Forum OpenACS Development: ANNOUNCE: NaviServer 4.99.15 available

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Posted by Gustaf Neumann on

I am pleased to announce the availability of NaviServer 4.99.15 (see [1] and [2]). NaviServer 4.99.14 was tested with the newest version of OpenACS on the oacs-5-9 branch and it runs on

In short: this release supports a few new features such as multiple driver threads for listening on the same port (using SO_REUSEPORT when available), allows dynamic connection thread pool mapping, provides better introspection (e.g. statistics from each driver how it was used), provides improved scalability, comes with better documentation and improved portability.

Below are the more detailed changes since 4.99.14:

best regards

NaviServer 4.99.15, released 2017-01-10

 103 files changed, 3497 insertions(+), 1577 deletions(-)

New Features:

 - Multiple driver threads for listening on the same port:

   When OS kernels support SO_REUSEPORT (which is the case on Linux
   since Kernel 3.9, Mac OS 10.3, Solaris 11, *BSD), one can specify
   now multiple driver threads for exactly the same listening address
   (protocol/IP-address/port) via the new config option
   "driverthreads" with a value larger than 1. With this new feature,
   NaviServer supports now for all stages of a request multi-threaded
   execution (driverthreads, spoolerthreads, connection threads, and

   Tests show that even with high number of concurrent clients, one
   can improve the throughput for high numbers of concurrent clients
   slightly (e.g. for 2 driverthreads and 250 concurrent clients, the
   throughput increases by ~9%, see

   Note: When using multiple driver threads on privileged ports, one
   has to add "#" followed by the number of necessary bind operations
   to the prebind address. Otherwise, prebind will bind to the address
   only once, and only one driver thread can be used.

 - Dynamic connection thread pool mapping:
   The new version of NaviServer extends the mapping of requests to
   connection thread pools by making it (a) introspectible and (b)
   dynamic (changeable at runtime). Dynamic thread pool mapping can
   avoid overlong blocking of connection threads by an unexpected peak
   of slow requests by moving these to a separate connection pool.
   For a detailed motivation, see
      The following new subcommands of "ns_server" implement the
   dynamic mapping to connection pools:
        * ns_server ?-server /s/? ?-pool /p/? map ?-noinherit? ?/mapspec/?
       Map HTTP-method and path (mapspec) to a certain pool, or list
       mappings from a pool (when no mapspec is given)
            * ns_server ?-server /s/? mapped ?-exact? ?-noinherit? /mapspec/
       Obtain the pool for a mapspec (HTTP method and path)
            * ns_server ?-server /s/? ?-pool /p/? unmap ?-noinherit? /mapspec/
       Undo previous mapping

 - New commands to obtain network driver information:

     * ns_driver info
       Return per driver detailed configuration information (name of
       module, type of driver, associated server, configured location,
       protocol, address, sendwait recvwait, and extraheaders)
            * ns_driver names
       Return a list of the names of the loaded driver modules.
            * ns_driver threads
       Return a list of the names of the driver threads
          * ns_driver stats
       Return for every driver thread the name of the driver module,
       the number of received requests, the number of spooled
       requests, the partial requests (received via multiple receive
       operations), and the number of errors.

 - Obtain detailed timing results from currently running request

     * ns_conn partialtimes

       Returns detailed timing snapshot about the current
       requests. The result is a dict containing the keys
       "accepttime", "queuetime", "filtertime", and "runtime" (similar
       to the per-pool timing statistics in "ns_server stats")

 - Added debug severity "Debug(nsproxy)" for separate debugging of nsproxy.

Performance Improvements:

 - Move JoinConnThread() out of lock to reduce locking duration and to
   improve scalability.

Bug Fixes:

 - Better error behavior, when prebind fails.
 - Fixed underspecified config file (simple-config does not set
   address, fallback to NS_IP_UNSPECIFIED.

 - Make sure, that URLs produced by urlspace's walk callbacks are
   proper list elements.

 - Make startup more robust, when called with invalid arguments.

