Socket issue

Hey all,

While testing some edge cases in an app I came across a strange socket
issue. If I have a server that dies unexpectedly, and then try to
write to it from an already connected client, it doesn’t raise an
exception until the next time I try to write it.

Example:

Server

require ‘socket’

include Socket::Constants

sock = Socket.new(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0)
sock.setsockopt(SOL_SOCKET, SO_REUSEADDR, true)
sockaddr = Socket.pack_sockaddr_in(7000, ‘localhost’)
sock.bind(sockaddr)
sock.listen(0)

client, client_sockaddr = sock.accept
print “Connected\n”
print “>>> #{client.readline}”
abort

Client

require ‘socket’
include Socket::Constants

$sock = Socket.new(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0)
sockaddr = Socket.pack_sockaddr_in(7000, ‘localhost’)
$sock.connect(sockaddr)

def send_msg
begin
$sock.write(“Hello\n”)
rescue StandardError => err
p err
end
end

puts “1”
send_msg
sleep 0.5
puts “2”
send_msg # Should error here.
sleep 0.5
puts “3”
send_msg

Any suggestions? I’m running on Linux, BTW.

Thanks,
Marc

On Jan 22, 2007, at 10:53 AM, Marc S. wrote:

Any suggestions? I’m running on Linux, BTW.

What you are seeing is in the nature of TCP.

After the connection succeeds your server shuts down its end of
the TCP session (i.e. it tells the client that it won’t send any
more data). Since TCP is full duplex, the client-> server part of
the connection is still up and running as far as the client is
concerned.

Your first write stuffs the data in a buffer and returns (with no
error). Shortly thereafter the kernel decides to actually transmit
the data. The server responds with a RESET indicating that it will
no longer accept data on that TCP session. The error is noted by
the kernel and is reported to your client code on the next attempt
to write to the socket (which is now in an error state).

There is no one-to-one mapping of a write call on the socket to
data transmission on the wire for TCP due to buffering. This is
why the first write doesn’t cause the transmit/detect/report of
the error.

Gary W.

On 1/22/07, [email protected] [email protected] wrote:

the data. The server responds with a RESET indicating that it will

Gary,

First, thanks for your answer. I agree with you, however, my
understanding was that after the client side kernel flushes it’s
buffers from the second send(2) (the first send after the server dies)
the server would send a RST back. If I were to go about other
processing and not even touch the socket again I should still receive
and SIGPIPE. Is this not true?

Thanks for your time.
Marc

On Jan 22, 2007, at 10:59 PM, Marc S. wrote:

First, thanks for your answer. I agree with you, however, my
understanding was that after the client side kernel flushes it’s
buffers from the second send(2) (the first send after the server dies)
the server would send a RST back. If I were to go about other
processing and not even touch the socket again I should still receive
and SIGPIPE. Is this not true?

The SIGPIPE is sent when you attempt to write to the socket, not when
the kernel receives the RST. So in your example, the timeline looks
like:

client server

                     listen

connect
accept
abort
<-----------FIN
write
sleep
| ‘hello’ -------->
| <----------- RST
write: SIGPIPE

That is a pretty lame diagram but I hope it clarifies things.

FYI, this is a behavior of the underlying socket abstraction, not
something particular to Ruby.

Gary W.

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