fans ramped up for the first time ever, slowly spun down. I went into Application Monitor to see what was going on, and this process simply named "runner" was eating 70% of CPU - as the two SETI processes were near 70%, I assumed it had something to do with BOINC.

Suspended BOINC - SETI processes dropped off, process 'runner' still at 70% CPU
Shut advanced window - no change in 'runner'
Paused BOINC - same
Closed BOINC - same
Closed all desktop apps (safari and app monitor for 20 seconds) - reopened only app monitor, 'runner' still at around 70%

Whatever it is, I am loosely guessing had something to do with the fan cranking up - but I'm not certain. From the shutdown I did with BOINC - pretty sure it wasn't BOINC, but not certain either.

Restarted the iMac, and BOINC and have not seen process 'runner' yet - any idea of what it may be or how to find what it may be much appreciated!

SETI apps are back to 98% or so per core.

If it's of any help - it was running under "my processes"

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Message 937254 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 0:40:22 UTC - in response to Message 937242.

Do you happen to use Logitech peripherals, such as a mouse, keyboard or webcam? If so, Runner is their desktop update application.
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Message 937257 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 0:44:57 UTC - in response to Message 937254.

Do you happen to use Logitech peripherals, such as a mouse, keyboard or webcam? If so, Runner is their desktop update application.


I do use a logitech wireless mouse, but I did not install any supporting drivers (LCC)

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Message 937266 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 1:08:43 UTC
Last modified: 2 Oct 2009, 1:46:34 UTC

Now this may be interesting or of diagnostic worth (I hope!) - of recent work report time for 1 Oct, one of the two recently reported WU's, (possibly) during this CPU overload, was reported on 2 october (rather than 1 Oct)

clock on the Mac is correct.

---- update ----
It's now reporting the next "sent WU" (ID 511366121) with the same timestamp as the one reported - 2 Oct 2009 0:40:49 UTC, don't know what that implies, if anything... I'm not exactly sure when the errant process began ('runner') - at 18:45 I restarted, after all the stuff I did below - so it's possible it's a normal report/send (adjusted for UTC)... but around 6 hours of "wall time" vs around 3 hours of CPU time - something isn't lining up there.. It should have reported before 00:00 UTC (right after the restart, when BOINC contacted the server, (if I understood how BOINC works) - assuming it was done.

I talk too much, lol, sorry... still focused on the errant process 'runner', help appreciated

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Message 937276 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 2:11:03 UTC - in response to Message 937266.

I don't really know what else Runner could be. I'm not very familiar with Macs.

I can tell you that all times are UTC, so assuming the workunit wasn't finished or didn't report immediately, Oct. 2 seems correct. I'm not certain why only 3 hours of CPU time was recorded unless the program was paused to work on something else and came back to that workunit later.
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Message 937281 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 2:55:14 UTC - in response to Message 937276.
Last modified: 2 Oct 2009, 2:59:20 UTC

I agree OzzFan, the 2 oct WU was probably displaced by the 'runner' process and delayed in completion.

I did find this has happened to a few other people, and is connected to OS X's installer when it hangs (nobody knew why it hangs tho). - info here and here.

I'm pretty sure I did an uninstall/reinstall of BOINC (after running down my WU's - no damage to wingmen) - on the 28th. The same day an iTunes update came in, which I restarted from, and everything has been crunching/running fine till today.

I did inspect the process data during the runaway, and it ended with a garbled numerical and symbol string abruptly - so I assume either BOINC or one of the the iTunes update pkg's did not finish install - leading to the runaway (why today, vs the day of the update I don't know).

The suggested fix was to restart in safe mode (hold shift while boot), then restart again (normal restart), which should finish the install, and thus prevent 'runner' from a runaway state - but that's where the trail of info ended - since the people with the problem didn't post back "hey, that didn't work" - I assume that's the solution.

Having done all the above, as well as fix permissions. I'll keep crunching, hopefully won't recur.

I'll go ahead and close this out - if it happens again will post again, and remember to copy the inspection of the process - the data might help the Mac wiz's to determine what package or install is behind it.

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Message 937519 - Posted: 2 Oct 2009, 22:55:20 UTC - in response to Message 937257.

Do you happen to use Logitech peripherals, such as a mouse, keyboard or webcam? If so, Runner is their desktop update application.


I do use a logitech wireless mouse, but I did not install any supporting drivers (LCC)

I do use Mac and on my installation runner does not exist and I do not have logitech devices.

If you are slightly Unix savvy, run ps -A to see what the full path name is. May be a big clue.

Otherwise fire up console and read the console and system log files.

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Message 937551 - Posted: 3 Oct 2009, 1:45:32 UTC - in response to Message 937519.
Last modified: 3 Oct 2009, 1:48:32 UTC

found it in console, all messages, and in installer logfiles... last entries were:

    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]: launchctl: Couldn't stat("/Library/LaunchDaemons/edu.berkeley.boinc.plist"): No such file or directory
    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]: nothing found to unload
    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]:



However, 'runner' also seems to do things that I have no idea on, i.e. -

    Sep 30 07:14:35 SXG-25 runner[19024]: Touched '/Applications/BOINCManager.app'
    Sep 28 08:03:20 SXG-25 runner[5092]: Touched '/./Applications/iTunes.app



(what is touched? runner 'touches' most everything sporadically in the logfiles all the way back)

I guess the most critical part of this is the Process ID - which I'd have to wait for a repeat of. No worries tho, and thanks much for the guidance Gary.

I should be posting these questions on the Apple Support forums and not here, but as the last 'runner' event was BOINC related before the runaway "runner" yesterday, it may be useful to the Mac/BOINC/SETI community.

Thx again.

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Message 937604 - Posted: 3 Oct 2009, 6:09:26 UTC - in response to Message 937551.

found it in console, all messages, and in installer logfiles... last entries were:

    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]: launchctl: Couldn't stat("/Library/LaunchDaemons/edu.berkeley.boinc.plist"): No such file or directory
    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]: nothing found to unload
    9/30/09 7:14:39 AM runner[19024] pkgReceiptMaker[19084]:



However, 'runner' also seems to do things that I have no idea on, i.e. -

    Sep 30 07:14:35 SXG-25 runner[19024]: Touched '/Applications/BOINCManager.app'
    Sep 28 08:03:20 SXG-25 runner[5092]: Touched '/./Applications/iTunes.app



(what is touched? runner 'touches' most everything sporadically in the logfiles all the way back)

I guess the most critical part of this is the Process ID - which I'd have to wait for a repeat of. No worries tho, and thanks much for the guidance Gary.

I should be posting these questions on the Apple Support forums and not here, but as the last 'runner' event was BOINC related before the runaway "runner" yesterday, it may be useful to the Mac/BOINC/SETI community.

Thx again.

You can read the manual page for touch. Open Terminal and type: man touch
Space scrolls. Q exits the man page.
Basically it means that it updated the files modification date/time
Looks like runner is part of a backup facility, likely time machine. I don't have time machine enabled on my Mac which would explain why I don't see runner. Perhaps runner hiccuped but your reboot obviously cleared it. Anyway runner is not part of BOINC.

When it comes back on your machine it will have a different Process ID. That is just a number the system sequentially assigns to each application as it is launched. After they reach 65535 in Tiger or 99999 in Leopard, they get reused.

FYI there is a nice widget called iStat Pro 4.9 that you might want. A light weight activity monitor.

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Questions and Answers : Macintosh : Process "runner" - help plz, eating CPU processes

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