Browse Prior Art Database

Method for automatic, temporary PATH search bypass when network access problems detected

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029946D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jul-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jul-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Proposed is a method which alerts the operating system when any shell window perceives a timeout or unexpected delay and the eventual search comes back with a failure. Then, a set or all of the shell entities will have their PATH values switched to alternative, "safe" paths which can temporarily avoid network problems.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Method for automatic, temporary PATH search bypass when network access problems detected

A common feature of operating systems is the concept of the "PATH" which indicates the user-preferred search paths when a command or program is typed by the usr. When an operating system is installed, and a user account is created, a default, plain PATH is created. Typically, most users then take their personal PATH and customize it for applications or directories that affect their individual use of the operating system.

A problem with this concept is that if a directory listed within a user's PATH is unresponsive and has a delay or retry count associated with that directory, then ANY command issued by the user will be delayed until the filesystem timeout has occured. Thus, the user is "hung" temporarily waiting for a timeout. For a user with a common PATH, but with multiple windows, each window will potentially experience the same hang-delay while the network or remote directories are experiencing difficulties.

The proposed solution is fairly simple. When any shell window perceives a timeout or unexpected delay and the eventual search comes back with a failure, it will alert the operating system of this delay. Then, a set or all of the shell entities will have their PATH values switched to alternative, "safe" paths which can temporarily avoid network problems.

As described above, suppose a user's shell has a path with the following search path:

/bin: /etc: /usr/sbin: /dfs/usr/contrib/bin: /nfs/shared_exe: /afs/local/bin: /home

And say, by some odd chance that a networked directory might be experiencing problems. For instance, although oh...