After a recent upgrade, avahi-daemon is not starting up anymore. Furthermore, the behaviour differs whether if I redirect stderr to a file or not.

If I run avahi with the debugging option (avahi-daemon --debug), I get the following output:

Found user 'avahi' (UID 84) and group 'avahi' (GID 84).
Successfully dropped root privileges.
avahi-daemon 0.6.32 starting up.
Failed to chroot(): Permission denied
chroot.c: chroot() helper started
chroot.c: chroot() helper got command 0d
avahi-daemon 0.6.32 exiting.
chroot.c: chroot() helper got command 0c
chroot.c: chroot() helper exiting with return value 0

If I add stderr IO-redirection (avahi-daemon --debug 2>avahi.stderr), I get different behaviour:

On the terminal (stdout), I get

File size limit exceeded

and avahi.stderr now contains

Found user 'avahi' (UID 84) and group 'avahi' (GID 84).
Successfully dropped root privileges.

But, no avahi-process is running.

When I just redirect 2>/dev/stdin, I get the same behaviour as without redirection.

Corresponding strace-outputs:

strace avahi-daemon --debug:

Due to size limitation in stackexchange, this one is in a pastebin: http://paste.pound-python.org/show/J1sYeeXcKYKlHxN6QAX0/

strace avahi-daemon --debug 2>strace.out (with File size limit exceeded on stdout):

Due to size limitation in stackexchange, that one is in a pastebin: http://paste.pound-python.org/show/VpFokjSr6kmNAA98s4Y6/

And my environment (output of env, my non-root-username has been censored) is this:

Due to size limitation of stackexchange, this one is in a pastebin: http://paste.pound-python.org/show/3s9Qo1WVMB6mLtf15pXp/

Version of avahi: avahi-daemon -V prints avahi-daemon 0.6.32.

About the configuration:

% ls -la /etc | grep avahi
drwx------   3 root     root       4096 Mar  9 13:29 avahi

% ls -la /etc/avahi
drwx------   3 root root  4096 Mar  9 13:29 .
drwxr-xr-x 242 root root 20480 Mar  9 13:29 ..
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root  2509 Feb 19 13:52 avahi-autoipd.action
-rw-r--r--   1 root root  1747 Feb 19 13:52 avahi-daemon.conf
-rw-r--r--   1 root root  1747 Dec 25 18:22 avahi-daemon.conf.pacnew
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    38 Mar  9 13:25 avahi-daemon.conf.pacsave -> /usr/local/etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root  2743 Feb 19 13:52 avahi-dnsconfd.action
-rw-r--r--   1 root root  1121 Feb 19 13:52 hosts
drwx------   2 root root  4096 Mar  9 13:29 services

Well, /usr/local/etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf is the configuration I usually use, it has been replaced during update. If I use that configuration, I get the same behaviour, and it doesn't matter if /etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf is a regular file in-place or a symlink.

Here, I post the content of /etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf as it has been for creating this question:

# This file is part of avahi.
# avahi is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
# under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as
# published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the
# License, or (at your option) any later version.
# avahi is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
# ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY
# License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public
# License along with avahi; if not, write to the Free Software
# Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307
# USA.

# See avahi-daemon.conf(5) for more information on this configuration
# file!

#browse-domains=0pointer.de, zeroconf.org





I use Arch Linux, with OpenRC (i.e. no systemd), and the behaviour is the same whether I use the package avahi or avahi-nosystemd. I had some problems with avahi before, such that it first did run and then crashed.

What might be going on here?

  • @Rui F Ribeiro: Done. – Golar Ramblar Mar 9 '16 at 13:43
  • Seeing that /etc/avahi/ was only accessible by root, canging the permissions to be accessible for everyone solved that problem. – Golar Ramblar Mar 9 '16 at 13:44

The solution:

/etc/avahi/ needs to be accessible by avahi-daemon after it dropped root priviledges.

So, /etc/avahi/ and all subdirectories should have mode 755, and all files mode 644, while they stay owned by user root and group root.

  • 1
    Thanks, Rui F Ribeiro, after thinking about your comment I see (the comprimised process can change the configuration files, for example, such that at the next start it can be started with a modified configuration). – Golar Ramblar Mar 9 '16 at 14:10

Related to another mentioned issue, you get a "File size limit exceeded" error from avahi-daemon because it sets its file size rlimit to 0 in its configuration, and your redirection to a file creates a file with a size larger than zero.

To disable this, comment out the rlimit-fsize=0 in avahi configuration, i.e.

  • Don't know why avahi-daemon is flaky in my centos6.9 container but yeah starting with "avahi-daemon --debug --no-rlimits" works around the problem. In my case "failed to start chroot() helper daemon." was a red herring, it reports that even when it successfully starts. – jamshid Jun 28 at 16:04

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