Post-mortem: Downtime on November 30, 2022

After yesterday’s deployment, we faced a downtime on our reference server. We want to share with you a detailed explanation of what happened.


Our reference server was offline for 13 minutes. The application responded to every request with a maintenance message. No one was able to work with the API or user interface during that time.

Root Causes

After deploying changes to production the application could not load some of our Ruby gems anymore and exited with the message:

bundler: failed to load command: rails (/usr/lib64/obs-api/ruby/3.1.0/bin/rails)
/usr/lib64/ruby/3.1.0/bundler/definition.rb:481:in `materialize':
Could not find mysql2-0.5.4, nokogiri-1.13.9, yajl-ruby-1.4.3, haml-6.0.12,
redcarpet-3.5.1, xmlhash-1.3.8, bcrypt-3.1.18, bigdecimal-3.1.2, ruby-ldap-0.9.20,
rbtree3-0.7.0, ffi-1.15.5, nio4r-2.5.8, websocket-driver-0.7.5,
rbtree-0.4.5 in any of the sources

This was caused by a change in the recent Ruby 3.1.3 update around Linux OS version detection. This practically changed the location of Rubygem C extensions on disk from extensions/x86_64-linux to extensions/x86_64-linux-gnu. Which made it impossible for bundler to load any gem with C extensions without rebuilding them to get their extensions “moved” to the new location.

We did not expect this to happen, especially not in a minor Ruby update, neither where we really aware of this change. So we did not deploy application changes and ruby update together.


Deploying changes to production.


Our deployment responded with errors. We received alerts from our monitoring system and were informed by our users via different channels.


Deploying the ruby update.

Action Items

  • Change the deployment to warn us if other package updates are pending
  • Change the deployment to apply all package updates we are confident about together

Lessons Learned

Whenever there is a problem with the staging environment take extra care about the next deployment. Feel confident but double check.

What Went Well?

Collaboration among the team to resolve the issue.

What Went Wrong?

We ran into the same problem while deploying our staging instance a day before. Sadly we just recently changed the deployment method on that host so we shrugged off those errors to this.

Where We Got Lucky

No permanent damage or data loss.

Timeline (times in UTC)

  • 09:49 Start of the deployment
  • 09:50 We noticed that the deployment failed
  • 10:00 We noticed pending package updates, including the ruby stack
  • 10:02 Deploy the pending package updates
  • 10:03 Restart the affected services: systemctl restart, OBS is back