Ten minute hacks: Process pause & resume

I’m old school and still rocking an old X220 laptop because I didn’t like the new ones. My battery life isn’t as great as I’d like it to be, but it gets worse when some “webapp” (which I’d much rather have as a native GTK+ app) causes Firefox to rev my CPU with their websocket (hi gmail!) poller.

This seems to happen most often on planes or when I’m disconnected from the internet. Since it’s difficult to know which tab is the offending one, and since I might want to keep that tabs state anyway, I decided to write a little shell script to pause and resume misbehaving processes.

After putting it into my ~/bin/ and running chmod u+x ~/bin/pause-continue.sh on it, you can now:

james@computer:~$ pause-continue.sh firefox
Stopping 'firefox'...
[press any key to continue]
Continuing 'firefox'...
james@computer:~$ echo $?        # error codes work iirc

The code is trivially simple, with an added curses hack to make this 13% more fun. It sends a SIGSTOP signal initially, and then when you press a key it resumes it with SIGCONT. Here it is the code.

You should obviously substitute in the name of the process that you’d like to pause and resume. If your process breaks because it didn’t deal well with the signals, then you get to keep both pieces!

This should help me on my upcoming travel! I’ll be presenting some of my mgmtconfig work at DevConf.cz, FOSDEM and CfgMgmtCamp.eu! CfgMgmtCamp will also have a short mgmt track (looking forward to seeing Felix present!) and we’ll be around to hack on the 8th during fringe (the day after the official camp) if you’d like help to get your patch merged! I’m looking forward to it!

Happy hacking!


Debugging golang programs

I’ve been writing a lot of golang lately. I’ve hit painful problems in the past. Here are some debugging tips. Hopefully they help you out. I bet you don’t know #2.

#0 Use log.Printf:

This should go without saying, but I’m ashamed to say it’s what I use the most. We’ve only been C programming for 44+ years, and it’s still what is most useful!

#1 Use go run -race:

Since many problems are caused by random races, ensuring you use the built-in tools will help you catch some problems. One of these is a race detector. You can use it by adding the -race flag to the go run, go build or go test commands. In practice, it only ever caught beginner issues, and it hasn’t set off any alarms since. Maybe I need to write more test cases! Maybe you need to write more test cases!

#2 Use Control+Backslash:

Say what? If you press control+backslash, you will cause a core dump. Example:

james@computer:/tmp$ sleep 42h
^\Quit (core dumped)

Obviously there are nicer ways to kill a process (I for one, welcome our robotic overlords) but in times of emergency, use what you’ve got. The interesting thing, is that when you do this to a golang program, you’ll get much more interesting output:

james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ ./mgmt run --file examples/graph0.yaml 
16:19:26 main.go:65: This is: mgmt, version: 0.0.2-6-g6e68d6d
16:19:26 main.go:66: Main: Start: 1455571166809588335
16:19:26 main.go:196: Main: Running...
16:19:26 main.go:106: Etcd: Starting...
16:19:26 etcd.go:132: Etcd: Watching...
16:19:26 configwatch.go:54: Watching: examples/graph0.yaml
16:19:26 etcd.go:159: Etcd: Waiting 1000 ms for connection...
16:19:26 main.go:149: Graph: Vertices(2), Edges(1)
16:19:26 main.go:152: Graphviz: No filename given!
16:19:26 main.go:163: State: graphNil -> graphStarting
16:19:26 main.go:165: State: graphStarting -> graphStarted
16:19:26 file.go:340: File[file1]: Apply
^\SIGQUIT: quit
PC=0x482a53 m=2

goroutine 0 [idle]:
runtime.futex(0xecae00, 0x0, 0x7f6f5dd8fde8, 0x0, 0x0, 0x4828ac, 0x3c, 0x0, 0x43392b, 0xecae00, ...)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/sys_linux_amd64.s:289 +0x23
runtime.futexsleep(0xecae00, 0x0, 0xdf8475800)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/os1_linux.go:56 +0xf0
runtime.notetsleep_internal(0xecae00, 0xdf8475800, 0xc820000900)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/lock_futex.go:171 +0x12b
runtime.notetsleep(0xecae00, 0xdf8475800, 0x0)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/lock_futex.go:191 +0x6b
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/proc1.go:3022 +0x4aa
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/proc1.go:715 +0xe8
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/proc1.go:685 +0x72

