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Fri, 11 Feb 2005

Strange behaviour from liferea - 22:47
I have been using the liferea aggregator for a while now to read news feeds on my laptop. Tonight I noticed my laptop hard disk was doing a disk access every 5 seconds. As I did not have much software open I found this a surprise. In the end I tracked it down to liferea.

Wondering what was causing it I straced the program

[22:35:10] 101 oneiros sjh ~>ps auxw | grep liferea
sjh 26098 0.1 1.9 49256 12416 pts/6 Sl 22:21 0:02 /usr/bin/liferea-bin
[22:35:19] 102 oneiros sjh ~>strace -tt -p 26098 -o /tmp/sout
Process 26098 attached - interrupt to quit
Process 26098 detached
[22:35:59] 103 oneiros sjh ~>egrep -v 'ioctl|gettimeofday|poll' /tmp/sout | less

Which gets rid of the stuff it is doing a lot of and leaves me with the remaining system calls and the time at which they happened. Looking at this there is something obvious happening every 5 seconds that would indeed cause a disk access.

22:36:04.928666 mknod("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", S_IFIFO|0600) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)
22:36:04.928740 open("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK) = 13
22:36:04.928783 read(13, "", 256)       = 0
22:36:04.928812 close(13)               = 0
22:36:09.928930 mknod("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", S_IFIFO|0600) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)
22:36:09.928992 open("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK) = 13
22:36:09.929036 read(13, "", 256)       = 0
22:36:09.929065 close(13)               = 0
22:36:14.929187 mknod("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", S_IFIFO|0600) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)
22:36:14.929253 open("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK) = 13
22:36:14.929296 read(13, "", 256)       = 0
22:36:14.929324 close(13)               = 0
22:36:19.929446 mknod("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", S_IFIFO|0600) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)
22:36:19.929502 open("/home/sjh/.liferea/new_subscription", O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK) = 13
22:36:19.929544 read(13, "", 256)       = 0
22:36:19.929572 close(13)               = 0

It is a named pipe, which could change the behaviour of disk activity but still, under normal circumstances the following would apply.

Because it closes the file every time the disk does a sync. I had a look through the config options for liferea and can not find one to tell it to stop doing that, of course I have the option to look at the source and find out why all this is happening, but for now I think I will just stay annoyed at it. Unless anyone knows how to stop this behaviour?

Update: As mentioned the Liferea emailed me and told me how to disable these updates and it has stopped the disc accesses.

There is a gconf option to disable the checking of this pipe.

If you want to do so set the boolean gconf key /apps/liferea/disable-subscription-pipe

I started up gconf-editor and hey presto there are more configuration options there, and this one worked. Thanks Lars.

[/comp/software] link

Unable to access - 21:49
So around 2:30pm this afternoon something broke on the link between Comindico and Apex (where is hosted) Apex have their downlinks through transact and when I spoke to them on the phone around 4:30pm they said they still had not heard back from Transact as to what was causing the problem. Now, after 9pm something is still broken. From ANU I get the following traceroute output.

[21:54:04] 1 diver sjh ~>traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 38 byte packets
 1  sneakya (  0.371 ms  0.305 ms  0.226 ms
 2 (  0.548 ms  0.436 ms  0.450 ms
 3 (  0.557 ms  0.438 ms  0.456 ms
 4 (  0.557 ms  0.443 ms  0.454 ms
 5 (  1.307 ms  1.303 ms  1.077 ms
 6 (  16.171 ms  14.794 ms  15.102 ms
 7 (  15.485 ms  17.360 ms  15.313 ms
 8 (  28.724 ms  29.073 ms  28.620 ms
     MPLS Label=354 CoS=3 TTL=1 S=0
 9 (  29.312 ms  28.825 ms  28.473 ms
     MPLS Label=350 CoS=3 TTL=1 S=0
10 (  28.359 ms  28.577 ms  28.593 ms
     MPLS Label=442 CoS=3 TTL=1 S=0
11 (  28.346 ms  28.592 ms  28.327 ms
12  * * *

From pretty much everywhere else I get the same endpoint stopping traffic,, which at a guess is the comindico north Canberra gateway or something.

I have written in the past about how annoying it is to be disconnected from my email when is inaccessible. So far with the downtime of around 7 hours it really is starting to get ridiculous. Yes I openly admit to being an Internet addict <g>, and I want my email. That this takes the Bilbys website and a whole bunch of other sites offline on calyx along is just more annoying.

[/comp/internet] link

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