Find Configuration Errors In Ejabberd Automatically

October 21, 2008

Sometimes ejabberd doesn’t start up and you are left wondering what’s wrong. This could be because the configuration file ejabberd.cfg has an error in it. You can easily avoid this situation by doing a check check that the file is valid before starting or restarting ejabberd. This caused some confusion on a while back, and we now regularly check the syntax of ejabberd.cfg whenever something isn’t working right.


The Error

Ejabberd can be mysterious sometimes, but no program is perfect. The reason this particular error is so frustrating is that it never appears in ejabberd.log. For some reason I’ve yet to suss out, configuration file parsing errors appear in sasl.log (ejabberd bug EJAB-777). Here’s a truncated example.

=CRASH REPORT==== 21-Oct-2008::20:14:19 ===
    pid: <0.35.0>
    registered_name: []
    exception exit: {bad_return,
                             "/Users/jack/ejabberd/etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.cfg approximately in the line 493: syntax error before: '.'"}}}

Quick Solution

The solution I tend to use is just to run ejabberd.cfg through the Erlang interpreter.

$ cat ejabberd.cfg | erl | grep syntax

If that command returns a syntax error line, you know there is a problem in the config file. If there is no output, ejabberd.cfg parses correctly.

Other Solutions

A bug for this issue already exists as ejaberd bug EJAB-51.

Magnus Henoch also wrote an ejabberd config file checker, but it takes a little more effort than my solution above. However, his solution would be what the ejabberd team would need for an internal solution I suspect.

I hope this helps some of you having issues with your ejabberd installations, and hopefully the ejabberd developer team can fix this little bugs so that using ejabberd is even easier.

Find Configuration Errors In Ejabberd Automatically - October 21, 2008 - Jack Moffitt