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Posts Tagged ‘posix signals’

This is part 2 in my occasional AnyEvent series

As we already discovered, signals don’t work in Strawberry Perl [on Windows]. As they are so useful, we really want a way to emulate them. I can think of a few approaches, but the most obvious is to have a userspace "kernel" sitting on a socket which all processes register with.

The kernel will respond to a few commands

register: [args]
list_processes           # ps :)
signal: [pid] [message]  # similar to kill, but more flexible

A quick disclaimer: for the sake of brevity, I’ve omitted authentication and error handling.

Kernel Code

The server again uses AnyEvent and start_listen(), prepare_handler() and _accept_handler() should look pretty familiar.

Twiggy uses AE::io and checks errno for its conditions. I guess this is done for speed as AnyEvent::Handle is much easier to use.

sub watch_socket
{
    my ($self, $sock) = @_;

    # Closure variables
    my $pid = -1;

    my $handle; $handle = AnyEvent::Handle->new(
        fh  => $sock,
        on_error => sub {
            say "Error: $! (PID $pid)";
            $handle->destroy;
        },
        on_eof => sub {
            say "Disconnected (PID $pid)";
            delete $self->{watchers}{$pid};
            $handle->destroy;
        },
    );

    $handle->push_read(line => sub {
        my ($handle, $command) = @_;

        DEBUG && say "Received [$command]";

        # valid commands are:
        #     register: [args]
        #     list_processes
        #     signal: [pid] [message]

        if ($command =~ /^register:\s+(.+)/) {
            my $args = $1;
            $pid = ++$self->{pid};
            $self->register_watcher($handle, $pid, $args);
            # Don't set on_drain(...)
            return;
        } elsif ($command eq 'list_processes') {
            $self->list_processes($handle);
        } elsif ($command =~ /^signal:\s+(\d+)\s+(.+)/) {
            my ($pid, $message) = ($1, $2);
            $self->send_signal($handle, $pid, $message);
        } else {
            say 'Error: unrecognised command';
            $handle->push_write("Invalid command [$command]" . ${cr});
        }

        # For all commands apart from register, we want to close the
        # socket after sending the response which we do by setting
        # on_drain(...)
        $handle->on_drain(sub { $handle->destroy(); });
    });
}

register_watcher

register_watcher stores the handle and the information about the process in the object. It informs the process which PID has been given to the process. (I am still considering the registering process sending $$ to use as the PID).

sub register_watcher
{
    my ($self, $handle, $pid, $args) = @_;
    DEBUG && say "Registering [$args] (PID $pid)";

    $handle->keepalive(1);
    $self->{watchers}{$pid} = { handle => $handle, args => $args };
    $handle->push_write("Connected.  (PID $pid)" . ${cr});
    # on_read(...) needs to be set, otherwise disconnects from the
    # client side are not always detected
    $handle->on_read(sub { });
}

list_processes

list_processes gives a process list of processes that are registered with the kernel. This is similar, but uglier to ps(1).

sub list_processes
{
    my ($self, $handle) = @_;

    foreach my $pid (sort { $a <=> $b } keys %{$self->{watchers}}) {
        my $args = $self->{watchers}{$pid}{args};
        $handle->push_write("$pid: $args" . ${cr});
    }
}

send_signal

send_signal looks up the handle belonging to the process in $self->{watchers}. If it is registered, it is possible to send any message to the process, otherwise it returns an error message. I’ve added special handling to a disconnect message, allowing

This is the dangerous bit. kill(1) has some protection in that you are only able to send signals to processes you own (unless you are root). The implementation, as presented here, allows anyone who can telnet to the kernel port to send any message to any process that is registered. It would be necessary to add a layer of authentication and process ownership if the goal really was to provide something similar to unix signals.

sub send_signal
{
    my ($self, $handle, $pid, $message) = @_;

    if (! exists($self->{watchers}{$pid})) {
        say "Error: PID $pid does not exist";
        $handle->push_write("PID $pid does not exist" . ${cr});
    } else {
        my $process = $self->{watchers}{$pid}{handle};
        $process->push_write('signal: ' . $message . ${cr});
        if ($message eq 'disconnect') {
            delete $self->{watchers}{$pid};
            $process->on_drain(sub { $process->destroy(); });
        }
    }
}

kernel.pl – complete source

#!perl

use 5.010;

use strict;
use warnings;

package Kernel;

use constant DEBUG => $ENV{KERNEL_DEBUG};

my $cr = "\015\012";

use AnyEvent;
use AnyEvent::Handle;
use AnyEvent::Socket;

sub new
{
    my $class = shift;
    my $self = { pid => 0, watchers => {} };
    bless $self, $class;
    return $self;
}

sub register_watcher
{
    my ($self, $handle, $pid, $args) = @_;
    DEBUG && say "Registering [$args] (PID $pid)";

