ssh frozen display - maybe missing responses



Hi,

I'm having a problem with connecting over ssh to a server (wrdsvr) that has me perplexed. I'm wondering if any of you have come across this before or have any ideas. I'm using putty to connect from my WIndows VM desktop to a SLES 9 server running the package installed OpenSSH_4.1p1, OpenSSL 0.9.7d 17 Mar 2004. It is up to date with the latest patch for SLES 9.

If I connect to wrdsvr from my desktop over ssh and run certain commands with multi-line output, the display freezes after the first line. If I connect from my desktop to a different server (oksvr), and then from oksvr I connect to wrdsvr, then there is no problem. In fact, by running 'w' after connecting in that roundabout way I can see that subsequent commands I type into the frozen window still run - I just can't see anything in the window itself as the display is frozen. I have sshd logging running in debug mode on wrdsvr and there is nothing produced during this. There is also nothing in the putty event log. If I type 'exit' in the frozen window, the server sees the connection as closing normally and then gone. Usually my putty window would then close automatically, but in this frozen case it doesn't. So although it is sending characters I type in, it doesn't seem to be receiving the output in return.

commands that run successfully are:
w
ls
man
less

commands that cause the display to freeze are:
ps ax
ls -l
top (for this one I don't even get the first line of output, it freezes immediately)

The machine I'm connecting from is a VMFusion guest running Windows XP. I get this behavior connecting using putty, but I also installed a demo version of securecrt (when this issue occurred previously) which saw the same problem, but I can't repeat it as my license expired. (Last time the issue went away while I was troubleshooting an immediate service-affecting problem on that and a number of other servers and I don't know what fixed it!) I exported the putty registry keys and the profiles for the two servers are identical. I tried loading the profile for oksvr and temporarily changing the hostname to wrdsvr, but saw the same issue. I am connecting over a Cisco VPN. My colleague is on the local network and does not see this issue when he connects to wrdsvr using putty. We are both using the same version of putty 0.60.

Here is the background on the servers. Both wrdsvr and oksvr are running SLES 9. My actions just before I noticed these issues were the following. I updated them using you (yast online update) to the latest patch versions. Using the rpms from Novell, I installed binutils, make, gcc, and glibc-devel and finally VMware tools on both. I then rebooted. Since then I've run you again but that hasn't changed anything. I've compare the installed patches using diff and they are the same. Now I'm working my way through the output of rpm -qVa on each one, but nothing so far.

Thanks for your time,
Maria