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DNS timeouts

Affected components

  • AppSignal for Ruby gem versions: 2.1.x - 2.3.x (later versions only partially affected, see workarounds)
  • AppSignal for Elixir package versions: 0.10.x - 1.3.x (later versions only partially affected, see workarounds)
  • Systems: In combination with hosts running libc, not musl libc (Alpine Linux). macOS is unaffected.

Description

In version 2.1.0 AppSignal switched to an agent built against the musl libc implementation to support Alpine Linux. Adding support for Alpine Linux we switched our agent build over to musl libc. A DNS issue was fixed in musl libc version 1.1.13, which we included in the next releases of AppSignal integrations.

In Ruby gem version 2.1.1 and Elixir package version 0.11.3 we also tried to fix the known "ndots" DNS issue by hard-coding the DNS servers as a temporary solution. This caused problems with setups that use an private internal network that blocks outgoing DNS requests.

Symptoms

  • No data is being received by AppSignal after an upgrade of our integration to one of the affected versions.
  • No data is being received by AppSignal after an infrastructure change.
  • In our log file, appsignal.log, timeouts are being reported.
  • The application's host is running a non-musl libc system, anything but Alpine Linux.
  • The /etc/resolv.conf configuration file contains entries that contains more than four dots, e.g. namespace.namespace.cluster.two.local. This is true for systems that use kubernetes and similar systems for infrastructure management.
  • The host's (private) network blocks outgoing DNS requests. You can test this by running dig @8.8.8.8 NS push.appsignal.com on the host.

Solution

A complete fix was released in AppSignal for Ruby gem version 2.4.0 and AppSignal for Elixir package version 1.4.0 by providing a separate musl-based build to musl systems. Non-musl systems will use a non-musl agent and extension build.

Upgrade to the latest version of AppSignal for the language your app uses.

Workaround

These workaround are no longer necessary unless you're unable to upgrade to the latest AppSignal version for the language your app uses.

  • The hardcoded DNS servers were reverted in AppSignal for Ruby gem version 2.2.0 and AppSignal for Elixir package 1.3.0. This won't fix the musl libc "ndots" bug, but provides a configuration option for the DNS servers (Ruby & Elixir) if an application encounters into this problem. This allows for a (local) DNS server to be set manually if musl libc can't read the DNS configuration of the host.
  • Allow outgoing DNS requests from within the private network for the machines that have AppSignal installed.
  • If allowing outgoing DNS requests doesn't work, revert back to an older AppSignal integration. Recommended versions:
    • AppSignal for Ruby gem version 2.0.6.
    • AppSignal for Elixir package version 0.9.2.

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