inn 2.4.3 segfaults in certain incoming.conf situations

Bill Davidsen davidsen at
Sat Jun 23 13:55:17 UTC 2007

Marc Haber wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 12:00:56PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:
>> my inn 2.4.3 (installed packages from Debian etch) segfaults in some
>> situations depending on the _order_ or entries in incoming conf.
> I have more issues with my incoming.conf now. While inn generally
> starts up fine, it frequently (but not always) crashes on "ctlinnd
> reload incoming.conf". Sometimes, it logs "SERVER '}' unexpected line
> 236 in /etc/news/incoming.conf" before crashing, but it does not do
> this always. Just restarting inn works fine.
> I have put up my incoming.conf for download on
> and would
> appreciate if no newsgroup lists and/or peer names would end up in a
> public archive. I am going to remove this file soon.

Whenever I see "sometimes" regarding INN, I think hardware, because INN 
is pretty deterministic, and blowing up every now and then on the same 
input data is unlikely. Therefore I would look at hardware to see if 
something is on the edge of reliability and failing under the load of 
startup activity.

The other possibility is that there is an address (or several) which 
produce DNS misbehavior. INN having some lightly traveled code paths in 
the "DNS did something unexpected" area seems at least possible if not 
likely. If you can monitor the network traffic between your DNS server 
and INN at startup you might gain some useful insight.

The code doesn't change, the incoming.conf doesn't change, therefore 
something else does. It could be hardware related, it could be timing 
related (unlikely), or it could be DNS. DNS is probably the easiest 
thing to check.

bill davidsen <davidsen at>
  CTO TMR Associates, Inc
  Doing interesting things with small computers since 1979

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