[mod_python] OS X / Apache 2 / mod_python bug

Nicolas Lehuen nicolas.lehuen at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 12:37:25 EST 2005

Hi Jamie,

First of all, the bug tracker for mod_python is there :


Do not hesitate to report the bug here. If you have found where the
issue is, post it there ; if you have a patch, we'll try to include it
ASAP on the Subversion repository, and it will be included in the next


On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 11:39:06 +0000, Jamie Kirkpatrick
<jkp at kirkconsulting.co.uk> wrote:
> Dear all.
> This mail is really directed at the developers so I hope there are some
> of you listening.  I would have preferred to enter this in a bug
> tracker of some sort, but I couldn't find a relevant URL on the
> website.  Anyway.
> I have just spent 5 days battling with what i probably the most
> annoying bug I have ever come across!  For the last week I have been
> trying to work out why the hell I couldnt' get a working install of
> mod_python on OS X and I have tried _everything_.    I had managed to
> get it up and running once or twice, but then I would attempt to tweak
> my Apache config to set things up for the sw i wanted to use (trac) and
> it would die again.  The logs showed absolutely nothing of use even
> with PythonDebug on.
> The bug I have discovered basically boils down to a tiny thing that is
> not an easy thing to discover.  If you use `apachectl restart` to
> control the execution of Apache with mod_python installed on OS X
> (server at least, I didnt try the client version but I imagine it will
> be the same), you will find mod_python ceases to function, producing a
> 500 error from apache.
> As I say , this is not an easy bug to discover, since you never expect
> there to be a difference in the way  a module behaves due to such an
> obscure thing.  I can confirm that this happens on OS X Server 10.3.6-8
> with various different builds of apache2.  I used the stock build, a
> custom built version (from the latest sources) and one from dports with
> the same results.  I also tried different versions of python (The stock
> 2.3 Framework, 2.4 built as a framework, 2.4 normal, 2.3 normal....) as
> I had read on these lists that there are some oddities in this area on
> OS X.    Same results.  Just as I was beginning to give up completely I
> worked out what was going on. :p
> Bottom line is that i dont want anyone to have to go through the pain I
> went through this week trying to get to the bottom of this issue.  I
> feel 10 times better now I know what the problem is, and for the time
> being the solution is to simply issue a `stop` followed by a `start`
> when i need to change the configuration of the server.  I hope this
> email at least finds it's way to the archives so that fellow OS X
> travellers can learn from my experience as there really is practially
> nothing relating to mod_python on os x on the web.  /me wishes apple
> would have just bundled it in....
> I really hope however that my findings can be investigated further so
> that the bug can be resolved and a fix can be rolled into the trunk.
> I am happy to do any further testing if a patch is added by anyone.  I
> would like to try myself, but I just don't have the time to get further
> into this stuff.
> Many thanks
> ps.  At this stage I have only reported the bug to you guys since the
> apache bug tracker asks you to specifically verify that the bug isnt
> related to a module - lets make sure that mod_python isnt at fault
> first and then pass it to the main apache guys if not.
> --
> jkp
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