[erlang-questions] {error,timeout} with gethostbyname

info info@REDACTED
Tue Sep 29 11:35:58 CEST 2009

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 06:21:30PM +0200, info wrote:
> Ok.
> According to this information, I followed by hand the code (not easy ...) until:
> inet_gethost_native:gethostbyname("my_host",inet) which returns {error,timeout}
> This function calls getit(1,1,"my_host") but I don't know how to simulate it : it calls Pid ! {{self(),Ref}, Req} 
> After I am lost ... there is do_open_port(get_poolsize(),get_extra_args()) ?

Yep. You would probably not want to go further...

inet_gethost_native is a server that keeps a port program written in C,
erts-5.7.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe, source in erts/etc/common/inet_gethost.c
for doing the actual calls to gethostbyname().

inet_gethost_native will compose a query, send it to the port program,
the port program will dispatch it to one of its worker threads,
wait for the answer, reply, and inet_gethost_native presents an answer.

You can, if you run werl not from cygwin, activate a debug console.
1 > inet_gethost_native:control({debug_level,99}).
2 > inet_gethost_native:gethostbyname("foo").

Command 1 > pops up a debug console, here is my content after 2 >:
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):debug_level = 99
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Got data on index 0.
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Got data from erlang.
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):OPeration == 1.
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Saved domainname .
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Created worker[2232] with fd 3822312
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Saved domainname .
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[2232] (DEBUG):Worker got data on message que.
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[2232] (DEBUG):Worker got request, op = 1, proto = 1, data = foo.
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[2232] (DEBUG):Starting gethostbyname(foo)
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[2232] (DEBUG):gethostbyname OK
C:\PROGRA~1\ERL57~1.1\ERTS-5~1.1\bin\inet_gethost.exe[452] (DEBUG):Got data on index 1.

Number 3 and 2 from the end says gethostbyname(foo) was
called and returned OK. The data is then passed up to
the waiting inet_gethost_native and converted to hostent tuple.

The last lines for me are:

- got on index 0
- got data from erlang
- OPeration == 3
- Stalled worker

Do you have DNS or other name resolving configured on some other
interface in your machine that may cause lookup failure and timeout?

- My Hosts file has only one line:   localhost
- Wins is disabled
- Only one DNS server, one Domain controller (no replication) = same machine
- AD could be damaged ?
- I have another network connection but it is desactivated: could this one disturbed ?
- What else ?

You can also increase the timeout that inet_gethost_native uses
to wait for an answer, to see if there is a very late answer
after all. inet_db:set_timeout(15000) will give you a timeout
of one minute instead of 8 seconds default. inet_gethost_native
uses 4 times that value in milliseconds as timeout.

- I tried it but {error,timeout} comes before the end !

> First some words about the history of these dark corners
> of name resolution in Erlang, especially for Windows.
> In the beginning Erlang tried to mimic how Unix OS:es
> does name resolution by parsing files in the same way
> as the OS. This turned out to be very hard to get
> correct for all dialects, and impossible for Windows,
> so the native resolver was introduced and is now
> default for Erlang. It uses the native OS calls
> gethosbyname(), gethostbyaddr(), getipnodebyname()
> getipnodebyaddr(), getaddrinfo(), getnameinfo() et.al
> on different OS:es so Erlang will behave as any other
> application on the OS.
> The building blocks used in the old way are still there,
> inet_hosts, inet_res+inet_dns, and inet_db plus inet_config
> and more does a lot of strange things to both be backwards
> compatible and still useful...
> OK, then, let's move on.
> On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 07:26:49PM +0200, info wrote:
>  > Please find a lot of questions in order to undertand the process for understanding how erlang is working with the DNS data.
>  > 
>  > When erl is starting, the inet_db is built: correct ?
> Yes.
>  > When erl stops, the inet_db is destroyed: correct ?
> Well of course; it is in memory only, and it is not written anywhere.
>  > Q: from which information does erl build this db ? from the DNS data ? if yes, which file or database or other source ?
> For short name distribution mode and no distribution mode,
> almost nothing is initialized.  inet:gethostname() is
> called, which calls the OS function gethostname().
> If it returns a FQDN, the domain is taken from that.
> The lookup method is set to 'native'.
> Then a check is made; if the hostname can not be
> looked up through the 'native' lookup method:
>    Add 'file' as a lookup method to use after 'native'.
>    If the domain is not set; add as an
>       address of the hostname to the 'file' method.
>    If the domain is set; try to look up the FQDN
>    through the 'native' lookup method, if that succeedes;
>       add the resolved IP address and aliases to the 'file' method.
>    If the FQDN lookup fails, add as above.
> This fixup of the 'host' method is done to ensure
> that the own hostname can be looked up.
> For long name distribution mode (windows), load configuration from
> windows registry:
> \hklm\system\CurrentControlSet\Services\TcpIp\Parameters\
> varibles:
> DataBasePath, Domain, DhcpDomain, EnableDNS, NameServer and SearchList.
> The DataBasePath is used to read a Unix style "hosts" file.
> There are more variables that should be read, I guess, 
> for example DhcpNameServer.
> After this the same check as for short name mode is done,
> to maybe patch in the 'file' lookup.
>  > Q:which module in erlang does that ?
> inet_config through inet_db.
>  > Q:is it possible to "follow" it ? 
> Er,... what do you mean "follow".
>  > Q:In my case  inet_db doesn't contain the domain name: normal ?
> Since gethostname() on Windows apparently returns the short
> hostname, it is normal.
>  > Q:With the native option, which default information I should find in this db ?
> As above. With the -sname or no name option, you should only
> get 'hostname' initialized. With the -name option you should
> get more, probably res_domain maybe res_search, if this data
> is in the registry.
>  > You suggested this workaround:
>  >  inet_db:add_ns({127,0,0,1}).
>  >  inet_db:set_domain("my_domain.local").
>  >  inet_db:add_search("my_domain.local").
>  >  inet_db:set_lookup([file,dns]).
>  > Q:Does it mean that this information are missing in my inet_db ?
>  > *******
>  > Correct:
>  > inet:gethostbyname("my_host").
>  > {ok,{hostent,"my_host",[],inet,4,[{127,0,0,1}]}}
> Well, since 'native' lookup is supposed to work, not really,
> but yes... for 'dns' lookup it is missing. In the best of
> worlds this could be read from the registry, but on neither
> of my (Windows 2003, Windows XP) machines is the nameserver
> in the registry...
> Oh, and you got the wrong answer there, the lookup order
> should probably be [dns,file] (my mistake). You got the
> loopback address from the 'file' method instead of
> the external IP address from the 'dns' method.
> Does inet:gethostbyname("www.google.com") work with
> this configuration?
>  > 
>  > In fact I try to use erlang in order to find what is wrong in my DNS data. There are too much info on google about name resolution ...
> It appears DNS is working for you as both nslookup and
> a sufficiently configured inet_res can look up names
> through DNS. It is some other part of the name server
> in your OS configuration that fails.
> Have you looked at this:
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323380
> esp. "How to Configure Forwarders".
> ...or...
> I just looked at my 2003 server, anid under Start -  > My Computer
> (right click) -  > Properties [Computer Name] there is a
> "Full computer name:" and a "Domain:" configured.
> Under Start -  > Control Panel -  > Network Connections -  >
> Local Area Connection (right click) -  > Status,
> Properties, Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), Properties,
> I have set which DNS servers to use. This might
> be what makes native lookup work for me.
> :
> -- 
> / Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB


/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list