[IPython-user] "Bus error" on Mac OS X

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Wed Jun 29 11:56:33 CDT 2005

Justin C. Walker wrote:
> On Jun 29, 2005, at 09:27 , Fernando Perez wrote:
>>Hans Fangohr wrote:
>>>I have installed Python 2.3.5 using fink, and then installed
>>>ipython-0.6.15 using that. When executing ipython (from /sw/bin/ 
>>>it seems to start okay. However, entering any command such as "1 
>>>+1" or
>>>"import math"  results in a short delay and then a "Bus error"  
>>>Any ideas what this could be and how to debug this further?
>>wow, not the foggiest.  Can anyone enlighten me as to what a 'bus  
>>error' is? I've never seen that message on a linux box.
> Generally, "Bus Error" is a catch-all term for "some sort of memory  
> access problem".  Depending on the platform you are running on, it  
> can mean, e.g., an access (usually by pointer) to non-existent  
> memory; overwriting stack or other memory; cosmic rays; ...

Got it, thanks.

> It us usually, but not always, associated with a bug in the program;  
> it can also show up a problem with the hardware (e.g., bad memory),  
> but that is less likely.  If you see lots of these, across a bunch of  
> different programs, then hardware is suspect.  Otherwise, blame the  
> programmer :-}

In this case, then we can blame some other programmer that's not me :)  I say 
that just because ipython is pure python code, with no manual memory 
management.  So all low-level access is actually done by the CPython VM.  I 
wonder if Hans is loading any C extensions himself  (matplotlib, vtk, ...?) 
which could be segfaulting.  Barring that, I'd worry about a miscompiled 

Sorry, but it seems on this one, it can't be ipython itself (though obviously 
an ipython profile can load extension code: check with a naked profile to test 
for this).



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