What is the Scoreboard?
ScoreboardFile is used by
proftpd for tracking
information for each current FTP session. It is necessary for things like
The utility programs (
ftptop) read the scoreboard and
display its information.
proftpd handles its scoreboard: There is a default
proftpd will use for writing its scoreboard
var/proftpd/proftpd.scoreboard). This default path depends on
how you install proftpd (i.e. if you install from source and use the
configure option, the default path will be adjusted to
honor your --prefix). However, you can also explicitly tell the daemon what
location to use for its scoreboard using the
configuration directive in your
the daemon starts up, it looks to see if there is a scoreboard already there;
if there isn't, it makes a new one.
The most common error encountered when opening the scoreboard is:
unable to open scoreboard: No such file or directoryThis usually means that
proftpdis trying to open a
ScoreboardFilein a directory that does not exist. Some packages fail to create the needed directory; this will result in the error message above. If you cannot find your
ScoreboardFile, you should try explicitly configuring the path to the file to use in your
proftpd.conf, using the
ScoreboardFileconfiguration directive, and then obtaining debugging output from your
proftpd, to see if the daemon ran into problems using that defined location.
In proftpd-1.3.4rc1, a new
ScoreboardMutex directive was added.
This file is used as a mutex for starting/ending sessions, for improving
performance under load; see Bug#3208 for the technical details. The default path (usually
ScoreboardMutex should suffice. If you need to explicitly
configure a different
ScoreboardMutex file, make absolutely
sure that you do not place the file on a networked filesystem. Your
performance will suffer greatly if you do.
What's in the Scoreboard?
What types of information about each session is tracked in the scoreboard? What else is recorded in the scoreboard?
ScoreboardFile records the following information about
STORfor uploads, etc), the amount of data transferred so far, and percentage of transfer completed (for downloads only).
Scrubbing the Scoreboard
There is a bad habit among system administrators of using
`kill -9' to kill a misbehaving process. Any process that is
terminated this way, though, does not have a chance of properly shutting down.
Administrators would use
`kill -9' on some of
proftpd's session processes, which means that they would not be
able to remove their entries from the
ftptop would show sessions
that no longer existed.
The chance of changing this bad habit in system administrators is slim, so
proftpd was changed to check the
periodically. It will scan the entire file, and for each scoreboard session
listed, it asks the operating system if that session process is still alive.
If the answer is no, the entry is removed from the file. This process is
known as "scrubbing".
By default, this scrubbing process occurs every 30 seconds. For busy/heavily
loaded sites, this scrubbing interval might be too short; heavily loaded
servers are more likely to encounter lock contention issues between sessions
trying to update their scoreboard entry and the daemon trying to scrub
the scoreboard. Such sites are advised to use
configuration directive. This directive can be used to turn on or off
the periodic scrubbing, or to set a different scrub interval. The following
shows some examples of
# The default is to use scoreboard scrubbing, at the default interval ScoreboardScrub on # If we are busy server, we might want to turn off scoreboard scrubbing # entirely ScoreboardScrub off # Scrubbing is acceptable, but have it happen every 5 minutes instead ScoreboardScrub 300
Note that if scoreboard scrubbing is turned off, the
ScoreboardFile can still be scrubbed on demand, either by using
mod_ctrls_admin's "ftpdctl scoreboard scrub" action, or by using the
ftpscrub command-line utility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why doesn't
proftpd create the needed directories, if they're not there, when opening the scoreboard?
Answer: The short answer is because that is the job of the system administrator, not the application. The long reason is that
proftpd does not know the filesystem layout being
used, and does not know what sort of permissions should be given to any
directories it might need to create for its scoreboard.
Question: Can I copy my scoreboard from one server to another?
ScoreboardFiles cannot be
copied from server to server; they are specific to that particular
In the same fashion, you should not try to place the scoreboard on an NFS
filesystem. First, attempting to share the scoreboard is not supported, and
will only lead to trouble. Second, NFS does not support file locking, which
proftpd requires for handling the scoreboard.
Question: Why do I see "scrubbing scoreboard" in my debugging output?
Answer: These debug messages indicate when the
proftpd daemon is scrubbing the
Question: Our site has many connections, and
it looks like the logins/sessions are slow. Analysis shows that the
session processes are all waiting/competing for the
However, be aware that using this trick causes the following to
Question: What should I do if I see this error in my
ScoreboardFile. What can be done to fix this?
Answer: One particular trick to use for this situation is to use
For one site which tried this configuration,
proftpd was able
to function without complaining about using
/dev/null as the
ScoreboardFile, the system load dropped dramatically, and
the FTP sessions were no longer slow.
error opening scoreboard: bad version (too old)
Answer: This error usually only happens for servers
proftpd.conf files. It indicates that the existing
ScoreboardFile is using a format which is too old for the running
code. The fix is simple: delete that old
daemon will automatically create a new scoreboard in the correct format.
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However, be aware that using this trick causes the following to NOT work:
Question: What should I do if I see this error in my logs: