Re: Error locking the outdir...

2002-01-10 14:59:11
On January 10, 2002 at 14:31, Sean M Alderman wrote:

greets all,
      I realize I'm running an old version of the software, and please don't
tell me my only solution is to upgrade.  Could someone point me in the
right direction of what's wrong -

People using one of these lists I have archived are getting
underliverables that look something like this -
  ----- The following addresses have delivery notifications -----
"|/usr/appl/MHonArc244/bin/mhonarc -add -outdir
/usr/appl/www/Mhonarc/GRC/Webmaster -quiet -rcfile
/usr/appl/www/Mhonarc/GRC/Webmaster/webmaster-archive.mhrc " 
(unrecoverable error)
   (expanded from: 
webmaster-archive(_at_)www(_dot_)lerc(_dot_)nasa(_dot_)gov )

  ----- Transcript of session follows -----

ERROR: Unable to lock /usr/appl/www/Mhonarc/GRC/Webmaster after 10
"|/usr/appl/MHonArc244/bin/mhonarc -add -outdir
/usr/appl/www/Mhonarc/GRC/Webmaster -quiet -rcfile
/usr/appl/www/Mhonarc/GRC/Webmaster/webmaster-archive.mhrc "... Deferred
Message could not be delivered for 3 days
Message will be deleted from queue

This issue is mentioned in the Diagnostics appendix of the
documentation, but I will provide some information here:

If using the directory method of locking (see LOCKMETHOD resource),
there is a probability of getting a stale lock due to an abnormal
termination in MHonArc.

This leads to 2 issues to address:

1. Why is MHonArc abnormally aborting so it cannot free up the lock?
2. If MHonArc abnormally terminates, can a stale lock be avoided?

As for (1), I think a key culprit is with the processing of messages
containing html.  Recent versions of MHonArc contains fixes to
the html filter to work-around a perl regex bug that can causes perl
to crash.  This fix was applied in v2.4.8 (according to the bugs
listing of the documentation).

As for (2), look into changing the LOCKMETHOD resource to flock.
If under a Unix-type system, this should be safe, but read the
LOCKMETHOD documentation for caveats.

BTW, I recommend changing your setup to do archive updates via
a cron job, using an archiving account to receive the mail.
This way, mail will always get delivered to your system.  If
problems occur with MHonArc, you can have it fixed without the
loss of any mail.


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