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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0007772libmicrohttpdperformancepublic2023-03-25 16:23
Reporternewtec_mh Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Product Version0.9.75 
Summary0007772: Upgraded connection in threaded context is starved of memory
DescriptionI'm experiencing an issue with upgraded connections running libmicrohttpd with a thread per connection. What seemingly happens is that after receiving the headers, the connections read buffers are shrunk, and the write buffer is afterwards increased to the full size of the memory pool.

This is never "undone" meaning that *if* a connection is upgraded, the memory pool is "empty" and the upgraded connection then starts using the emergency buffer (e_buf) which by default has a size of 8 bytes, 4 is allocated to write, 4 to read.

This means suddenly all communication between the application and the library and again between the library and the upgraded connection socket is segmented into 4 byte reads/writes.

Now as such, this doesn't necessarily post a "big" problem, besides it for sure isn't intended functionality, however if the connections are https based, each 4 byte "chunk" is now encrypted, causing a massive overhead (in my case each 4 byte chunk is then encrypted a 26 byte chunk).

The seemingly "obvious" choice I found for "easily" fixing this, at least in my case, was to reenable the disabled function "connection_shrink_write_buffer" and call if after the headers have been sent, just before upgrading the connection. I've attached a patch for reference that fixes it in one case at least. I have not determined other possible code paths that might trigger the same problem.
Steps To Reproduce1. Create server with MHD_USE_THREAD_PER_CONNECTION and MHD_ALLOW_UPGRADE.

2. Connect WebSocket to server.

3. Observe the buffer size used in the connection handler thread (through GDB for instance). Read/write buffers are 4 bytes each, as the e_buf "emergency buffer" is used, which defaults to 8 bytes in size.
TagsNo tags attached.



2023-03-24 15:24


avoid-upgraded-connection-memory-starvation.patch (1,035 bytes)   
Index: libmicrohttpd-0.9.76/src/microhttpd/connection.c
--- libmicrohttpd-0.9.76.orig/src/microhttpd/connection.c
+++ libmicrohttpd-0.9.76/src/microhttpd/connection.c
@@ -1612,8 +1612,6 @@ connection_maximize_write_buffer (struct
   return c->write_buffer_size - c->write_buffer_append_offset;
-#if 0 /* disable unused function */
  * Shrink connection write buffer to the size of unsent data.
@@ -1654,10 +1652,6 @@ connection_shrink_write_buffer (struct M
     c->write_buffer = new_buf;
-#endif /* unused function */
  * Switch connection from recv mode to send mode.
@@ -4700,6 +4694,8 @@ MHD_connection_handle_idle (struct MHD_C
       if (NULL != connection->response->upgrade_handler)
+        connection_shrink_write_buffer(connection);
         connection->state = MHD_CONNECTION_UPGRADE;
         /* This connection is "upgraded".  Pass socket to application. */
         if (MHD_NO ==

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2023-03-24 15:24 newtec_mh New Issue
2023-03-24 15:24 newtec_mh File Added: avoid-upgraded-connection-memory-starvation.patch