pmsd(8) Periodically Manic System Daemon. Manages the bizzare and sometimes


pmsd [-bcfmp]


pmsd is a rogue daemon that is spawned on a semi-regular schedule by init(8). Most of the unusual and quirky behavior associated with misbehaving computers can be attributed to pmsd.

pmsd has a number of command-line options, invoked at run-time by init(8). The ps(1) command will occasionally display the current options, but only if pmsd feels like revealing them. This is usually not the case. pmsd can be manually invoked by the pms(8) command. Make sure there is not a pmsd process already running when you use pms(8); you don't want to be on a system with multiple instances of pmsd running.

With no flags, pmsd runs with the default -m option, and any others it feels like using.


Bloat. Files randomly grow in size, filling up filesystems and causing quotas to be exceeded.
Craving. System becomes hungry, eating magnetic tapes, CD-ROM discs, floppies, and anything else a hapless user loads into a removable media drive.
Fatigue. System will pause for a random period of time. It is important to leave the system alone during this time. Attempts to coax the machine into normal operation could cause the spontaneous activation of all command-line switches. This is to be avoided.
Mood swings. Process priorities and nice values are altered randomly. Swapping usually occurs with no warning, even when memory is available. This is the default behavior.
Peeved. One or more users are selected as targets of the system's anger. Files are deleted, e-mail copied to /etc/motd, and any Usenet articles posted by the targets are crossposted to misc.test and alt.flame.


When pmsd is invoked by using the pms(8) command, pmsd ignores any command-line switches and does what it damned well pleases.


There are no bugs; how could you ask that?


Written by Eric L. Pederson <[email protected]>.