[Mongrel] Why not ignore stale PID files?

Gunnar Wolf gwolf at gwolf.org
Thu Jun 5 17:08:06 EDT 2008


I have an application which is dying horrible deaths
(i.e. segmentation faults) in mid-flight, in production... And of
course, I should fix it. But while I find and fix the bugs, I found
something I think should be different - I can work on submitting a
patch, as it is quite simple, but I might be losing something on my

When Mongrel segfaults, it does not -obviously- get to clean up after
itself, so it does not remove the PID files. As an example:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/mongrel-cluster start
Starting mongrel-cluster: Starting all mongrel_clusters...
$ sudo cat tmp/pids/mongrel.8203.pid | xargs kill -9 
$ sudo /etc/init.d/mongrel-cluster status
found pid_file: tmp/pids/mongrel.8203.pid
missing mongrel_rails: port 8203
$ sudo /etc/init.d/mongrel-cluster restart
Restarting mongrel-cluster: Restarting all mongrel_clusters...
** !!! PID file tmp/pids/mongrel.8203.pid already exists.  Mongrel could be running already.  Check your log/mongrel.8203.log for errors.
** !!! Exiting with error.  You must stop mongrel and clear the .pid before I'll attempt a start.

So, what's the solution? I must manually do:

$ sudo rm tmp/pids/mongrel.8203.pid 
$ sudo /etc/init.d/mongrel-cluster restart

And now it works.

What should happen? Well, 'status' already found that there is a stale
PID. Of course, the 'status' action means exactly that: Get the
status, do nothing else. But the 'stop' action should clean the PIDs
if they do no longer exist, and the 'start' action should check
whether the process with that PID is alive, and ignore it if it's
not. At least, this behaviour should be specifiable via the
configuration file.

What do you think? 

Gunnar Wolf - gwolf at iiec.unam.mx - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF

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