Incidents/2019-05-07 opcache

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Starting soon after a routine mediawiki config push to depool a db server, three different appservers each started serving three different nonsense-looking errors:

  • mw1320: ConfigException from line 53 of /srv/mediawiki/php-1.34.0-wmf.3/includes/config/GlobalVarConfig.php: GlobalVarConfig::get: undefined option: 'UseKeyHe`der'
  • mw1256: Error from line 578 of /srv/mediawiki/php-1.34.0-wmf.3/includes/libs/rdbms/database/Database.php: Undefined class constant 'DBO_NOBUFFER'
  • mw1271: Error from line 92 of /srv/mediawiki/php-1.34.0-wmf.3/vendor/wikibase/data-model-serialization/src/Deserializers/StatementDeserializer.php: Call to undefined method Wikibase\DataModel\Deserializers\StatementDeserializer:

The first one of these is an obviously-bogus string. The second one of these is an undefined class constant that has been in the MW code since 2016. The third is similarly an undefined method that has been in the code since 2016.

The believed cause is opcache corruption in PHP7 triggered by race conditions internal to PHP after scap's invaidation of the opcache


Approx. 8000 exceptions/fatal errors thrown over the course of approx. half an hour


Icinga alert on 'MediaWiki exceptions and fatals per minute'


  • 13:45: marostegui depools db1093, scap sync-file db-eqiad.php. Some hosts corrupt their opcache OUTAGE BEGINS
  • 13:47: Icinga reports: PROBLEM - PHP7 rendering on mw1256 is CRITICAL: HTTP CRITICAL: HTTP/1.1 500 Internal Server Error - 539 bytes in 0.041 second response time
  • 13:48: Icinga reports: PROBLEM - PHP7 rendering on mw1320 is CRITICAL: HTTP CRITICAL: HTTP/1.1 500 Internal Server Error - 106015 bytes in 0.181 second response time
  • 13:55: Icinga reports: PROBLEM - MediaWiki exceptions and fatals per minute on graphite1004 is CRITICAL: CRITICAL: 90.00% of data above the critical threshold [50.0]
  • 14:09: cdanis depools mw1320
  • 14:12: cdanis depools mw1271, mw1256 OUTAGE ENDS
  • 14:24: _joe_ destroys php7 opcache on mw1320: php7adm /opcache-free
  • 14:26: Icinga reports: RECOVERY - PHP7 rendering on mw1320 is OK: HTTP OK: HTTP/1.1 200 OK - 75404 bytes in 0.146 second response time
  • 14:44: cdanis destroys php7 opcache on mw1271, mw1256
  • 14:44: Icinga reports RECOVERY - PHP7 rendering on mw1256 is OK: HTTP OK: HTTP/1.1 200 OK - 75405 bytes in 1.031 second response time


Is a partial opcache clear more risky wrt: corruption than clearing the entire opcache?

What went well?

  • automated alerts on PHP7 rendering and logstash fatals detected the incident
  • elukey noticed the above quickly

What went poorly?

  • no PHP7 rendering alert for the wikidata-specific code that was corrupted on mw1271

Where did we get lucky?

  • opcache corruption was not / has not been more widespread or more frequent
  • the nonsense string 'UseKeyHe`der' was a good clue that something like this was to blame

Links to relevant documentation

Where is the documentation that someone responding to this alert should have (runbook, plus supporting docs). If that documentation does not exist, there should be an action item to create it.

  • Previous instance of opcache corruption of interned strings: T221347


Explicit next steps to prevent this from happening again as much as possible, with Phabricator tasks linked for every step.

NOTE: Please add the #wikimedia-incident Phabricator project to these follow-up tasks and move them to the "follow-up/actionable" column.

  • set opcache.validate_timestamps to check opcache-vs-disk timestamps, instead of scap issuing opcache_reset commands Yes Done
  • is scap sync-file with a partial opcache clear more dangerous than clearing the whole opcache?
  • continue work on dbctl, so we need many fewer mediawiki deploys
  • PyBal should check both HHVM and PHP7 backend URLs to determine host health T222705