I have already posted some of this in an old thread here, but @jessemonroy650 quickly educated this newbie :) that it is actually preferred to start a new thread.
Like many of you, I was initially excited when I unpacked that shiny new Arduino Yun and my project worked, but later disappointed with the performance of Yun's REST API interface. The project itself is not really important; it's just the usual IoT: control something (in my case a camera, two servos, motion sensor, and relay) remotely over WiFi through a web page. I press a web page button, or type a URL into browser's address bar, or even use curl on the Yun itsef - it doesn't matter which - and the Yun is dog ssllooooowwwww... Between this trigger and the expected effect (e.g, camera moving, or lights turning on) Yun was taking its sweet time - up to 30 seconds! For all practical purposes, my project was useless…
First, I eliminated all obvious reasons (network? check, router? check, interference? none, etc.) then I embarked on an intense Google search, of course, finding that many had similar problems. Among others, the link mentioned above, which contains lots of good advice. I tried this and that. In short, nothing worked. Frustrating…
Yesterday, I set other projects aside and firmly decide to find what's going on with my Yun, no matter what. Where to start? Well, I SSH into Yun and start monitoring the CPU usage:
OK, I see uhttpd, the HTTP daemon, at 0% CPU (good), mjpg_streamer at 0% (good), "top -d1" at 2% (expected), "python -u bridge.py" at 8-10% (a bit high, but perhaps not unusual?), and "/usr/bin/lua /www/cgi-bin/luci" competing with bridge.py for the top spot: once appearing at ~30%, then disappearing, and appearing again, every two seconds. Moreover, its PID is different every time. Hmmm… Is this supposed to be like this? Unfortunately, "I ain't know nuthin'" about web server programming, I'm just a total newbie. :(
Now, from my Internet surfs I already know that LuCI is a web user interface that generates web pages delivered to the user as well as handles REST requests and talks to Arduino's Bridge, written in an exotic programming language called "Lua". Hence, the strange jumping process is definitely spawned by uhttpd and deserves some special attention.
Next, I open my project's web page and press one button (light switch, I think). As expected, the Yun server moves with the "speed of government" ;) but while I wait I closely observe top's output: a second "/usr/bin/lua /www/cgi-bin/luci" comes up at 34%, in addition to the first jumpy one, and stays at the very top for a (long) while, with the same PID. Gotcha! Either this is the culprit, or it waits for something else down the line. So I check this "/www/cgi-bin/luci" thing - it's a script:
#!/usr/bin/lua require "luci.cacheloader" require "luci.sgi.cgi" luci.dispatcher.indexcache = "/tmp/luci-indexcache" luci.sgi.cgi.run()
It uses "/tmp/luci-indexcache", so I "cat" it - it's a binary file, unfortunately. But while displaying the contents of /tmp directory I notice something else - a sub-directory named "luci-sessions". It contains hundreds of randomly named files; each of them stores a session cookies/tokens/whatever. Hundreds? I think about it for a while. Well, my Yun has been up for a while, after all. So I delete all of them (it's /tmp, right?) and press the project's button once again…
Bingo! The lights turn on almost instantly! Well, there is about 1 second delay, but it's infinitely better than before! Wow. That's it, then. LuCI must be busy scanning all the session files, perhaps searching for the right one? (It would be a poor design, if you ask me.)
My joy is short lived, though. I check luci-sessions again and notice new files being generated fast. What the
In my Internet searches on LuCI I found this excellent web page with tutorials. The 6th one is about debugging Lua - definitely well worth checking out. Following its instructions, I temporarily modify the "/www/cgi-bin/luci" script to this:
#!/usr/bin/lua require "nixio" dbg = io.open("/tmp/luci.req", "w") for k, v in pairs(nixio.getenv()) do dbg:write(string.format("export %s=%q\n", k, v)) end dbg:write("/www/cgi-bin/luci\n") dbg:close() require "luci.cacheloader" require "luci.sgi.cgi" require "luci.sauth" luci.dispatcher.indexcache = "/tmp/luci-indexcache" require "luci.debug".trap_memtrace("l", "/tmp/trace") -- (L, not one) luci.sgi.cgi.run()
and repeat the button press. The above generates two debug files: /tmp/trace with per line code trace (but /usr/lib/lua/luci/ codes turn out to be compiled semi-binaries, so trace is not very useful) and /tmp/luci.req - the latter is a jackpot, since it contains the copy of the last GET request. I immediately recognize it, but how could that be? It comes from my Mac, but I am not doing anything! I close my project's web page, check all other tabs in my Safari browser, and make sure no Terminal windows are open… The luci-sessions are still being generated. >:(
In the end, a very careful analysis of Activity Monitor reveals a zombie Safari process, running without GUI, sending REST requests to my Arduino every 2 seconds. :( And since I've been taking an on-line electronics course lately and did not want to lose continuity, I was keeping my Mac either on or in sleep mode for weeks… Mystery explained.
If you survived this long story, up to here, thank you. If you are a newbie, like me, I hope you at least learned how to diagnose LuCI hiccups and will find source(s) of your Yun problems, whatever they might be.