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“fixing” ESXi “rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util2.c(106) [sender=3.1.2]”

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/08/30

Reminder to self: create a static ESXi binary for a recent rsync release.

Quite a few people have bumped into rsync erroring out with “large” sets of files (where large can be as low as ~1000), like for instance Tj commenting on my post “ESXi 5.1 and rsync – damiendebin.net.”:

ERROR: out of memory in receive_sums [sender] │······
rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util2.c(102) [sender=3.1.1] │······
rsync: [generator] write error: Broken pipe (32) │······

I bumped into this myself as well, even when updating from rsync 3.1.0 to 3.1.2.

There are various static rsync for ESXi around. Just a few of them for completeness:

There is also 3.0.9 (via [Wayback] VMware ESXi 5.1 rsync 3.0.9 statically linked binary erstellen – bachmann-lan.de), but it has a VMFS bug ([Wayback] 8177 – Problems with big sparsed files) as per [Wayback] ESXi 5.1 and rsync – damiendebin.net.)

The good news is that it is fixed in 3.2.2 as a user-configurable setting, but since there is no ESXi build yet (see reminder above)…

Anyway: [Wayback] 12769 – error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) depending on source file system

Wayne Davison 2020-06-26 03:56:35 UTC
I fixed the allocation args to be size_t values (and improved a bunch of allocation error checking while I was at it).

I then added an option that lets you override this allocation sanity-check value. The default is still 1G per allocation, but you can now specify a much larger value (up to "--max-alloc=8192P-1").

If you want to make a larger value the default for your copies, export RSYNC_MAX_ALLOC in the environment with the size value of your choice.

Committed for release in 3.2.2.

This is what happens with 3.1.2 and 3.1.3:

time rsync -aiv --info=progress2 --progress --partial --existing --inplace /vmfs/volumes/Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/ Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/
sending incremental file list
              0   0%    0.00kB/s    0:00:00 (xfr#0, ir-chk=1000/1259)
ERROR: out of memory in flist_expand [sender]
rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util2.c(106) [sender=3.1.2]
Command exited with non-zero status 22
real    0m 0.87s
user    0m 0.10s
sys 0m 0.00s
time rsync -aiv --info=progress2 --progress --partial --ignore-existing --sparse /vmfs/volumes/Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/ Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/
sending incremental file list
              0   0%    0.00kB/s    0:00:00 (xfr#0, ir-chk=1000/1259)
ERROR: out of memory in flist_expand [sender]
rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util2.c(106) [sender=3.1.2]
Command exited with non-zero status 22
real    0m 0.28s
user    0m 0.12s
sys 0m 0.00s
Finished

I was lucky that [Wayback] “rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers” protocol version “3.1.2” – Google Search got me a result so quickly: add a --protocol-29 and you are set.

The first result (Wayback has the results reversed from what got) didn’t fix it. The second did.

  1. [Wayback] 225761 – net/rsync long path causes buffer overflow (update to 3.1.3)
  2. [Wayback/Archive.is] AIX Open Source – IBM Power Systems Community: rsync out of memory

    As a work around, I added “--protocol=29” to one of our servers that was consistently failing with “ERROR: out of memory in flist_expand [receiver]” “rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util2.c(105) [receiver=3.1.3]” in rsync-3.1.3-2.ppc

    I read the man page and started experimenting with the protocol version until I lowered it enough to get it to work consistently.

The problem might be that running on the ESXi gives you limited memory, but then some 10k files should not use more than like half a megabyte of memory.

Sometime I will dig deeper into the protocol version differences, for now a list of files I think will be relevant for that (mainly look for protocol_version):

Some web pages mentioning the --protocol option and might give me more insight in the protocol differences:

With --protocol=29, time estimation is way off, but there are no errors:

time rsync -aiv --info=progress2 --progress --partial --existing --inplace --protocol=29 /vmfs/volumes/Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/ Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/
building file list ... 
9059 files to consider
.d..t...... isos/
         27,593   0%    0.00kB/s    0:00:06 (xfr#1, to-chk=0/9059)   

sent 212,594 bytes  received 268 bytes  20,272.57 bytes/sec
total size is 3,055,677,645,398  speedup is 14,355,204.99
real    0m 13.31s
user    0m 1.35s
sys 0m 0.00s

time /vmfs/volumes/5791a3e1-0b9368de-4965-0cc47aaa9742/local-bin/rsync -aiv --info=progress2 --progress --partial --ignore-existing --sparse --protocol=29 /vmfs/volumes/Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/ Samsung850-2TB-S3D4NX0HA01043L/
building file list ... 
9059 files to consider
>f+++++++++ isos/EN-Windows-XP-SP3-VL.iso
...
cd+++++++++ ESXi65.filesystem-root/usr/share/
216,868,164,639   7%   40.64MB/s    1:24:48 (xfr#2571, to-chk=0/9059)   

sent 216,894,938,870 bytes  received 57,858 bytes  42,582,702.80 bytes/sec
total size is 3,055,677,645,398  speedup is 14.09
real    1h 24m 58s
user    34m 5.59s
sys 0m 0.00s
Finished

Even not on ESXi, there were just a few people bumping into this, so I wonder why there are so few matches on [Wayback] “ERROR: out of memory in flist_expand [sender]” “sender=3.1” – Google Search:

–jeroen

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