Certain CyFlex PCs are equipped with audio features that can cause system hangups

There are a variety of CyFlex PC hardware configurations with varying built-in audio chipsets. There have been recent incidences reported where a user has plugged a smartphone into a CyFlex PC’s USB port to use the port for phone charging purposes. This appears to, sometimes, cause the USB device discovery features in the operating system to engage a variety of services, including audio services (presumably to prepare to play music stored on the device). The intent of this note is to raise awareness of this issue and to offer some mitigation steps to reduce your exposure to such system hangups.

1. USB ports on CyFlex are not intended to be charging stations for USB devices or to support arbitrary USB devices.
Fast and easy risk mitigation steps you might take include:
a. informing users to not use CyFlex USB ports at all when running tests, and to limit any use to memory devices when a test is not in progress, and only then if sneaker netting is permitted and necessary
b. label USB ports with “authorized use only” indications, possibly seal over unused ports w/ label or tape.
c. lock cabinets in which CyFlex PCs reside to reduce access to USB ports

2. In the event of an actual hangup situation or to take more significant mitigation steps:
a. remove the audio driver by doing as superuser
$ sudo yum erase rtkit
followed by shutdown and restarting the system.

b. disable audio services by navigating to: Computer->system settings->notifications=>player settings

select “No audio output”
select Apply

If you do encounter this issue and need assistance resolving it, please contact your local site administrator or SGS.