Mysterious delay in Python module loading (fwd)

Bob Kline bkline at
Wed Jan 9 14:54:45 EST 2002

On Tue, 8 Jan 2002, Bob Kline wrote:

> On Tue, 8 Jan 2002, Tim Peters wrote:
> > Are you running a virus scanner on this machine?  Some interfere
> > enormously with file operations.
> Both machines are running the same virus software, controlled by the
> network domain admin.  I'll push some more to make sure they can
> confirm that the configuration of the two is identical, and I've
> tried temporarily disabling the virus software on the problem
> machine, without any noticeable effect on the the problem.

Bingo!  Both machines were indeed running the same virus software, and
the systems administrator had set the scripts which control the servers
to have both configured identically for the that software, but the
policy server apparently failed in its attempt to set the properties on
one of the machines at some point.  My attempt to disable the virus
software also apparently failed (silently), presumably because I am not
a member of the domain admin group (I mean, it appears to have failed
for that reason; I can't think of a good reason why it should do so
silently :->} ).

When I had the systems administrator manually set McAfee to scan
incoming files but not outgoing files, the test repro case dropped from
382 seconds to 2 seconds!  So McAfee was introducing an astounding
amount of overhead (1900%), which explains why it was taking Python so
long to find modules.  I don't know how frequently this problem occurs
in the wild, but its effect was severe enough that someone might
consider putting the explanation in the FAQ database.

Many thanks for all the very excellent and helpful suggestions.  Kudos
and extra bonus points to hitting-the-nail-on-the-head-ly Tim!


Bob Kline
mailto:bkline at

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