[syslog-ng] OT: why does writes to /dev/log block?

Balazs Scheidler bazsi at balabit.hu
Wed Jun 15 09:39:40 CEST 2005

On Wed, 2005-06-15 at 11:35 +1200, Jason Haar wrote:
> Hi there
> I just reinstalled my Fedora workstation recently and hadn't moved over 
> to syslog-ng like I normally do - so this is a question about syslog really.
> In the past two days I've come in to find my workstation fairly screwed 
> up by the syslog daemon being hung/broken. It would be running, but not 
> working any more.
> Anyway, as  the socket file /dev/log exists, all apps that write to 
> syslog were also hung! So I had my mail server screwed, cronjobs unable 
> to finish, etc, etc. Simply stopping the syslog daemon caused my load 
> average to jump to 40+ whilst all the pent-up processes started working 
> again :-) I guess once the socket file disappeared under them, they just 
> carried on nicely...
> So - am I right in saying  /dev/log blocks, and is there some way at an 
> application layer to limit how long a process attempts to write to 
> syslog before giving up? I know an alarm around the syslog call should 
> work - but is that the only way?

Basically, this is how it was designed to work. The syslog() call in
libc uses a blocking call to send messages to syslogd, if the socket is
opened (e.g. syslogd is running) then there's no timeout involved.


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