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From Torsten Foertsch <>
Subject APR: decision which shared mem implementation is used
Date Tue, 13 Dec 2005 13:08:53 GMT

yesterday after a few experiments I found my apache won't start anymore. In the error_log
it said:

[Tue Dec 13 12:09:46 2005] [crit] (17)File exists: unable to create scoreboard "/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard"
(name-based shared memory failure)

Deleting /var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard didn't help. Strace then revealed:

unlink("/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard") = 0
open("/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard", O_WRONLY|O_CREAT|O_EXCL, 0666) = 14
stat64("/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=0, ...}) =
shmget(17191678, 225304, IPC_CREAT|IPC_EXCL|0600) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)

Well, obviously my apache uses SysV IPC for shared mem and my experiments left over an
existing shm segment. First, I think, the error_log message is totally misleading since
nothing is wrong with the file. Better would be something that says which segment is to
be removed to start apache again.

Second, why is apache using SysV IPC on my linux box at all when mmap() is available? Is
there a reason or just chance?

Configuring the APR that comes with 2.0.55 says it can use "SysV IPC", "Classical mmap"
or "POSIX shm_open". On linux the last one is not really an option. The manpage to shm_open

       The operation of shm_open is analogous to that of open(2).  name speciā€
       fies  the  shared  memory object to be created or opened.  For portable
       use, name should have an initial slash  (/)  and  contain  no  embedded

Strace reveals that with shm_open apache want's to create /dev/shm/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard
as shared mem. That fails because the directory do not exists. Thus, on linux the name
parameter to shm_open should not contain embedded slashes.

I think the configure process should check that.

But the mmap shared mem implementation works (by now) on my linux box:

unlink("/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard") = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/var/opt/apache/logs/apache_scoreboard", O_RDWR|O_CREAT|O_EXCL, 0666) = 14
ftruncate(14, 225312)                   = 0
lseek(14, 225312, SEEK_SET)             = 225312
mmap2(NULL, 225312, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_SHARED, 14, 0) = 0x4063d000
close(14)                               = 0

I think this is better since it avoids hidden shared mem keys or ids.

Why APR configure chooses SysV IPC in the first place? looks like:

APR_BEGIN_DECISION([namebased memory allocation method])
APR_IFALLYES(header:sys/mman.h func:mmap func:munmap,
                  [Classical mmap() on temporary file])])
APR_IFALLYES(header:sys/mman.h func:mmap func:munmap func:shm_open dnl
                  [mmap() via POSIX.1 shm_open() on temporary file])])
APR_IFALLYES(header:sys/ipc.h header:sys/shm.h header:sys/file.h dnl
             func:shmget func:shmat func:shmdt func:shmctl,
              APR_DECIDE(USE_SHMEM_SHMGET, [SysV IPC shmget()])])

This explains it. SysV IPC wins because it is simply the last.

If what I said makes sense and there is no reason against "Classical mmap" then maybe
the attached patch can be considered. It changes configure and

I have also checked the APR that comes with 2.1.8. The decision process is the same.

My box is suse linux 9.2 with linux 2.6.8 and glibc 2.3.3.


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