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Bug 384452 - wiki seizing up repeatedly wiki seizing up repeatedly
Product: website
Classification: Infrastructure
Other All
: Normal major
: ---
Assigned To: Wiki maintainers
Wiki maintainers
Depends on:
Reported: 2006-12-10 18:29 UTC by Ross Golder
Modified: 2008-02-06 15:37 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: ---

Description Ross Golder 2006-12-10 18:29:45 UTC
Over the last day or two, I've had to restart the '' wiki python process several times. See

I noticed while investigating that we were running moinmoin 1.5.5a. On checking the moinmoin site, it seems they have since released 1.5.6, which fixes a couple of infinite loop bugs, which I thought might have been causing this. As I don't have the time right now (or much experience) to debug the python process running the moinmoin wiki, I have simply upgraded it to see if that would fix the problem.

I haven't had to restart it since (touch wood), but it does still seem to run a lot slower than the other two wikis hosted on the server ( and, so I suspect that bugfix wasn't the magic bullet in this case.
Comment 1 Olav Vitters 2006-12-10 21:19:19 UTC

I think the following URL causes the hang in just on thread:

This will stop just that thread from working. Eventually (because the
user keeps refreshing), all threads stop working and the entire site is

The URL I gave is the link when you click the 'Braille' text on:

I've added the user requesting that page ( to iptables,
cause I'm not sure how to avoid it cleanly. If moinmoin stays alive,
then above URL is the cause and it is time to file a bugreport.
Comment 2 Thilo 2006-12-12 23:00:29 UTC
Well there are different possibilties:

a) surge protection limits:

b) Ip blocking with hosts_deny
(under Overview of configuration options)

I think surge protection would be a more general solution that would work with different Ip adresses trying teh same thing.

I have not played with it yet because I had not seen such problems in my wikis, yet. 

Hope this helps.
Comment 3 Thilo 2006-12-12 23:02:27 UTC
So you would have to set another value for 

        'fullsearch': (5, 60),

I think.
Comment 4 Olav Vitters 2006-12-12 23:17:49 UTC
Surge protection does not help. As I read it, this '5, 60' means 5 requests per 60 seconds. The problem is that just one requests disables the thread for a very long time (while maxing the CPU).
Instead of something like hosts_deny I was thinking of a .htaccess, but due to the setup this isn't possible. Could've changed the apache server config, but ehr.. iptables was a bit easier (I like that the IP address is removed when someone reboots).
Comment 5 Thilo 2006-12-17 23:02:09 UTC
I suggest somebody that works on it comes to our IRC channel. Info at Maybe we can help there.

Comment 6 Ross Golder 2006-12-18 00:54:35 UTC
The upshot of a brief look at the problem on #moin is that we added the 'MoinMoin.util.thread_monitor' to the python process, so next time it starts getting bogged down we can add a '?action=thread_monitor' to a request to generate a thread dump showing the state of the 101 processes and attach it to this bug report for review.
Comment 7 Ross Golder 2006-12-23 12:08:50 UTC
From an e-mail on gnome-infrastructure from Jeff Waugh:

<quote who="Thilo Pfennig">

> > Is this running in twisted mode?  It would be good if it is running with
> > Python 2.5

Not yet -- when I set it up, I used the threadpool simple server, just as a
simple starting point.

We have a couple of choices:

 * Stick with the separate moin web server process but shift to the Twisted
   implementation (I'd prefer to keep running the app like this, personally,
   but twisted and new versions of python are going to be troublesome on our
   platform -- better to stick with what's packaged and supported)

 * Shift to mod_python -- does RHEL ship with mod_python?

- Jeff
Comment 8 Thilo 2008-02-06 04:07:41 UTC
Is this still a problem?
Comment 9 Olav Vitters 2008-02-06 15:37:21 UTC
Problem is gone. The default GNOME theme prevents people from doing these intensive searches. Further, mod_python is used.