sync_client failing with "Fatal error: failed to finish reading file!"

Nic Bernstein nic at
Mon Jun 17 11:25:49 EDT 2013

On 06/17/2013 01:00 AM, Bron Gondwana wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 12, 2013, at 06:07 AM, Nic Bernstein wrote:
>>  Checking the source for dlist.c, here is the context for this error
>>  [printfile()]:
> <SNIP>
> No, if size < 0 then we've read PAST the end of the file - which is also
> totally bogus.  I can see a case for while (size > 0) on the loop though,
> for this exact case, so we drop out earlier than EOF.
> There are only two ways to exit that loop: either size gets down to zero,
> or fread returns a non-positive value.  From the man page:
>         On success, fread() and fwrite() return the number of
>         items read or written.
>         This number equals the number of bytes transferred only
>         when size is 1.  If an error occurs, or the end of the
>         file is reached, the return value is a short item count
>         (or zero).
>         fread() does not distinguish between end-of-file and
>         error, and callers must use feof(3) and ferror(3) to
>         determine which occurred.
> So we could certainly make the code better about reporting the
> cause of the error.  I suspect 99% probability file permissions
> problems (your 'cyrus' user can't read it, but can stat it) and
> 1% probability a corrupt filesystem with that file contents
> being unreadable.  It's probably the very first fread which is
> failing.

The directories and files are all user=cyrus, group=mail and all perms
seem to be correct: 700 for directories and 600 for files.  Given that
we only see this on the middle system in a replication chain, we suspect
that perhaps the sync_server is still writing the file while the
sync_client starts to slurp it in.  Any chance this is the case?

What sucks for us about this is that sync_client dies, so the host at
the end of the chain falls out of sync, requiring manual intervention.


Nic Bernstein                             nic at
Onlight, Inc.                   
219 N. Milwaukee St., Suite 2a            v. 414.272.4477
Milwaukee, Wisconsin  53202

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