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Gamin / gam_server : any use in a cPanel environment?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by webignition, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. webignition

    webignition Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of slowly going through a new server with a fine toothpick and have come across Gamin (/usr/libexec/gam_server).

    I tried searching the forums for gamin and found one thread: http://forums.cpanel.net/showthread.php?t=47629&highlight=gamin

    This seems to suggest that the gamin module is somehow related to FP extensions, although the thread is pretty sparse on details.

    I also tried searching for gam_server but, alas, it would seem like the underscore is treated as a wildcard as I was presented with many threads relating to gameserver - I even tried one thread that had no replies and very few words and gam_server was not present whereas gameserver was. In short, searching has found me relatively little.

    I did search Google and did find the homepage for Gamin (http://www.gnome.org/~veillard/gamin/), although I have to admit that I wasn't much the wiser after looking through it.

    The whole point of this thread comes down to this: /usr/libexec/gam_server is being run (I doubt intentionally) but a couple of users and this is using resources. Not much, but still there's no point in using resources for no reason.

    Is Gamin / gam_server of any use on a cPanel server? It's not present on a CentOS 3.6 machine but is present on this new CentOS 4.2 machine.

    Has anyone come across this and would anyone like to confirm whether it would be safe to remove?
     
  2. webignition

    webignition Well-Known Member

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    If it's of any relevance, I've noticed Gamin sneaking into the process list after courier-imap processes.

    I tested this by closing Thunderbird (TB), checking the process list, restarting TB and checking the process list again. Lo and behold a Gamin process sneaks in after a courier-imap process.

    Here's a snippet from ps aux (usernames and bits and bobs changed):

    Code:
    user1 19336 0.0 0.1 7128 952 ? S 16:25 0:00 /usr/lib/courier-imap/bin/imapd /home/user1/mail/example1.com/mailuser
    user1 19338 0.0 0.1 5220 936 ? S 16:25 0:00 /usr/libexec/gam_server
    [other processes here]
    user2 24238 0.0 0.1 7248 1016 ? S 18:06 0:00 /usr/lib/courier-imap/bin/imapd /home/user2/mail/example2.com/mailuser
    user2 24239 0.0 0.1 7116 900 ? S 18:06 0:00 /usr/lib/courier-imap/bin/imapd /home/user2/mail/example2.com/mailuser
    user2 24241 0.0 0.1 5220 944 ? S 18:06 0:00 /usr/libexec/gam_server
     
  3. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    Not one I've heard of. This might shed more light on it:

    rpm -qf usr/libexec/gam_server

    This'll tell you whether it was installed via RPM. Are you sure you didn't install this yourself at some point ;)
     
  4. webignition

    webignition Well-Known Member

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    I've actually already run rpm -qa | grep gamin which returned:

    Code:
    gamin-0.1.1-3.EL4
    gamin-0.1.1-3.EL4
    So yes it was installed via rpm (twice?).

    This is a relatively new server. CentOS 4.2 was installed by the provider. I just asked for it to be installed in a sufficiently minimal form ready for installing cPanel. The server's been live less than a week and I'm sure in that time I haven't installed it (I'd be more likely to forget if it were a matter of months or years!)

    I very much doubt that they provider would go out their way to install packages via rpm when running through an OS install, which would lead me to assume it was installed by default, however if you've not heard of it I would tend to assume that it wasn't installed by default.

    I'd assume that if you (Chirpy) haven't heard of it, it must be far from essential. The gamin homepage states that it's a replacement for fam. Is this something you've heard of, or would this again be something that is probably of no use on a cPanel server?
     
  5. bjarne

    bjarne Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like this is some filesystem integrety checkl something and I suppose it would be safe to remove that rpm package - but I do not want to be the first om trying it:)
    On Centos 43 I see the same thing - acouple of users:)
     
  6. jrehmer

    jrehmer Well-Known Member

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    It relates to file monitoring and has something to do with PAM authentication.


    This is from the gamin home page:
    Gamin is a file and directory monitoring system defined to be a subset of the FAM (File Alteration Monitor) system. This is a service provided by a library which allows to detect when a file or a directory has been modified.

    I have not seen this pop up on my servers yet, but on my home RHEL4 workstation it is spawned by something in the X startup script, but I have been unable to pinpoint it either...
     
  7. jrehmer

    jrehmer Well-Known Member

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    As a follow up gamin is not installed on my server, so I would assume you can remove it:

    root@server01 [/var/log]# rpm -qf /usr/libexec/gam_server
    error: file /usr/libexec/gam_server: No such file or directory
     
  8. Curious Too

    Curious Too Well-Known Member

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    When I converted to maildir on my x86_64 server PAM choked because gamin was not installed. It seems to be required on x86_64 servers but not other servers.
     
  9. jrehmer

    jrehmer Well-Known Member

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    Is there some kind of RPM dependency?
     
  10. bjarne

    bjarne Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it is needed in dead - specialy for IMAP server - as this output from netsat shows.
    Also IMAP will not work with out it - at last on 64 bits like we use.

    unix 3 [ ] STREAM CONNECTED /gam_server @/tmp/username

    Maybe just learn to leave with this. Anyway the new maildir have made a few clients jump of joy, as it is much faster and better.

    For me also - maildir is much better. I actualy have crashed a server trying to access some inbox file wich was big - and I just say: maildir rules and gam_server - I love you:)
     
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