 - nsproxy:
     * Don't reset timeout for for reaper when slaves already expired
     * Improve debug messages

 - Improve forward compatibility to forthcoming Tcl 8.7 (fixed bug in
   Tcl's Memory allocator; Zoran).

 - configure: Align behavior when "--with-openssl" is specified
   without arguments vs. when it is not specified (--with-openssl is
   activated per default). Previously, pkg-config was only looked at
   when "--with-openssl" was specified.

Documentation improvements:

 - Improved sample config files
    * added new config parameters
    * document parameter "listenbacklog"
    * make simple-config working with default installed tree (activate
      .adp parsing)

 - Improved inline documentation about usage of
   Tcl_FindExecutable(argv[0]) (before fork vs. after fork)
    - Improved/new documentation pages of
    * admin-maintenance
    * ns_cgi
    * ns_conn
    * ns_connchan
    * ns_driver
    * ns_filestat
    * ns_http
    * ns_httpopen
    * ns_itcl
    * ns_parseargs
    * ns_register
    * ns_sendmail
    * ns_server
    * nssock
    * nsssl
    * nsv

  - more consistent capitalization:
    * use Tcl instead of TCL
    * use HTTP (or HTTPS) instead of http (or https).

C API Changes:

 - Additional argument for reuseport for Ns_SockBind(),
   Ns_DriverListenProc(), Ns_SockListenEx(), Ns_SockBindUdp(), and
Configuration Changes:
 - New parameter for drivers (e.g. nssock)
   * Boolean Parameter "reuseport": When the parameter is set and
     SO_REUSEPORT is supported by the os, NaviServer will allow
     multiple listen operations on the same port (default: false)

   * Integer Parameter "driverthreads": set to a value > 1 when
     multiple driver threads should be used (default: 1). When
     multiple driver threads are configured, parameter "reuseport" is
     automatically set to "true".

 - New Boolean parameter "mutexlocktrace" for section "ns/parameters":
   When this parameter is set to true, timing of long mutex calls are
   printed to stderr.

 - Improve configurability: Allow to pass alternative implementation
   of CPPCHECK to "make"

Command Line Changes:

 - Value provided to prebind option (-b) can be extended by a suffix
   "#n", where n is the number of pre-bound sockets (when e.g. multiple
   driver threads are used on privileged ports)

Code Changes:

 - Extended regression tests
    * ns_conn.test
    * ns_driver.test
    * ns_server.test
    * ns_adp_compress.test (fixed compatibility with lib version >
      1.2.8, which leads to different encoding)

 - Driver reform: make distinction explicit between driver type
   (e.g. "nssock"), driver name (e.g. "nssock1"), and driver thread
   name (e.g. "nssock1:1")

 - Moved definition of type "bool" from ns.h to nsthread.h to make
   boolean types as well available in nsthread implementation.

  - Improve compilation under windows:
     * don't pass "const char*" as member dest of Ns_ObjvSpec
     * add compatibility type "suseconds_t" for windows
     * define NS_NAVISERVER fro windows (no configure script)
     * move conditional definition of P_tmpdir after the .h files are
     * fix type in macro PTR2UINT in windows code

 - Further Tcl cleanup
   * Replaced remaining Tcl_CmdProcs into Tcl_ObjCmdProcs
   * Reduced usage of Tcl_AppendResult()

 - Don't mess around with FD_SETSIZE
 - Don't use implementation defined NULL as last argument of variadic functions
 - Reduced size of huge switch statements
 - Reduced variable scopes
 - Reduce number of return statements before end of function
 - Added const declarations
 - Use "unsigned short" consistently for ports
 - Align argument names in prototypes and function definitions
 - Silenced static checker


 - nsdhcpd, nsdns, nsldapd, nsradiusd, nssip, nssmtpd, nssnmp,
   nssyslogd, nstftpd, and nsudp: Aligned function definitions with
   ns.h due to changes in


   Note: Not all of these drivers are aligned yet with IPv6 interfaces.

 - nssyslogd: Added support for IPv6.
 - nsstats:
    * Added statistics for driver usage
    * Added Page for showing urls mapped to connection threads pools
    * Added information about driver threads