[erlang-questions] gen_server and init

Jesper Louis Andersen <>
Tue Jul 28 11:41:53 CEST 2015

On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:23 AM, Loïc Hoguin <> wrote:

> That is however assuming there are only two processes in your system, and
> everything is well written and pids don't wrap up (which they apparently
> do?)

I don't think adding more processes can tickle a bug which is not found by
two processes here. If I have N processes racing for this, only one has to
go before. Once I know which, I can ignore all the other processes. So the
problem can be reduced to a 2-process model I think.

Pids internally have a 28 bit structure so wrap-around can occur if you
manage to generate 268 million processes, and come around again. It depends
a lot on your internal architecture if this will happen or not in a
practical setting.

The scenario is that an old process might have been holding on to an old
Pid and tries to reuse it and now a new process exist in its name.

268 million sounds way too low on a 64 bit architecture however. There you
have 60 bits rather than 28, so you would not hit any limit at all were
these used. There is some effort in switching over however. If you've hit
these limits, I think it is worthwhile to mention that you did. As systems
grow ever more complicated, earlier ceilings will eventually be hit and
knowing in advance it can happen is nice.

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