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Incidents/2022-11-17 Gerrit 3.5 upgrade

From Wikitech

document status: in-review


Incident metadata (see Incident Scorecard)
Incident ID 2022-11-17 Gerrit 3.5 upgrade Start 2022-11-17 09:00:00
Task T323262 End 2022-11-17 12:00:00
People paged - Responder count 4ish
Coordinators - Affected metrics/SLOs No relevant SLOs exist. Uptime interruptions for 2+ hours
Impact Gerrit was unavailable for almost three hours

An upgrade of Gerrit from 3.4.8 to 3.5.4 was scheduled on November 17th at 9:00 UTC. After the upgrade, the root partition filled up causing Gerrit to no longer be able to write to its indexes. The first symptoms were inability to write a comment or cast a vote. The service got stopped entirely to relocate Gerrit data to a dedicated partition. The upgraded Gerrit was back at 11:45 UTC.


Sal entries mentioning Gerrit on November 17th 2022.

All times in UTC.

The synchronization occurred in #wikimedia-operations. Some specific events related to the service have their timestamps highlighted in bold (##:##).

  • 09:00 Maintenance window starts
  • 09:00 Icinga monitoring is disabled for both gerrit1001 and gerrit2002 hosts
  • 09:04 Deployment to gerrit2002 (replica)
  • 09:07 gerrit-replica on gerrit2002 is upgraded to 3.5.4
  • 09:10 Deployment to gerrit1001 (primary)
  • 09:12 gerrit on gerrit1001 is upgraded to 3.5.4
  • 09:14 Valentin mentions pages only having the header/footer. It is assumed it is a web browser cache issue since it works for others. Antoine witnessed similar issues locally and on WMCS devtools when preparing the upgrade.
  • 09:34 (found after the facts) Outage begins. Indexing stops processing. The root partition is full. Gerrit is unable to write updates made to change in the index.
  • 09:36 After monitoring various metrics for 20 minutes, Antoine (erroneously) claims the service to be operational. Gerrit is still online, reindexing all changes
  • 09:36 Timo reports he is unable to do any write action (submit +2, rebase, remove +2 vote). He get a modal window error stating there is a 500 Internal Server Error. Antoine had not yet checked the logs.
  • 09:40 Antoine reports java.io.IOException: No space left on device. The root partition is full.
  • 09:42 some files are deleted and Antoine suggests moving the cache directory to the larger /srv partition.
  • 09:44 Thiemo Kreuz sends an [| error report on wikitech-l]
  • 09:49 A thread holds a lock on the gerrit_file_diff disk cache org.h2.jdbc.JdbcSQLException: Timeout trying to lock table "DATA"; SQL statement:. On disk there is an extra half written file.
  • 09:52 Antoine stops Gerrit to flush the lock and do a full offline reindex of all changes.
  • 09:56 Various Icinga probes start alerting due to git fetch failing in some units
  • 09:59 Indexing 33% done
  • 10:04 Indexing 72% done (a lot of changes already got reindexed when Gerrit 3.5.4 was up (09:12 to 09:52)).
  • 10:17 Indexing 80% done
  • 10:19 Antoine keeps freeing old files from /srv and from the root partition
  • 10:22 Indexed 684k changes out of 847k
  • 10:43 Indexing 83% done
  • 10:58 Indexing 99% done
  • 10:59 Indexing of changes change has completed with 203 failed task. Disk space errors surfaced, causing the root partition to run out of disk space again.
  • 11:00 The indexing being interrupted, there is nothing locking the caches and Puppet (or systemd) brings back Gerrit. The root partition only has 2GB left.
  • 11:06 Giuseppe offers SRE help and they take over from there
  • 11:10 Filippo mentions there is 80G free in the volume group.
  • 11:11 git_file_diff.h2.db is 8G, gerrit_file_diff.h2.db is 12G
  • 11:17 Giuseppe asks, "should we do a failover?" It is ruled out cause it hasn't been done in a while and seems simpler to give more disk space immediately.
  • 11:26 We have considered flushing the cache but gerrit flush-cache only flushes the in-memory cache. gerrit.war init has a parameter to delete all disk caches but we never used it.
  • Giuseppe and Clément discuss to determine which directory(ies) to relocate and how to do it.
  • 11:26 Clément creates and mounts a 50G lv to host Gerrit data (/var/lib/gerrit2) and starts presync
  • 11:34 Presync is done and Antoine stops Gerrit for last rsync
  • 11:36 Lukasz asks whether a tracking task has been filed. He files task T323262
  • 11:40 Clément rsync of Gerrit data has completed
  • 11:44 /var/lib/gerrit2 is replaced by the rsynced partition
  • 11:45 Clément runs Puppet to bring back the Gerrit service


The first report was at 9:16 by Valentin. He was getting no content beside header/footer in https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/dashboard/self . Same for https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/q/status:open+-is:wip . It was unclear whether it was related and it got dismissed based on browser caches being out of sync.

Timo reports at 10:36 that no write action works. It is when the root partition had filled.

Icinga alerts did not trigger since Gerrit/Upgrade#Deploying asks to put both hosts in maintenance mode, hence none of the probes (such as the disk space check) emit any alarm.

After the fact graphs


  • When a full reindexing of changes, it would probably be better to conduct the upgrade very early in the UTC morning or over the week-end.
  • The upgrade procedure requests to disable the Icinga monitoring at the host level. As a side effect it also disables the disk space checks.
  • The H2 databases have probably been carried over since we originally started Gerrit. It is unclear whether they should be so large. Antoine is puzzled by gerrit show-caches output which reports gerrit_file_diff to have Space: 134.20m but the corresponding H2 database file gerrit_file_diff.h2.db file was 12 GBytes.
  • Relocating the large files to a dedicated partition was the fix

What went well?

  • Nice coordination toward a solution
  • We have plenty of logs and metrics

What went poorly?

  • Monitoring (Icinga) was entirely disabled
  • Antoine was not actively watching the logs after the upgrade
  • The Gerrit variable disk cache files should have been on a larger partition (<root>/srv</root>)

Where did we get lucky?

  • The server had 80G of extra disk space in the volume group letting us quickly relocate the huge files to a fresh new dedicated partition.
  • There were apparently no other issues caused by the 3.4 to 3.5 Gerrit upgrade. It all boiled down to a full partition.

Links to relevant documentation



Incident Engagement ScoreCard
Question Answer


People Were the people responding to this incident sufficiently different than the previous five incidents? Yes
Were the people who responded prepared enough to respond effectively Yes
Were fewer than five people paged? No No people was paged at all.
Were pages routed to the correct sub-team(s)? No No people was paged at all/alerts were disabled.
Were pages routed to online (business hours) engineers?  Answer “no” if engineers were paged after business hours. No No people was paged at all.
Process Was the incident status section actively updated during the incident? No
Was the public status page updated? No Internal people was kept up to date prudently on both Wikitech-l, Slack and IRC
Is there a phabricator task for the incident? Yes
Are the documented action items assigned? No
Is this incident sufficiently different from earlier incidents so as not to be a repeat occurrence? Yes
Tooling To the best of your knowledge was the open task queue free of any tasks that would have prevented this incident? Answer “no” if there are

open tasks that would prevent this incident or make mitigation easier if implemented.

Were the people responding able to communicate effectively during the incident with the existing tooling? Yes Over IRC
Did existing monitoring notify the initial responders? No Monitoring was disabled
Were the engineering tools that were to be used during the incident, available and in service? Yes
Were the steps taken to mitigate guided by an existing runbook? No
Total score (count of all “yes” answers above) 7