Broken pipe with own dict server. Timing issue?

martijn.list martijn.list at
Fri Apr 8 09:52:39 UTC 2016

On 04/08/2016 10:38 AM, Timo Sirainen wrote:
> On 08 Apr 2016, at 11:08, martijn.list <martijn.list at>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have created my own dict server (proxy:[<dict
>> path>]:<destination dict>) to access a proprietary database. The
>> dict server basically creates a listing socket on a separate thread
>> and then waits for incoming requests with accept(handle, NULL, 0).
>> When a request comes in (i.e., when accept returns the accepted
>> socket fd), the request is handed over to a handler thread (from a
>> thread pool). The handler thread then read from the input.
>> The issue that I have is that if the read is done too fast after
>> the accept, Dovecot reports a broken pipe:
>> dovecot: auth-worker(19904): Error: 
>> write(/usr/share/test-server/tmp/test-dict) failed: Broken pipe
> That doesn't make much sense.. Broken pipe means that the other side
> disconnected the socket. A read wouldn't disconnect a socket no
> matter when it was done. I'd say that some bug in your code is
> causing the socket to be disconnected too early. stracing it might be
> helpful.

Yes my bad ... That's why I always assume the bugs are in my own code ;)

It turned out that the hello message was not always send in the same
packet as the next line. Which is understandable. However it's not
directly clear to me when you can assume that all data has been sent. Am
I right to assume that there are always two lines which end with a newline?


H2\t0\t0\tname-of-pipe\nLshared/userdb/martijn.list at\n

In other words can my service stop reading when two lines are received
and close the connection?

It looks like there is not some sort of "END OF DATA" command.

> Oh, and apparently I remembered wrong and the passdb/userdb dict
> lookups are done via auth-workers, so you'd be getting a connection
> from each auth-worker. It would be just one connection per
> auth-worker process though. But they're disconnecting immediately
> after having finished the pending lookups.

Yes I can confirm this. I added some really long delays to slow down the
dict handling and multiple connections were established.

Kind regards,


More information about the dovecot mailing list