goroutine 1 [select]:
    /home/james/code/mgmt/main.go:48 +0x5da
    /home/james/code/mgmt/main.go:198 +0x779
github.com/codegangsta/cli.Command.Run(0xb4e9d8, 0x3, 0x0, 0x0, 0xc8200799d0, 0x1, 0x1, 0xb4e9d8, 0x3, 0x0, ...)
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/github.com/codegangsta/cli/command.go:127 +0x1052
github.com/codegangsta/cli.(*App).Run(0xc8200a8500, 0xc820074100, 0x4, 0x4, 0x0, 0x0)
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/github.com/codegangsta/cli/app.go:159 +0xc2f
    /home/james/code/mgmt/main.go:283 +0xced

goroutine 17 [syscall, locked to thread]:
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/asm_amd64.s:1721 +0x1

goroutine 21 [syscall]:
    /usr/lib/golang/src/os/signal/signal_unix.go:22 +0x18
created by os/signal.init.1
    /usr/lib/golang/src/os/signal/signal_unix.go:28 +0x37

goroutine 22 [select]:
main.run.func2(0xc82011c0f0, 0xc820122040, 0xc82011a5d0, 0xc82011e130, 0x5, 0xc820076360, 0xc82011e010)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/main.go:110 +0x1061
created by main.run
    /home/james/code/mgmt/main.go:168 +0x60c

goroutine 23 [select, locked to thread]:
runtime.gopark(0xc8a258, 0xc82002e728, 0xb4ec08, 0x6, 0x18, 0x2)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/proc.go:185 +0x163
runtime.selectgoImpl(0xc82002e728, 0x0, 0x18)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/select.go:392 +0xa64
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/select.go:212 +0x12
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/signal1_unix.go:227 +0x353
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/asm_amd64.s:1721 +0x1

goroutine 7 [select]:
    /home/james/code/mgmt/file.go:156 +0x15f4
main.(*Graph).Start.func1(0xc82011e010, 0xc820010b80)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/pgraph.go:558 +0x7e
created by main.(*Graph).Start
    /home/james/code/mgmt/pgraph.go:560 +0x171

goroutine 25 [select]:
main.ConfigWatch.func1(0xc82009db40, 0x14, 0xc820076660)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/configwatch.go:74 +0x13c8
created by main.ConfigWatch
    /home/james/code/mgmt/configwatch.go:153 +0x67

goroutine 26 [sleep]:
    /usr/lib/golang/src/runtime/time.go:59 +0xf9
main.(*EtcdWObject).EtcdWatch.func1(0x7f6f5c512c20, 0xc82009db80, 0xc820122040, 0xffffffffffffffff, 0xc820076360, 0xc820072af0)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/etcd.go:160 +0x7db
created by main.(*EtcdWObject).EtcdWatch
    /home/james/code/mgmt/etcd.go:205 +0xc2

goroutine 27 [chan send]:
main.(*EtcdWObject).EtcdChannelWatch.func1(0x7f6f5c512c78, 0xc820122140, 0x7f6f5c512ca0, 0xc8200786d0, 0xc8200766c0)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/etcd.go:109 +0xd9
created by main.(*EtcdWObject).EtcdChannelWatch
    /home/james/code/mgmt/etcd.go:111 +0x7b

goroutine 34 [syscall]:
syscall.Syscall6(0xe8, 0x4, 0xc82018dc24, 0x7, 0xffffffffffffffff, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/syscall/asm_linux_amd64.s:44 +0x5
syscall.EpollWait(0x4, 0xc82018dc24, 0x7, 0x7, 0xffffffffffffffff, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/syscall/zsyscall_linux_amd64.go:365 +0x89
gopkg.in/fsnotify%2ev1.(*fdPoller).wait(0xc820146000, 0xc89a00, 0x0, 0x0)
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify_poller.go:85 +0xbc
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify.go:179 +0x1af
created by gopkg.in/fsnotify%2ev1.NewWatcher
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify.go:58 +0x315

