[erlang-questions] Weird problem with "receive after ..."

Ferenc Holzhauser <>
Tue Oct 22 18:20:54 CEST 2013


Thanks for the suggestions and hints.

I think I accidentally found a strange workaround.
Spawned a simple recursive function doing this inside:

receive after 500 -> io:format("~p", [calendar:local_time()]) end

so I can see when exactly it stops working and perhaps find something
around that time in the logs.


Since doing this, I can't reproduce the issue. Now I spawn the function
without the io:format bit (returning ok) and the VM is stable (so far).

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me and I'm really curious to find out
what is happening.
Perhaps someone with better understanding than mine of the internals of
"receive after" has some ideas what situation can deadlock it this way.
Probably there are not many ways to "achieve" that.

Could it be possibly related to SCTP socket handling? Namely that's the
only thing (remote disconnect/reconnect) I could see my application was
doing around when the problem might have happened.

Regards,
Ferenc




On 19 October 2013 21:51, Anthony Molinaro <>wrote:

> I don't know if a work around probably make sure you are running the most
> recent version of virtual box?  And make make sure to give it multiple
> cores.  You could also convert the vm to a different format (like VMware),
> and see if it works better.
>
> -Anthony
>
> On Oct 18, 2013, at 1:29 PM, Ferenc Holzhauser <
> > wrote:
>
> Hi Anthony,
>
> That must be it: it is running in virtualbox indeed. Are you aware of any
> workaround/fix to try? I'm quite attached to this VM setup. Would be great
> if I could make it work reliably.
>
> Ferenc
> On Oct 18, 2013 9:35 PM, "Anthony Molinaro" <>
> wrote:
>
>> Are you running in some sort of virtualized environment.  I seem to
>> recall noticing some oddness with timer:send_interval/2 under VMware at one
>> point, but it's a total guess so may not be your issue at all.
>>
>> -Anthony
>>
>> On Oct 18, 2013, at 11:50 AM, Ferenc Holzhauser <
>> > wrote:
>>
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > On my development system sometimes "receive after..." starts hanging
>> after a while.
>> > I know "sometimes" is not very helpful but I couldn't find any
>> obviously related event yet that might trigger it.
>> >
>> > From that point it stops working in the whole VM e.g. I can type
>> "receive after 10 -> ok end." in the shell and watch it never returning. Of
>> course it also breaks most of the things that need timer.
>> > Normal receive keeps working fine, the issue is related to timeout only.
>> >
>> > It is R16B01 and I'm not using any self made NIFs, drivers or other
>> funny things that could break the VM.
>> >
>> > Thank you for any hints or suggestions about the possible reason/fix in
>> advance.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> > Ferenc
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > erlang-questions mailing list
>> > 
>> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
>>
>
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