1

So before I take my axe and destroy my Desktop I will try asking here :-)

I have a socket activated service named commander.service. Because of simplicity I just want to push bare strings or chars to this service.

So I have a commander.socket file:

[Socket]
ListenFIFO=/run/commander.sk

[Install]
WantedBy=sockets.target

Then I have a commander.service file:

[Unit] 
Description=A service reading commands from the given socket

[Service] 
ExecStart=/usr/bin/perl /root/commander.pl
StandardInput=socket
User=root 
Group=root
Restart=no

[Install] 
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Now I expect that the script I run there is receiving these strings or chars over stdin.

The script's code is:

#!/usr/bin/env perl

my $in = *STDIN;
my $out  = *STDOUT;

$out->print("My printing reaches the outside world\n");

while($_ = <$in>) {

    $out->print("Received: ");
    $out->print($_);
    $out->print("\n");


    if($_ == "1") {     
        $out->print("I should run the command associated with 1 ;-) \n");       
    } elsif($_ == "2") {
        $out->print("I should run the command associated with 2 ;-) \n");
    } else {
        $out->print("Oh! did someone just try to trick me?\n");
    }

}

$out->print("And I'm gone!\n");

As usually stdout should talk to the journal, I also expect that the printing there will reach the journal.

So now the thing is:

When I do:

echo "1" > /run/commander.sk

The commander.service is being activated, but in the journal I can only see the log:

Dez 22 03:18:25 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 03:31:32 phantom systemd[1]: Stopping A service reading commands from the given socket...
Dez 22 03:31:32 phantom systemd[1]: Stopped A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 03:31:41 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.

Which means the printing never reaches the outside world... The stopping occurse manually when I updated something and reinstalled the setup as it should be.

I know when I call the command.pl script in the console, it does work as expected. Reading the stuff from stin and talking back to stdout.

I also know that some hours ago, when I had more misconceptions about how it should work, the printed output did actually reach the journal...

And I did nothing in my knowledge which could alter where stdout goes to. The most important thing I did in the meantime was to figure out that I most probably need the

StandardInput=socket

line, to receive the socket as stdin.

As I'm fighting with that now for the second day and pulling my hairs out all the way and starting to become agressive towards my furniture^^ Any help would be really really appreciated :-)

Anyways the current code is atm online at: https://github.com/JhonnyJason/pull-deploy-commander-service

UPDATE When using

StandardInput=socket
StandardOutput=journal

The service script is like activly running forever, but not giving me any output on the journal.

Commenting both lines results in nothing being read from stdin but I have at least stdout in the journal. Also the service becomes activated again and again until systemd refuses to restart it.

Here is the Log @04:05:58 running with those lines commented out. @04:25:07 running with those lines

Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4687]: My printing reaches the outside world
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4687]: And I'm gone!
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4689]: My printing reaches the outside world
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4689]: And I'm gone!
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4691]: My printing reaches the outside world
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4691]: And I'm gone!
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4693]: My printing reaches the outside world
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4693]: And I'm gone!
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4695]: My printing reaches the outside world
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom perl[4695]: And I'm gone!
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: commander.service: Start request repeated too quickly.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: Failed to start A service reading commands from the given socket.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: commander.service: Unit entered failed state.
Dez 22 04:05:58 phantom systemd[1]: commander.service: Failed with result 'start-limit-hit'.
Dez 22 04:25:07 phantom systemd[1]: Started A service reading commands from the given socket.
  • Download and install a straitjacket. – Tomasz Dec 22 '16 at 3:24
  • lol ^^ that won't work either the insanity is not the problem :D – Lenny Dec 22 '16 at 3:53
4

So I have a commander.socket […]
Then I have a commander.service […]

… and you are writing in Perl.

Perl is the locus of your problem. It's nothing to do with systemd. All of this mucking about with unit settings that you are doing is irrelevant, with the exception that you must either specify StandardInput=socket or write your service to use file descriptor #3.

Your service has its standard input connected to your FIFO, and its standard output and error connected to a stream socket (/run/systemd/journal/stdout, talking to the journal).

Because your standard input/output file descriptors are not terminal devices, Perl is not line buffering nor unit buffering their I/O; it is fully buffering it.

Not explicitly switching to unit buffering ("autoflush") when standard output is not a terminal device, but it is somewhere (such as a log) where you want to see the output as soon as it happens, is a very common Perl mistake.

So turn on unit buffering by making standard output "hot"/"autoflush".

Further reading

  • Thanks man! :D manually calling $out->flush(); and the output reaches the journal as expected :D – Lenny Dec 22 '16 at 15:52
  • Anyways I indeed asked myself why I'm using perl here anyways^^... well the thing is that I use it to avoid high-level bashscripting. Is it recommended to use Python instead here? In the process of this Problem I thought about it several times. But due to my lacking knowledge about perl buffering, I did not think for real that the perl script was the Problem. – Lenny Dec 22 '16 at 16:01

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