Socket leak

Maxim Dounin mdounin at
Fri May 24 14:54:50 UTC 2013


On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 07:09:58PM +0530, Fasih wrote:

> Hi all
> I have been seeing slow but steady socket leak in nginx ever since I
> upgraded from 1.0.5 to 1.2.6. I have my custom module in nginx which I was
> sure what was the leak. This is how I went about investigating:
> 1. Configure nginx with one worker
> 2. strace on the worker process, tracing
> read/readv/write/writev/close/shutdown calls
> 3. Every now and then, for all the open fds (from ls -l /proc/<pid>/fd),
> check the socket that is not available in netstat -pane
> 4. What I saw was, the leaking socket always had the last operation as
> writev which returned an error.
> 5. Increased the nginx log level to info and verified that nginx was
> getting ECONNRESET or EPIPE on writev failure. Which was OK.
> 6. Traced back in code to see how it is handled, the error translates to
> CHAIN_ERROR and eventually causes ngx_http_finalize_request to be called.
> This in turn calls ngx_http_terminate_request.
> However, in this function, the request is not terminated if
> r->write_event_handler is set. This seems to be set if the request handler
> is a user module. I think the rationale for the check is, if there is a
> module who is handling the request, dont terminate yet, wait for a write
> event on the socket and then terminate it (which is why I thought it is
> setting r->write_event_handler to ngx_http_terminate_handler).

Rationale is to make sure there are no functions on stack which 
assume request object is here and will try to access it after 
we'll free request data.

The r->write_event_handler (that is, ngx_http_terminate_handler()) 
is expected to be called by a ngx_http_run_posted_requests() which 
in turn is called by low-level event handling functions (notably, 

> I tried to repro this w/ empty_gif_handler however, it sends header and
> body in one call to writev which I cant get to fail in my test environment.
> To reproduce the bug, if I replace the call to ngx_http_send_response with
> ngx_http_send_header and ngx_http_output_filter (as used by ngx_upstream or
> other modules which dont have the headers and body together), I could
> reproduce the leak. I have a client that sends a request and closes the
> socket immediately, nginx sees the error, prints the info log, and then it
> doesnt close the socket.
> I have a small patch attached, the fix I did is basically saying that if
> there is a connection error, there is no point setting write_event_handler
> as there wont be any activity on the socket, so just terminate it
> immediately.
> I could be very wrong in the understanding of the code flow. My patch just
> fixes this and I am not very sure if this is the right fix. Please let me
> know.
> I will try to add a testcase to reproduce this in the nginx test framework.

The patch looks wrong, see above.

Could you please show a backtrace up to 
ngx_http_terminate_request() with mr->write_event_handler and 
c->error set (i.e. where you think leak happens)?

You may also want to upgrade to a more recent version, e.g. 1.5.0, 
to make sure the problem you are facing isn't already fixed.

Maxim Dounin

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