[hobbit] bbtest-net to hobbitd problem

Henrik Stoerner henrik at hswn.dk
Mon Aug 1 14:36:33 CEST 2005

Hi Oliver,

what version of Hobbit ? And what OS/hardware are you running on ?

On Mon, Aug 01, 2005 at 01:36:03PM +0200, Olivier Beau wrote:
> i'm having a problem:
> -bbtest-net reports one or two "Whoops ! bb failed to send message - timeout" in
> the report
> -which is causing a bunch of net test to go purple (pretty embarrasing..)
> -i tried to play with BBMAXMSGSPERCOMBO and BBSLEEPBETWEENMSGS, but doesnt seem
> to have any effect...
> -once in while bbtest-net does report everything fine to hobbitd, without any
> changes on the server
> here's the output from bbtest-net --debug where the whoops happens:
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Recipient listed as ''
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Standard BB protocol on port 1985
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Will connect to address port 1985
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Connect status is 0
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Sent 65532 bytes
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Sent 81921 bytes
> 2005-08-01 13:15:24 Sent 49152 bytes
> 2005-08-01 13:15:29 Whoops ! bb failed to send message - timeout

Is there an equivalent number of "Bogus/Timeout" messages reported in
the Hobbit servers' "hobbitd" status column ? Are there any unusual
messages in the hobbitd.log file ?

The timeout that bbtest-net hits is a 5 second timeout which is the
default one used whenever a message is sent off to the Hobbit daemon.
The 5 secs was chosen back when bbtest-net was sending to the Big
Brother daemon, and considering that fact that Hobbit can generate much
larger messages it might be worth a try to increase that timeout
somewhat. Unfortunately, that one is set at compile-time and cannot be
changed easily - so could you try editing the lib/sendmsg.h file and
change the line
    #define BBTALK_TIMEOUT 5
    #define BBTALK_TIMEOUT 15
Then run "make clean; make" and as root "make install" to build and
install the tools with the new timeout setting.

Also, on the Hobbit server it might be necessary to up the timeout on
the receiver side - so add a "--timeout=30" to the hobbitd command in

> it looks like bbtest-net actually connected to hobbitd !
> -> could bbtest-net re-open a connection and resend the affected statuses when a
> oops happens ?

It's tricky. Basically these timeouts should not happen (especially not
when we're connecting to "localhost"), so I'd rather try and figure out 
why they happen.

> later in the bbtest-net log i see this, which is different since i suppose
> bbtest-net got a connection closed the first try:
> 2005-08-01 13:15:29 Recipient listed as ''
> 2005-08-01 13:15:29 Standard BB protocol on port 1985
> 2005-08-01 13:15:29 Will connect to address port 1985
> 2005-08-01 13:15:34 Timeout while talking to bbd at - retrying
> 2005-08-01 13:15:35 Will connect to address port 1985
> 2005-08-01 13:15:35 Connect status is 0
> 2005-08-01 13:15:35 Sent 466 bytes
> 2005-08-01 13:15:35 Closing connection

Yes, this is a situation where the first connection attempt fails. This
is retried and the second connection attempt succeeds and sends the

> Any idea of what could be going in hobbitd ?
> (my understanding is that hobbitd kind of drops heavy status connections..)

Not really. hobbitd is a single-thread application that is designed to
do as little disk I/O as possible - the only real disk I/O it performs
is to read the bb-hosts file - and instead handle everything in memory.
5 seconds is a very long time; you can do a lot of cpu- and memory-bound
activity during that time - *if* the hobbitd process is scheduled to
run. I have seen some situations where a broken disk driver would cause
the entire box to freeze up for several seconds at a time, and hobbitd
doesn't like that at all ... 


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