[arch-dev-public] Problem with web dashboard: massive orphaning of packages

Dusty Phillips buchuki at gmail.com
Fri Sep 12 17:40:42 EDT 2008

2008/9/12 Aaron Griffin <aaronmgriffin at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 3:23 PM, Dusty Phillips <buchuki at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2008/9/12 Eric Belanger <belanger at astro.umontreal.ca>:
>>> Hi,
>>> I don't know if you remember but a while ago a huge part of extra i686 (IIRC
>>> it was all packages from L to Z) were orphaned and erroneouly showing up as
>>> recently updated on the web site.  This just happened again with packages in
>>> extra x86_64. I don't know what could caused that but it's very annoying as
>>> we has to readopt all our packages back.
>> Fuck.
>> I remember Judd telling me not to swear at users but its ok to swear
>> at scripts right?
>> This has to be happening in reporead.py.  Fucking reporead.py. To the
>> best of my knowledge, no other script updates the web database in
>> anyway, am I wrong?
>> The actual db_update script splits the packages into those that are in
>> the database and those that are not and processes them separately.
>> Packages that are not currently in the database get added as orphans
>> because apparently its hard to interrogate the maintainer from the
>> db.tar.gz. At first, I assumed that it is doing an add when it should
>> be doing an update, which would add new packages with orphan
>> maintainer. But this doesn't appear to be the case because there are
>> not currently any duplicate x86_64 packages (that aren't in testing).
>> My second more likely hypothesis is race conditions. I don't know how
>> the db scripts update exactly, but I suspect reporead is reading a
>> db.tar.gz file that is either broken or not yet fully uploaded. It
>> sees this broken db file and drops all the packages in the web
>> interface that are not in that file. Then x minutes later (crontab),
>> it runs again on a proper db and sees the missing packages again. It
>> adds them to the database and sets the maintainer to orphan.
>> Are such broken dbs possible/likely/happening? If its a race
>> condition, we need to put a lock on the database (maybe dbtools does
>> this already) so that reporead isn't accessing it at the same time as
>> dbtools. If its just that when the database gets updated it sometimes
>> breaks the database well.. that just needs to be fixed.
> Hmmm, the DBs are constructed in /tmp and then moved live to
> /home/ftp/whatever it's possible that reporead may be opening it
> mid-move, but that doesn't seem right. It's gzipped. Wouldn't that
> balk if you took half of a DB file, and tried to gunzip it?

I think so... not sure if this is a proper test of it but it fails:

dusty:x86_64 $ head -c 10000 extra.db.tar.gz | tar -xz

gzip: stdin: unexpected end of file
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

reporead does some great stuff with logger (debug and info). Do you
know if any of those logged messages are saved?

I haven't checked this time, but IIRC last time, it was all packages
after the letter L that got orphaned or something. This indicates that
for some reason reporead is not processing all the packages in the
file. Either the db does not contain all the files  because a half
full db got uploaded or it is reading part of the db and then exiting
for some reason. Why either of these would occur is beyond me.


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