Very frequent : Vacuuming child process timed out for db locking.tdb. Bottleneck?

Amitay Isaacs amitay at
Mon May 26 02:03:10 MDT 2014

Hi Nicolas,

What version of CTDB and Samba are you using?

On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 7:51 PM, Nicolas Ecarnot <nicolas at>wrote:

> Hi,
> In our two-nodes ctdb setup, with an iscsi qdisk lun, the ctdb log files
> are showing frequent message such as :
> Vacuuming child process timed out for db locking.tdb
> Frequency is around every 3 minutes.

This usually means that there is meta-data intensive activity happening in
Samba.  For example if lots of files are opened and closed from Samba,
there will be lots of locking records created and deleted.  These records
are removed cluster-wide via vacuuming.  If vacuuming times out, it means
that the vacuuming process did not finish processing empty records and it
will process them in the next vacuuming cycle.

I read it may be due to too numerous locks to "balance/sync" between the
> nodes (did I read right?) and taking too much time.
> This seems odd to me because we have around 300 users, doing basic office
> work, and not particular intensive activity. This seems classical to me.

This issue may not be related to contention at all, but may be caused by
meta-data intensive workload.

> Our iscsi network is dedicated, and not much loaded.
> My two questions are :
> - Could those error message mean this ctdb setup is LOOSING some locks,
> and thus two users may access read+write the same file (and then corrupt
> it)?

No. Problems in vacuuming will not cause Samba to corrupt files.

Vacuuming is required to remove the deleted records from the cluster.  It
does not affect the proper working of Samba.  Only when Samba has released
the locks, the locking records will be empty and then CTDB has to vacuum
them.  If vacuuming fails, usually it should not matter.  Vacuuming is
triggered every 10 seconds for every database.  So if one run fails,
subsequent runs should continue working.  If vacuuming consistently fails
every time, then it will cause the database sizes to grow very large and
that can become a concern.

> - what do you advice me to look at, or what to bench?

In the latest version of CTDB, there have been significant changes to
improve vacuuming performance.  So if possible, I would recommend using the
latest CTDB.


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