Unicorn tempfile chown problem with Ruby 1.9

Eric Wong normalperson at yhbt.net
Fri Jun 18 22:44:25 EDT 2010

Andreas Neuhaus <zargony at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I ran into a problem with unicorn today. Using Ruby 1.9.2-preview3
> (compiled by rvm) and a unicorn config that has a "user" statement to
> let workers run under a different user, unicorn fails to start any
> worker process:
> /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-preview3/gems/unicorn-1.0.0/lib/unicorn.rb:189:in
> `chown': No such file or directory - /tmp/0.8216141026704238
> (Errno::ENOENT)
> 	from /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-preview3/gems/unicorn-1.0.0/lib/unicorn.rb:189:in
> `user'
> 	from /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-preview3/gems/unicorn-1.0.0/lib/unicorn.rb:664:in
> `init_worker_process'
> 	from /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-preview3/gems/unicorn-1.0.0/lib/unicorn.rb:681:in
> `worker_loop'
> 	from /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-preview3/gems/unicorn-1.0.0/lib/unicorn.rb:598:in
> `block (2 levels) in spawn_missing_workers'
> >From what I see, Worker#user tries to chown the unlinked worker
> tempfile (in unicorn.rb:189), which fails with Ruby 1.9.2, but seems
> to work fine with Ruby 1.8.7. The problem happened to me on an Ubuntu
> server, but I was able to reproduce it locally on OSX.
> How to reproduce:
> - create a simple rack app, like
> class Hello; def call (env); [200, { 'Content-Type' => 'text/plain' },
> ['Hello!']]; end; end
> run Hello.new
> - create a unicorn.conf.rb with a user statement that switches to the
> current user
> user 'andy'
> - run "unicorn -c unicorn.conf.rb" on Ruby 1.9.2
> - watch workers failing to start
> I'm not that deep into unicorn's internals, but since the worker
> tempfile is unlinked anyway, does it actually make sense to still call
> chown on it? Removing tmp.chown in Worker#user solved this for me.

Hi Andreas,

This is a bug in Ruby and I've filed a report and patch in Redmine:


Unicorn needs to fchmod(2) it as the regular user for the heartbeat
functionality to work (master process continues to run as root
if started as root).

Is Unicorn actually able to serve requests when you removed tmp.chown?
Under Linux, fchmod() doesn't work without ownership of the file.

Btw, for Unicorn 2.0, the fchmod()-based heartbeat implementation will
be a fallback only.  I'll be relying on the mmap() + atomic counters code
of Raindrops[1][2].  mmap() + atomic counters was my first choice
anyways, but I didn't want to write more C at the time.

> Please cc replies since I'm not subscribed to the list, thanks.

No problem :>

[1] - The mmap()/atomic counters parts of Raindrops should be portable
      to modern POSIX-ish systems.  I'll probably use libatomic-ops or
      similar if gcc isn't available.

[2] - http://raindrops.bogomips.org/

Eric Wong

More information about the mongrel-unicorn mailing list