We have a number of Alphas running Tru64 (about 20) and our home directory is NFS-mounted on all the machines (so you have your files with you everywhere).
The web-development Alphas have just beeen upgraded from Tru64 v4.0G to v5.1B - the server people did a clean install, so as to remove any lint collected over the years.
I had sync'ed
Everthing was OK.
The machines were released to the users and everyone seemed happy until the guy on the table next to me said that his Apache::ASP setup acted strangely, it crashed whenever he fiddled with the $Session-variable in his scripts.
"Hmmm...." I said. "I'll have a look at that". Famous last words.
The apache server crashed with a segmentation violation deep down inside Apache::ASP's internals - I finally tracked it down to a call to DB_File.
"No problem - I'll just upgrade DB_File" I thought - perhaps something has broken in the upgrade - so a recompilation might be called for.
Download the latest DB_File, and do Perl Makefile.PL, make test and boom DB_File fails in its tests.
Wierd - DB_File shouldn't SEGV.
Check rt.cpan.org for known bugs: I found one, where someone reported that the version of the underlying BerkeleyDB delivered with Tru64 v5.1B had a bug.
Download the latest berkeleyDB, compile and install. Retest DB_File: still boom.
Now I'm getting desperate. One of out test-machines runs the same Apache::ASP application as originally gave the error, so I looked there and everything semed ok - it was at a lower patchlevel than the dev.box but otherwise the same.
I tested DB_File on that: boom, hmmmm....
I looked in the DB_File code, and it seems that it sends a wrong argument to the db_del function - deep down in a macro in an XS-file. I wanted to make a small test-case, so that I could see if that was the error. So I headed back to BerkeleyDB, and looked for example code.
A the README passed over my screen something about 'NFS' caught my eye.
* To run the test harness for this module, you must make sure that the directory where you have untarred this module is NOT a network drive, e.g. NFS or AFS.
I was doing all this in my 'work' subdirectory to my home - which is NFS mounted!
Move over to
It seems that Tru64 v4.0G had an undocumented feature that allowed BerkeleyDB files to be on an NFS-mounted filesystem. This feature has been removed in v5.1B.
Once again the lesson is: when debugging, take your time. Check every step, and do read the READMEs - don't assume that you can remember it from last you installed, things may have changed.
The fix was to move Apache::ASP's session-state files away from the home directory tree to somewhere in