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GPG failing, Obnam killed


From: Martin Hoßbach <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:04:35 +0200

   I keep running into weird behavior of obnam. I have a suspicion as to
   the cause, but  I still have to ascertain that. For now, I'll describe
   what is happening, describe my suspicion and hopefully somebody else
   has seen that as well.
   Two things keep happening:
   * From time to time, without any obvious regularity, obnam simply
   shuts down. Output is "terminated", nothing else. I'm not sure in what
   state that leaves the repository, though.
   * From time to time, the backup is interrupted, and obnam complains
   that it GPG failed, because gpg-agent wasn't there.
   At first, I thought this was caused by low memory, or a full /tmp,
   since I run obnam on an odroid XU4. However, the pattern I start to
   see, and which seems to be confirmed by my log files is that this
   happens when obnam is running while I logout on that system (from ssh,
   by the way). I strongly suspect that this is caused by $CURSEWORD
   systemd and its $OTHER_CURSEWORD maintainer, who seems to find it ok
   to change default behaviour. $THIRD_CURSEWORD.
   Sorry about that.
   A few months ago, the systemd default behavior was changed to kill all
   remaining processes by a user once that user logs off. Which,
   obviously, could mean that a running obnam or gpg-agent would be
   killed as well. Apparently, setting KillUserProcesses=no in
   /etc/systemd/logind.conf is supposed to change this behaviour of
   systemd to the way unix systems have behaved in decades. I still need
   to wait for a lengthy backup to finish before I can logout of that
   system, and check if that actually solved the matter.
   obnam-support mailing list
From: Martin Hoßbach <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:42:10 +0200

   So, I can now confirm this. In some cases, I run obnam from within a
   screen session (because I want to be able to observe it, but want to
   be able to log out, obviously). I was able to reproduce this problem
   by starting obnam and then repeatedly logging in and out via ssh.
   Setting KillUserProcesses=no in /etc/systemd/logind.conf did not change this.
   Enabling "lingering" for user root did, though. gpg-agent is no longer
   killed after logout, and obnam runs through normally.
   I hope this information is useful. It certainly confirmed why I don't
   like systemd.
   obnam-support mailing list
From: Lars Wirzenius <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:48:29 +0300

   On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 08:42:10AM +0200, Martin Hoßbach wrote:
   > [ systemd complaints ]
   I don't feel that the language you used (curse words) was appropriate
   for this forum. I am grateful that you used metacursewords rather than
   full ones, but still, this is hardly the forum for complaining that
   things not directly under Obnam's purview changed and you don't like
   the new way it works. I'm glad that you've managed to resolve your
   issue and it's good that it's logged for others in the future, but
   please don't vent in this manner here again. Thank you.