goroutine 8 [select]:
    /home/james/code/mgmt/types.go:362 +0x31a
main.(*Graph).Start.func1(0xc82011e010, 0xc820010b60)
    /home/james/code/mgmt/pgraph.go:558 +0x7e
created by main.(*Graph).Start
    /home/james/code/mgmt/pgraph.go:560 +0x171

goroutine 31 [syscall]:
syscall.Syscall6(0xe8, 0x9, 0xc8201f7c24, 0x7, 0xffffffffffffffff, 0x0, 0x0, 0xc82017c440, 0xc82017c420, 0x15)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/syscall/asm_linux_amd64.s:44 +0x5
syscall.EpollWait(0x9, 0xc8201f7c24, 0x7, 0x7, 0xffffffffffffffff, 0x1, 0x0, 0x0)
    /usr/lib/golang/src/syscall/zsyscall_linux_amd64.go:365 +0x89
gopkg.in/fsnotify%2ev1.(*fdPoller).wait(0xc82009dcc0, 0x8000, 0x0, 0x0)
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify_poller.go:85 +0xbc
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify.go:179 +0x1af
created by gopkg.in/fsnotify%2ev1.NewWatcher
    /home/james/code/src/gopath/src/gopkg.in/fsnotify.v1/inotify.go:58 +0x315

rax    0xfffffffffffffffc
rbx    0x7f6f5dd8fde8
rcx    0x482a53
rdx    0x0
rdi    0xecae00
rsi    0x0
rbp    0x0
rsp    0x7f6f5dd8fdb0
r8     0x0
r9     0x0
r10    0x7f6f5dd8fde8
r11    0x246
r12    0x7ffec7010a4f
r13    0x7f6f5dd90700
r14    0x800000
r15    0x0
rip    0x482a53
rflags 0x246
cs     0x33
fs     0x0
gs     0x0

I find this particularly useful when you have a “stuck” goroutine. Killing the program usually makes it easy to find where everyone was waiting. AFAIK, everything is ordered by most recently used at the top. You’re welcome!

#3 Use a real debugger:

There is a GDB like golang debugger called “delve“. It’s probably something I would use more often, except I haven’t needed that much power, and it still has a number of rough edges. I’m sure if you could help improve that, it would help out the project. There was a talk at FOSDEM about it. If we’re lucky, we’ll eventually get video. I’m “looking forward” to using it more in the future.

Hope this helped,

Happy Hacking!


PS: The “other” slash, isn’t called “forward slash”, it’s just called “slash”

PPS: Yes, I say “golang”, no “go”. I think it’s shitty that google basically ripped off the go! name. I guess David lost this one.

Upcoming speaking

I’ve got a few upcoming speaking engagements. If you’ll be attending one of these events, come see me or any of the other excellent speakers!

Please remember to check the official schedules in case there are any changes!

I’ll be speaking at the Brussels CentOS Dojo:

Automated Infrastructure Testing with Oh-My-Vagrant
…and the CentOS CI

Time/date unconfirmed: I’ll be showing some CI tricks, and showing you how the CentOS CI is the perfect CI for multi-machine test environments.


I’ll be speaking at FOSDEM:

TL;DR on legal strategy for commercial ventures
An abridged review of legal strategy and licensing issues for commercial ventures and enterprises

30/Jan/2016 (Saturday) @ 18:00: I’ll be giving my first ever “legal” talk!


Oh, My! Oh-My-Vagrant (with live demos!)
Oh-My-Vagrant development environments for hackers

31/Jan/2016 (Sunday) @ 16:30: A short Oh-My-Vagrant talk with a few live demos.


I’ll be speaking at Config Management Camp:

Next Generation Config Mgmt
A prototype for a next generation config management tool, and the specific problems this design solves.

02/Feb/2016 (Tuesday) @ 11:00: I’ll be introducing my magnum opus for 2016. Particularly excited about this presentation.


I’ll be speaking at DevConf.cz:

Next Generation Config Mgmt
A prototype for a next generation config management tool, and the specific problems this design solves.

06/Feb/2016 (Saturday) @ 14:00: I’ll be repeating the same presentation from Config Management Camp, but with renewed enthusiasm!


If you want to hack on something or talk about tech, I’ll be at the above mentioned events, so feel free to ping me or contact me.