[erlang-bugs] R15B01 erlang:now() jumping ~24 days into the future

Vance Shipley <>
Tue Mar 12 14:09:18 CET 2013


C
On Mar 5, 2013 6:56 AM, "Garret Smith" <> wrote:

> I have been beating my head against a wall for weeks tracking down spooky
> behaviour[sic] in one of our production systems.  I finally tracked it down
> to "jumps" in the times returned by erlang:now(), causing all timers in the
> system to expire at once.  I have witnessed this bug on R15B01, both 64 and
> 32-bit versions running on Windows Server 2008 R2, both on bare metal and
> VirtualBox VM.
>
> The time jump is always around 2126000 seconds, or a little over 24 days.
> The now() time does not try to converge with os:timestamp() as the
> documentation suggests, and as I confirmed it does if you just change the
> system clock.
>
> Another VM running concurrently on the same machine but with little load
> (diagnostic node & production node) did not time jump.
>
> Higher load seems to make the time jumps happen more often.
>
> Frequency between time jumps varies between seconds and hours, but when a
> jump occurs, it is always 2126000 + (9 to 26) seconds.
>
> I never see the jump in logfile timestamps that use os:timestamp() for
> tagging log messages.  I had to start tracing a production node before I
> caught the jump.  Here are some lines from a trace, where the timestamp in
> trace_ts is printed using calendar:now_to_local_time() and then in raw
> tuple format:
>
> 2013-4-16 21:40:1.993399|{1366,173601,993399}
> 2013-4-16 21:40:1.993400|{1366,173601,993400}
> 2013-5-11 12:13:41.986961|{1368,299621,986961}
> 2013-5-11 12:13:41.986962|{1368,299621,986962}
>
> then a bit later...
>
> 2013-5-11 12:36:19.955129|{1368,300979,955129}
> 2013-5-11 12:36:19.955130|{1368,300979,955130}
> 2013-6-5 3:9:49.538830|{1370,426989,538830}
> 2013-6-5 3:9:49.538833|{1370,426989,538833}
>
> I captured many such jumps over the course of a day or so.  Obviously from
> the dates, 2 jumps happened before I started tracing.
>
> I was able to reproduce the bug, though not as efficiently as my
> production system, with the following sample program:
> https://gist.github.com/garret-smith/5087169
>
> It took over an hour of runtime before the first time jump.  I am working
> on a better way to reproduce it at the moment, but it's hard to test the
> test with a bug so intermittent.
>
> I am also testing various other VM versions.  My first hope was that this
> was limited to the 64-bit version where we first encountered the problem,
> but a change to the 32-bit version has only made the problem happen less
> often, not eliminated it.
>
> We never saw this bug with R14B03 which we were running previously to
> R15B01.  However, system load is different so I can't make a direct
> comparison.  I did notice a few significant updates to the Windows time
> related code between R14B03 and R15:
>
> git log sys_time.c
>
> commit 46eb4359b05b220861453a869dc734480ec045a6
> Author: Patrik Nyblom <>
> Date:   Tue Dec 6 19:07:16 2011 +0100
>
>     Emulate localtime, gmtime and mktime to enable negative time_t
>
> commit 913f05af100e98a8665bbb6168e89fbcfe4ece75
> Author: Bj<C3><B6>rn-Egil Dahlberg <>
> Date:   Fri Dec 2 15:25:06 2011 +0100
>
>     Teach windows sys_localtime_r
>
>
> I am completely stumped.  What can I do next to help track down the source
> of the bug?
>
> Thanks,
> Garret Smith
>
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> 
> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-bugs
>
>
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