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Linux client hangs in futex() call during startup

Linux client hangs in futex() call during startup

Ben L.
New member | Level 1

The Dropbox Linux client is hanging during startup on my Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 box. It has worked on this machine before, and unfortunately I don't know what changed now. I have tried wiping out my "~/.dropbox" and "~/.dropbox-dist" directories, and using a fresh download of the client, but the hang persists. The same problem appears using both the 3.0.3 stable build as well as the 3.1.261 experimental build.

Tracing with "strace" reveals that the hang is in a call to "futex(0x295b1e0, FUTEX_WAIT_PRIVATE, 0, NULL)". Attaching a debugger to the hung process shows that we are down in some Python code. Most of the stack frames are either "PyEval_EvalCodeEx()" or "PyEval_EvalFrameEx()". The innermost stack frame is "sem_wait()", called from "PyThread_acquire_lock()".

I'm at a loss how to work around this or debug it further. Any suggestions as to how I can get my Dropbox client back up and running?

13 Replies 13

Chris S.
New member | Level 1

Add centos 6.5 to the list of those OS' having problems... I've tried creating new local accounts and it still gets stuck in the same place. In the new empty accounts, it doesn't even launch the GUI that asks the account questions. It creates several files in .dropbox, including a log file which I can't read (really useful guys...), then freezes. Even with dropbox running, the dropbox.py status returns that it isn't running. This worked a week ago, and I changed nothing.

Bjørn T.
New member | Level 1

Same problem on Arch Linux as of today. I upgraded Dropbox to v3.0.3 and it didnt solve the problem.

Dropbox hangs so badly that I cant even log in to the system. I get a 60 second login timeout. I had to disable the network connection, log in and disable the dropbox service to be able to access the system. There's a bunch of files being created in .dropbox/logs but they're not in plaintext and therefore unreadable.

Geert J.
New member | Level 2

I have the same problem with 3.0.3 on Centos 6.5. I suspect that an old version was silently updated.
My solution is to revert back to 2.10.30 and then make the .dropbox-dist directory read-only to avoid
automatic updates (which will happen!).

Ben L.
New member | Level 1

I'd like to try reverting to an earlier client version, per Geert J.'s suggestion. But where can I find that? Does anyone have a download link for older releases?

Magnus W.
New member | Level 1

The answer to your problems is here: https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/communities/public/questions/201277199-Linux-version-keeps-updating-...

Read the first reply by user Tobias C.

Ben L.
New member | Level 1

Magnus W.'s pointer helped me recreate Geert J.'s workaround, which is working for me too. It's not a real fix, of course, but at least I have some Dropbox client back up and running again. Thank you, Magnus W. and Geert J.!

tim c.7
New member | Level 1

This appears to be the same problem as that reported in https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/communities/public/questions/201559405-Dropbox-3-x-doesn-t-work-on-C... with a number of followups and a possibly simpler way of installing 2.10 and prevent it being updated to fix the problem.

I see the problem in Fedora Core 10 (32 bit) - and I've just tried dropbox version 3.2.9 - unfortunately the fault is still there, same symptoms and an strace reveals it to be apparently the same place. I hope it gets fixed before 2.10 gets locked out, otherwise there'll be no way of running dropbox for anyone with what appears to be significant list of linux distros

Eric S.
New member | Level 1

This seems to be caused by running too old of a version of glib. We depend on at least version 2.22. This dependency version change was caused by the switch from Gtk to Qt. I suggest upgrading to a newer version of your distro.

If that's not an option, the headless Dropbox client might work. Just launch Dropbox with:

DISPLAY= ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

You can then use dropbox.py to control the headless client.

Hannu V.
New member | Level 1

I seem to be having the same issue on Fedora 21 on one of my machines. After dropbox startup, the machine seems to slow down further and further, until the only thing that helps is to kill dropbox. The odd thing is that the process is eating hardly any CPU at all and I haven't perceived any IO waits either when this happens.

One other noteworthy oddity is that it only happens on one of my Fedora 21 machines, the rest of them are unaffected and work just fine with the same dropbox account/version.

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