Troubleshooting Large, Stalling git/ssh Transfers
Why is git/ssh stalling?
While working with the freebsd-ports repo on github in order to track and combine it with an internal remote repo, it was found to apparently stall during a git push to the internal remote repo. Thinking this was likely a fluke in the network or something, the process was re-executed, but exhibited the same behavior. The OS in this case is FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE-p6.
Identifying the problem started by observing the git process in top which was in a “piperd” wait state. An email thread on freebsd-questions@ suggested the process was waiting on a read from a pipe. I only needed to identify the process it was waiting for.
Using lsof, according to the same reference, one could identify the offending process by matching the hex value of the pipe file descriptor to the piped process, in this case ssh. Attaching truss to ssh showed that it had apparently stalled on a getsockopt() operation.
A web search turned up related results (found in References below) which indicated the likely problem was a bug in OpenSSH related to TcpRcvBufPoll. Explicitly disabling this in sshd_config and restarting the service did appear to work around the problem. Upon re-execution of my git push, the process didn’t stall and completed successfully.
Oddly enough, after working around this, I was unable to duplicate the behavior on the same host later. Therefore, there is some doubt that this was indeed the problem, but I post this anyway as it did appear to successfully work around it.
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