Edward Edward - 3 months ago 119
Apache Configuration Question

Django stops working with RuntimeError: populate() isn't reentrant

I've been developing a Django web application deployed on an Apache server with WSGI, and everything has been going smoothly. Today, I made some minor changes to my app's

admin.py
in an attempt to customize the build-in Django Admin interface, and initially made a syntax error (an unclosed parenthesis). This meant that when I touched
wsgi.py
and loaded the code (I have WSGI running in daemon mode on my virtual host), my website was replaced with an Internal Server Error because WSGI stopped when it hit the syntax error.

So I fixed the syntax error, checked that I didn't have any more with
manage.py check
, and touched
wsgi.py
to redeploy. But my website still displays an Internal Server Error! Checking the Apache logs, this is what I see:

[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [info] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Create interpreter 'quotes.cs.cornell.edu|'.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [info] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Adding '/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django' to path.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [info] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Adding '/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/' to path.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [info] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093, process='quotes.cs.cornell.edu',
application='quotes.cs.cornell.edu|'): Loading WSGI script '/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/
wsgi.py'.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Target WSGI script '/extra/www/html/
quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/wsgi.py' cannot be loaded as Python module.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Exception occurred processing WSGI
script '/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/wsgi.py'.
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] Traceback (most recent call last):
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/
quotes_django/wsgi.py", line 14, in <module>
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] application = get_wsgi_application()
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/core/wsgi.py", line 14, in get_wsgi_application
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] django.setup()
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/__init__.py", line 21, in setup
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] apps.populate(settings.INSTALLED_APPS)
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/apps/registry.py", line 115, in populate
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] app_config.ready()
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/contrib/admin/apps.py", line 22, in ready
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] self.module.autodiscover()
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/contrib/admin/__init__.py", line 23, in autodiscover
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] autodiscover_modules('admin', register_to=site)
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/utils/module_loading.py", line 74, in autodiscover_modules
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] import_module('%s.%s' % (app_config.name,
module_to_search))
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/usr/lib64/python2.7/importlib/__init__.py", line
37, in import_module
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] __import__(name)
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/quotespage/
admin.py", line 25
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] approve_quotes.short_description = "Approve selected
quotes"
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] ^
[Sun Nov 23 13:52:46 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] SyntaxError: invalid syntax
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [info] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093, process='quotes.cs.cornell.edu',
application='quotes.cs.cornell.edu|'): Loading WSGI script '/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/
wsgi.py'.
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Target WSGI script '/extra/www/html/
quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/wsgi.py' cannot be loaded as Python module.
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] mod_wsgi (pid=19093): Exception occurred processing WSGI
script '/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/quotes_django/wsgi.py'.
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] Traceback (most recent call last):
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/extra/www/html/quotes/quotes_django/
quotes_django/wsgi.py", line 14, in <module>
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] application = get_wsgi_application()
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/core/wsgi.py", line 14, in get_wsgi_application
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] django.setup()
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/__init__.py", line 21, in setup
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] apps.populate(settings.INSTALLED_APPS)
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] File "/opt/rh/python27/root/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-
packages/django/apps/registry.py", line 78, in populate
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] raise RuntimeError("populate() isn't reentrant")
[Sun Nov 23 13:53:36 2014] [error] [client 128.84.33.19] RuntimeError: populate() isn't reentrant


The first series of errors shows WSGI failing due to the syntax error in my
admin.py
. However, the second series of errors seems to show an error internal to Django:

RuntimeError: populate() isn't reentrant


thrown from the
populate
method of
registry.py
.

Googling this error message returns surprisingly little information, none of it from Django documentation. Apparently, it can sometimes happen if you name an app twice in your
settings.py
, but I'm not doing that. More importantly, I haven't changed
settings.py
since the point where the website was working fine -- the only thing I changed was
admin.py
.

I tried reverting all the changes I made, so all my Python code is back in the state it was when the website was working -- and I still get the
populate() isn't reentrant
error when I try to make WSGI reload the code!

I've also tried commenting-out different apps in the INSTALLED_APPS section of
settings.py
, and even with only 'django.contrib.staticfiles' enabled the error still happens. Weirdly, I still get the error even if I comment out all the apps -- Django throws the error even when it isn't loading any apps!

Does anyone know what's going on here? Or any better way for me to debug this error, since the traceback in the Apache log is pretty unhelpful?

Notes: I'm using Django 1.7, Apache 2.2, and Python 2.7.

Answer

My server's administrator restarted Apache, and that magically fixed this problem. The exact same Python files loaded without causing populate() isn't reentrant. I even tried loading another file with a syntax error, then fixing it, and the server was able to load the new file and run correctly with no problems.

I still don't know what was going wrong, but I'm marking this as answered since the problem is gone. (Well, I'll mark it as answered as soon as StackOverflow allows me to accept my own answer.)

Update: After continuing to get this error when I accidentally upload Python with syntax errors, I figured out a workaround that's easier than restarting Apache. When WSGI starts throwing the populate() isn't reentrant error, I replace my Django project's wsgi.py with this simple function:

def application(environ, start_response):
    if environ['mod_wsgi.process_group'] != '': 
        import signal
        os.kill(os.getpid(), signal.SIGINT)
    return ["killed"]

Then I reload my website, and the WSGI daemon process restarts (which I can tell by looking at the Apache log, even though the website still displays the same 500 error).

If I then change wsgi.py back to normal and reload again, WSGI successfully picks up my code without throwing populate() isn't reentrant (assuming I have no syntax errors this time). So the entirety of Apache doesn't need to restart, just the WSGI process, and I can do that without root privileges.