    $self->{watchers}{$pid} = { handle => $handle, args => $args };
    $handle->push_write("Connected.  (PID $pid)" . ${cr});
    $handle->on_read(sub { });
}

sub list_processes
{
    my ($self, $handle) = @_;

    foreach my $pid (sort keys %{$self->{watchers}}) {
        my $args = $self->{watchers}{$pid}{args};
        $handle->push_write("$pid: $args" . ${cr});
    }
}

sub send_signal
{
    my ($self, $handle, $pid, $message) = @_;

    if (! exists($self->{watchers}{$pid})) {
        say "Error: PID $pid does not exist";
        $handle->push_write("PID $pid does not exist" . ${cr});
    } else {
        my $process = $self->{watchers}{$pid}{handle};
        $process->push_write('signal: ' . $message . ${cr});
        if ($message eq 'disconnect') {
            delete $self->{watchers}{$pid};
            $process->on_drain(sub { $process->destroy(); });
        }
    }
}

sub watch_socket
{
    my ($self, $sock) = @_;

    # Closure variables
    my $pid = -1;

    my $handle; $handle = AnyEvent::Handle->new(
        fh  => $sock,
        on_error => sub {
            say "Error: $! (PID $pid)";
            $handle->destroy();
        },
        on_eof => sub {
            say "Disconnected (PID $pid)";
            delete $self->{watchers}{$pid};
            $handle->destroy();
        },
    );

    $handle->push_read(line => sub {
        my ($handle, $command) = @_;

        DEBUG && say "Received [$command]";

        if ($command =~ /^register:\s+(.+)/) {
            my $args = $1;
            $pid = ++$self->{pid};
            $handle->keepalive();
            $self->register_watcher($handle, $pid, $args);
            return;
        } elsif ($command eq 'list_processes') {
            $self->list_processes($handle);
        } elsif ($command =~ /^signal:\s+(\d+)\s+(.+)/) {
            my ($pid, $message) = ($1, $2);
            $self->send_signal($handle, $pid, $message);
        } else {
            say 'Error: unrecognised command';
            $handle->push_write("Invalid command [$command]" . ${cr});
        }

        $handle->on_drain(sub { $handle->destroy(); });
    });
}

sub prepare_handler
{
    my ($fh, $host, $port) = @_;
    DEBUG && warn "Listening on $host:$port\n";
}

sub _accept_handler
{
    my $self = shift;

    return sub {
        my ($sock, $peer_host, $peer_port) = @_;

        DEBUG && warn "Accepted connection from $peer_host:$peer_port\n";
        if (! $sock) {
            warn '$sock undefined' . "\n";
            return;
        }

        $self->watch_socket($sock);
    };
}

sub start_listen
{
    my ($self, $host, $port) = @_;

    $self->{server} = tcp_server($host,
                                 $port,
                                 $self->_accept_handler(),
                                 \&prepare_handler);
}

package main;

my $host = undef;
my $port = 12345;

my $kernel = Kernel->new();
$kernel->start_listen($host, $port);

AE::cv->recv();

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Having had a couple of surprising experiences with third-party perl modules using signals on windows, I decided to test them to see how extensive support is. As mst points out, it is good to have confidence in your chosen platform.

Here is my test program.

#!/usr/bin/env perl

use 5.010;

use strict;
use warnings;

say '#', scalar(keys %SIG), ' signals';

my %skip = map { $_, 1 } qw(STOP TSTP TTIN TTOU);

foreach my $sig (sort keys %SIG) {
    next if (exists $skip{$sig});

    my $pid = fork();
    if (! $pid) {
        sleep 1;
        say "$sig failed!";
        exit 0;
    }

    say "Testing $sig (on $pid)";
    kill $sig, $pid;
    my $catch = wait();
    say "($sig) $catch exited...\n";
}

I fork a new process (presumably this is a pseudo-fork piggy-backing on a thread instead of a process in windows, but it is something people might write if they weren’t aiming at portability to windows), and then I try and send it a signal using kill. If the kill fails, then we get a message.

On Linux, this works pretty well as you would expect, signalling both from the parent and from within the child (suiciding?). A few signals unsurprisingly didn’t cause the child to abort: CHLD, CLD, CONT, FPE, NUM32, URG, WINCH and a few needed to be skipped. However, it was consistent from run to run.

The tests on Windows varied from run to run. The first run aborted on the first signal (SIGABRT appropriately enough).

jared@win32 $ ./signal-test.pl
#26 signals
Testing ABRT (on -3628)
Terminating on signal SIGABRT(22)

The next one ran through to SIGFPE.

jared@win32 $ ./tsig2.pl
#26 signals
Testing ABRT (on -268)
ABRT failed!
(ABRT) -268 exited...

Testing ALRM (on -1440)
ALRM failed!
(ALRM) -1440 exited...

Testing BREAK (on -2596)
BREAK failed!
(BREAK) -2596 exited...

Testing CLD (on -3464)
CLD failed!
(CLD) -3464 exited...

Testing CONT (on -2360)
CONT failed!
(CONT) -2360 exited...

Testing FPE (on -3508)
Terminating on signal SIGFPE(8)

And the third ran through to SIGBREAK.

jared@win32 $ ./tsig2.pl
#26 signals
Testing ABRT
ABRT failed!
(ABRT) -3548 exited...

Testing ALRM
ALRM failed!
(ALRM) -2800 exited...

Testing BREAK
Terminating on signal SIGBREAK(21)

*sigh*. Well, that is pretty disappointing. I had a bunch of other signal related tests I was thinking about doing but there seems little point. I always think of Perl as a fairly platform-agnostic wrapper around the underlying OS, but it looks like I was seriously mistaken.

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