Diagnostic Messages

This page is for documenting the meaning of all the diagnostic messages that darcs produces. Once answers are refined here, perhaps they will be added to the official documentation.

A lot of effort has gone into making Darcs emit user-friendly error messages, and we hope that you no longer find error messages confusing. If you do, please do file a bug report.

Fail: …/_darcs/inventory: openBinaryFile: does not exist (No such

file or directory)

You will see this message when you try to ‘push’ to a location that is not a repo. Don’t do that.

If you see this message when using ‘send’, darcs is trying to send to what it believes is the last remote repository you used, and failing. It won’t ask for another repository even if you specify the interactive option; you have to pass one as an argument. If all else fails, create a new directory with an empty darcs tree (darcs initialize), and send to that: this can be useful if you just want to get your patches out of the repository using -o.

Copying patch 938 of 4881…darcs: …gz: openBinaryFile: does not

exist (No such file or directory)

You could see this this message when calling “darcs get” on a partial repository. One solution is to add “–partial” to the command. For “hashed” and “darcs-2” format repositories, this issue no longer comes up– the command succeeds.

Fail: : hGetChar: end of file

This can happen with darcs record.

It can be caused by piping data into it when it expects to work interactively. Here’s a workaround if you are trying to pipe in a list of files to record like this:

$ find . -name '*.cgi' | grep www | xargs darcs record

Better yet, you can achieve the same thing like this, and still work interactively with record:

$ darcs record `find . -name '*.cgi' | grep www`

Waiting for lock ..

Followed by “Couldn’t get lock”, see below.

Couldn’t get lock …/lock

This means that darcs tried to access a repository that is locked, i.e. marked as being currently accessed by a different copy of darcs.

If you are confident the repo shouldn’t be locked (there’s no other copy of darcs running), you can unlock it manually by deleting the lock file _darcs/lock. Then, run darcs check.

Skipping depended-upon patch

This can be emitted by unrecord if using the --patch option has found a match that is depended on by other patches. TODO: How can you find out which patch?

Unable to apply patch!

This message means that a patch that darcs decided to apply doesn’t apply cleanly to a repository. Either your repository is corrupt (run darcs check), or you’ve found a bug in darcs. In either case, you’re in trouble.

darcs failed: Unable to apply inverse patch!

This is similar to the above, but means that it is the inverse of a patch that darcs couldn’t apply (for example, when doing unpull or rollback).

Fail: takeLock …/_darcs/lock in …: failed (Unknown error: 0)

I got this error working in a repository on a FAT file system (on a USB stick) on a Mac OS X machine that had a hostname containing colons (not my choice). It appears that darcs’ locking mechanism creates a temporary file whose name contains (part of) the hostname. On a FAT file system, file names can’t contain colons. Since my hostname did, darcs was unable to create the lock.

My workaround was to set the environment variable DARCS_SLOPPY_LOCKS. This makes darcs use a different method of locking the repository that is not safe over NFS (but perfectly safe on any half-reasonable implementation of FAT, which I assume includes Mac OS X) but doesn’t suffer from the above problem.

A better solution might be to modify the function careful_atomic_create() in compat.c to somehow treat colons in hostnames specially. This is issue 163.

Heap exhausted; Current maximum heap size is 268435456 bytes (256 Mb)

I got this error on win32 pushing a 394MB local repo with text and large binary files to an empty local repo. The error follows up with use `+RTS -M<size>' to increase it. This doesn’t completely describe the commandline to fix this, since you also need to mark the beginning of the command line args. A complete command would read something like darcs +RTS -M512M -RTS push <YOUR_REPO>

darcs: getCurrentDirectory: resource exhausted (Too many open files)

This may happen when attempting to pull many patches at once.

By default, Mac OS X only allows each process to have 256 files open. For performance reasons, darcs keeps a lot of files open when pulling patches and may exceed this limit. In most cases, the solution is to increase the limit. This can be done by using the ulimit bash command:


$ ulimit -a core file size (blocks, -c) 0 data seg size (kbytes, -d) 6144 file size (blocks, -f) unlimited max locked memory (kbytes, -l) unlimited max memory size (kbytes, -m) unlimited open files (-n) 256 pipe size (512 bytes, -p) 1 stack size (kbytes, -s) 8192 cpu time (seconds, -t) unlimited max user processes (-u) 266 virtual memory (kbytes, -v) unlimited $ ulimit -n unlimited $ ulimit -n 256

Sometimes, calling ulimit will result in the following error:


-bash: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Operation not permitted

If this happens, start a new shell and try it in the new shell. (There should be a more convenient way to do it but I don’t know of one.)

If this doesn’t work for some reason, the issue can usually be worked around by pulling fewer patches.