[Mono-list] Long-running services

Brion Vibber brion at pobox.com
Sun Jan 22 16:07:48 EST 2006

Ben Maurer wrote:
>>> I know that there are a number of popular programs that are being developed in 
>>> Mono, but I can't seem to find much precedent at the service/daemon/server 
>>> level. Can anybody confirm that Mono is up to this challenge, or should I wait 
>>> a bit? If so, what milestone would I be looking for? 
> I'd also point out that Wikipedia uses Mono as the backend for their
> search engine. They chose Mono after trying both a java/gcj/classpath
> based implementation and a c# one, finding that Mono's vm provided
> greater stability.

On the search daemon, the main problems I've had have been when memory or file
descriptors become exhausted. If you can avoid that, and don't trip any runtime
bugs ;) it seems steady as a rock and will run for hours, days, or a couple months.

In some places we've had memory leak problems under Mono but I suspect these are
from bugs in the dotlucene port's handling of index updates. (It's known to have
some such problems.) Since I only seem to be able to reproduce it after several
hours under Wikipedia's load level it was hard to debug and I've just put off
the live index updates feature...

A more minor issue is that setting up for standard Unix-style daemon operation
seems tricky. There is a runner for 'services', but it's not well documented.
For the moment we use a hacky little shell script and a PID file which usually
works for basic start/stop/restart behavior where you don't need a clean shutdown.

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com / brion @ wikimedia.org)

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