[2.2.1]How To Gracefully Shutdown an XML-RPC Server

Andrew Dalke adalke at mindspring.com
Sun Sep 28 03:49:40 CEST 2003

The Jetman:
> Thanx !  I *swear* I always spend at least a couple hours or so looking
> for stuf like this on my own !

The Python Cookbook is an impressive collection of tidbits.

> BTW, I haven't tried it, but I bet os._exit will fail just like
> sys.exit().

Unlikely.  sys.exit actually raises a Python exception,
SystemExit.  This is caught by the XMLPRC server
and converted into a message for the client.

(And this a reason you shouldn't use "except:" in
your code.  Though if you really need it, you should
    except SystemExit:

os._exit uses the C function '_exit' which does an exit
right away, without doing the normal cleanups that
exit(3C) does.  It doesn't raise an exception and cannot
be overriden by other Python code.  (Unless os._exit
was replaced.)

>  Besides the reason for a graceful shutdown is more
> than cosmetic, since a forced shutdown (like a Ctrl-C) may occasionally
> leave the sockets allocated (which *has* happened.)

Let me guess, you quit a server program then restarted
it only to get a "cannot rebind to port" error message?

Ctrl-C raises a KeyboardInterrupt exception and its
effect should be the same as SystemExit, except for a
couple very minor issues.  It isn't the same as using

What you're seeing is a consequence of the code
not properly handling its network resources.  Eg,
it could register an atexit handler which forces
shut all open sockets.

for a description of what's happening at the TCP level.

Even when that happens, it doesn't "leave the socket
[permanently] allocated" in the system level.  If you
wait long enough, the system should release the port.

                    dalke at dalkescientific.com

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