[tlbuild] Some weird problems in test cases

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 10:21:21 CET 2016

Dear Karl,

On 18 March 2016 at 23:41, Karl Berry wrote:
> Hi Mojca,
>     with a special user that otherwise has no shell
> I expect that is the problem.  I can't think of any viable solution.  If
> you can't get a normal user,

I do have a normal user account (as well as root access). But I wanted
to run the tests in a mode that won't do any damage to the system.
This succeeded on two other machines running Solaris, it only failed
on Mac OS X 10.6 (on Debian Linux I experienced a failure earlier and
I still need to investigate that).

> just have to ignore these failures or not
> bother to run the tests

I'm willing to take a look into this because getting the tests to pass
is relatively important for the setup I'm playing with at the moment
(for the ConTeXt community). Otherwise I cannot distinguish between
successful and failed builds and I wouldn't like to skip *all* tests
just because of the few "problematic" ones. An acceptable thing to do
would be to skip some tests, but I don't know if that is possible.

> (or if you feel like spending time trying to
> figure out a feasible change, so much the better).
>     FAIL: tests/bibtex-openout-test
>     ...
>     perl: no user 500
> These are the few tests I wrote in Perl.  They all use
> source/texk/tests/common-test.pl.  All that does is fork a subprocess
> (calls system(...)) and read/writes a file.  I suspect the fork fails.
> Probably something like getpwuid(500) is failing.

Do you have any idea how to replicate the check for user 500 in Perl?
Do you think it might have something to do with Perl being too old on
Mac OS X 10.6 (I believe it's 5.10)? (If so, I can try to install the
latest Perl on top of what the system provides.)

I'm getting this problem only on one out of three machines so there
must be some workaround.

In short: I would be grateful for further hints, so that I can
continue exploring the reason for the failure. I'm not expecting from
anyone to fix the problem for me, but I lack some experience and some
directions to continue looking on this.

Thank you,

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