OCS Providers File - High Numbers of Requests

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at kde.org
Thu Sep 23 10:51:54 BST 2021

Hi all,

It has recently come to our attention that the number of queries being
handled for the endpoint https://autoconfig.kde.org/ocs/providers.xml on a
day to day basis has gotten to the point where it is causing issues with
server responsiveness to other traffic. This is perhaps best summarised by
the following:

root at nicoda /var/log/apache2 # ls -lah ...
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 458M Sep 23 06:25 autoconfig.kde.org.log.1
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 381M Sep 23 06:25 networkcheck.kde.org.log.1
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 143M Sep 23 06:25 www.kde.org.log.1

root at nicoda /var/log/apache2 # cat autoconfig.kde.org.log.1 | wc -l

Based on those numbers we're looking at 48-49 requests per second (on
average - peaks are much higher by many magnitudes), which seems extremely
excessive given that this file is only supposed to be retrieved by KDE
software when GHNS functionality is triggered. That is supported by the
substantial size difference it has over networkcheck.kde.org - which is
used by plasma-nm and NetworkManager (on Neon) to check for whether they
have a working internet connection - which i'd expect to be the site
receiving the most traffic.

As such, I therefore suspect we have bug(s) in software that makes use of
GHNS functionality.

It would therefore be appreciated if we could please review the software in
question to determine whether it is operating correctly. Given that it
usually runs in the background on user systems, i'd especially appreciate
it if a detailed review could be conducted on Discover and other software
that conducts package management operations or assists in managing updates.

Unfortunately all these applications submit a fairly useless user agent
(Mozilla/5.0) so it is impossible for Sysadmin to ascertain any further
information. If we could get information on the software that is
originating the request added to the user agent to assist in investigating
these issues in the future that would be extremely helpful.

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