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rosout logging + topic subscription: not thread safe

asked 2018-03-09 05:22:35 -0500

knxa gravatar image

I believe I have found a threading issue with ros logging.

If a node subscribes to a topic in one thread and logs to rosout in another, a conflict can occur, since the nodes topic list may be altered while the rosout logging traverses it.

The following error is reported:

Unable to report rosout: Set changed size during iteration

And what is worse is that tcpros protocol synchronization is lost:

[ERROR] [1520594758.451498758] [/rosout]: a message of over a gigabyte was predicted in tcpros. that seems highly unlikely, so I'll assume protocol synchronization is lost.

[ERROR] [1520594758.451553409] [/rosout]: Exception thrown when deserializing message of length [0] from [/rosout_test]: Buffer Overrun

[ERROR] [1520594758.451622886] [/rosout]: Exception thrown when deserializing message of length [39] from [/rosout_test]: Buffer Overrun

Are there any locks or similar in place, so I can safely subscribe/unsubscribe to topics?

This python node reproduces the problem:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import rospy
from std_msgs.msg import Float64
from threading import Thread

def topic_callback(msg):

def my_topic_thread():
    """endless subscribing and unsubscribing to a list of topics"""

    topic_names = ["/some/topic{}".format(i) for i in range(0, 100)]

    while not rospy.is_shutdown():
        subs = []
        for topic in topic_names:
            subs.append(rospy.Subscriber(topic, Float64, topic_callback))

        for sub in subs:

if __name__ == '__main__':


    topic_thread = Thread(target=my_topic_thread)

    while not rospy.is_shutdown():
        # This logging fails intermittently, because the nodes
        # topic list is changed during logging
        # Error: protocol synchronization is lost
        rospy.loginfo("dummy message")


kinetic, ubuntu 16.04

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This is not an answer, but a recommendation: ROS Answers might not be the best place to report this sort of problem. If you have an MWE and believe it is a bug, it might be more efficient to post to ros/ros_comm/issues directly. If you do, please link back.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-03-09 05:33:54 -0500 )edit

Thanks for the input. Now reported here

knxa gravatar image knxa  ( 2018-03-09 05:58:35 -0500 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2018-03-09 08:11:05 -0500

knxa gravatar image

updated 2018-03-09 08:11:38 -0500

Closing this now the issue is reported.

In case you have ideas on how to work around this, I would still like to hear it!

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I'm not sure this should be marked as answered: until the bug is fixed, or it's clarified that the usage seen in the MWE is incorrect, there seems to be no conclusion.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-03-09 08:48:52 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-03-09 05:22:35 -0500

Seen: 800 times

Last updated: Mar 09 '18