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bug#29826: nondeterministic Broken pipe

From: Alex Vong
Subject: bug#29826: nondeterministic Broken pipe
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2017 22:02:58 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

Mark H Weaver <address@hidden> writes:

> Alex Vong <address@hidden> writes:
>> I get the following error when running ``guix --version | head -n 1''. I
>> can get similar after replacing ``--version'' with ``--help''. Also, the
>> error is nondeterministic. Any idea?
> Attempts to write to a pipe that has already been closed on the other
> end results in EPIPE.  From the write(2) man page:
>   EPIPE fd is connected to a pipe or socket whose reading end is closed.
>         When this happens the writing process will also receive a
>         SIGPIPE signal.  (Thus, the write return value is seen only if
>         the program catches, blocks or ignores this signal.)
> In this case, there's a race condition.  The result depends on whether
> "head -n 1" closes its end of the pipe before or after "guix --version"
> is finished writing all of its output.  If "head -n 1" closes the pipe
> first, then "guix --version" will receive EPIPE while attempting to
> write to it.
> What normally happens is that the sending process receives SIGPIPE,
> which simply causes it to exit prematurely without ever receiving this
> error.  However, since Guix arranges to ignore SIGPIPE in
> 'initialize-guix' in guix/ui.scm, we receive EPIPE.
> That's what's happening here.  I'll need to think on how best to fix it.
>      Regards,
>        Mark

Nice explaination as always! I forget to mention that I reported a bug
of similar flavour before <http://bugs.gnu.org/27017>. I agree that
thought is needed to fix all instances of this type of bug.


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