HAProxy Network Error: cannot bind socket
This tutorial series explains how to troubleshoot and fix some of the most common errors that you may encounter when using the HAProxy TCP and HTTP proxy server.
Each tutorial in this series includes descriptions of common HAProxy configuration, network, filesystem, or permission errors. The series begins with an overview of the commands and log files that you can use to troubleshoot HAProxy. Subsequent tutorials examine specific errors in detail.
cannot bind socket error message is generated when there is another process listening on the same interface and TCP port combination that HAProxy is configured to use, or when HAProxy attempts to use an IP address that is not assigned to a network interface. Both error conditions derive from the underlying operating system’s network stack.
In the first case, when there is another process that is already using an interface and port that HAProxy is attempting to bind to, the underlying error on Linux is
EADDRINUSE. The issue is that only a single process can be bound to an IP address and port combination at any given time.
In the second case, when HAProxy is attempting to use an IP address that is not assigned to an interface on the system, the underlying error on Linux is
EADDRNOTAVAIL. The issue here is that an IP socket cannot be created using an address that is not available to the operating system.
However, both underlying errors generate the same HAProxy error message, so troubleshooting a
cannot bind socket error requires examining the list of currently used sockets and IP addresses on a Linx system.
To detect a
cannot bind socket error message, you will need to examine
journalctl output to determine the IP address and port combination that are causing the error. Then you can inspect other running processes and network interfaces and decide how to resolve the issue, whether it is by switching servers, changing the IP address or port that HAProxy uses, or any combination of these options.
Following the troubleshooting steps from the How to Troubleshoot Common HAProxy Errors tutorial at the beginning of this series, the first step when you are troubleshooting an
cannot bind socket error message is to check HAProxy’s status with
The output from
systemctl status will in many cases contain all the diagnostic information that you need to resolve the error. It may include the IP address that HAProxy is using, as well as the port that it is attempting to bind to. The output will also indicate how long HAProxy has been unable to start so that you can determine how long the issue has been affecting HAProxy.
Note: If you are using Ubuntu or a Debian-derived Linux distribution,
systemctl does not include output from HAProxy with a
cannot bind socket error message that describes the problem. Skip to the the next section of this tutorial, Troubleshooting Using
journalctl Logs to learn how to examine the
systemd logs to find the conflicting IP address or port.
On CentOS, Fedora and RedHat-derived systems, use this
systemctl command to examine HAProxy’s status:
- sudo systemctl status haproxy.service -l --no-pager
-l flag will ensure that
systemctl outputs the entire contents of a line, instead of substituting in ellipses (
…) for long lines. The
--no-pager flag will output the entire log to your screen without invoking a tool like
less that only shows a screen of content at a time.
Since you are troubleshooting a
cannot bind socket error message, you should receive output that is similar to the following:
Output● haproxy.service - HAProxy Load Balancer Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/haproxy.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled) Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Wed 2020-08-19 14:57:05 UTC; 3s ago Process: 138738 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/haproxy -Ws -f $CONFIG -p $PIDFILE (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE) Process: 138736 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/haproxy -f $CONFIG -c -q (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) Main PID: 138738 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE) Aug 19 14:57:05 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: Starting HAProxy Load Balancer... Aug 19 14:57:05 92214d8ff5e2 haproxy: [ALERT] 231/145705 (138738) : Starting frontend main: cannot bind socket [0.0.0.0:80] . . . Aug 19 14:57:05 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: Failed to start HAProxy Load Balancer.
systemctl output includes some highlighted lines from the
systemd journal that describes the error. These lines give you all the information about the error that you need to troubleshoot it further. Specifically, the line
cannot bind socket [0.0.0.0:80] describes the socket that HAProxy is trying to use (
0.0.0.0:80), so you can skip the following
journalctl steps and instead proceed to the Troubleshooting with
ps Utilities section at the end of this tutorial. The other highlighted line indicates the status of the HAProxy process, which in the case of a
cannot bind socket error will show
Failed to start HAProxy Load Balancer.
systemctl output does not give specific information about the IP address and port or ports that are causing the error (if you are using Ubuntu or Debian then this applies), then you will need to examine
journalctl output from the
systemd logs. The following section explains how to use
journalctl to troubleshoot a
cannot bind socket error.
systemctl output does not include specifics about a
cannot bind socket error, you should proceed with using the
journalctl command to examine
systemd logs for HAProxy.
On Ubuntu and Debian-derived systems, run the following command:
- sudo journalctl -u haproxy.service --since today --no-pager
On CentOS, Fedora, and RedHat-derived systems, use this command to inspect the logs:
- sudo journalctl -u haproxy.service --since today --no-pager
--since today flag will limit the output of the command to log entries beginning at 00:00:00 of the current day only. Using this option will help restrict the volume of log entries that you need to examine when checking for errors.
If HAProxy is unable to bind to a port that is in use, search through the output for lines that are similar to the following log entries, specifically lines that contain the
cannot bind socket error message as highlighted in this example:
Output-- Logs begin at Wed 2020-08-19 19:38:12 UTC, end at Wed 2020-08-19 19:53:53 UTC. -- . . . Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: Starting HAProxy Load Balancer... Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 haproxy: [ALERT] 231/193921 (135) : Starting frontend main: cannot bind socket [0.0.0.0:80] Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 haproxy: [ALERT] 231/193921 (135) : Starting frontend main: cannot bind socket [:::80] Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: haproxy.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: haproxy.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'. Aug 19 19:39:21 92214d8ff5e2 systemd: Failed to start HAProxy Load Balancer. . . .
The first highlighted line of output indicates that HAProxy cannot bind to port
80 on all available IPv4 interfaces (denoted by the
0.0.0.0 IP address). Depending on your system’s configuration, the IP addresses may be different and only show individual IPs.
If you are using HAProxy with IPv6, then the output may also include a line like the second one that is highlighted with an IPv6 specific interface and port error, in this case
:::80. The first two
:: characters indicate all available IPv6 interfaces, while the trailing
:80 indicates the port.
Even though your own system may have different conflicting interfaces and ports, the errors will be similar to the output shown here. With this output from
journalctl you will be able to diagnose the issue using
ip commands in the following section of this tutorial.
To troubleshoot a
cannot bind socket error you need to determine what other process is listening on the IP address and port that HAProxy is attempting to use, or if the IP address is available to HAProxy.
For example, if another server like Nginx is configured to listen on port 8080 on all available IPv4 network interfaces, the full socket would be
0.0.0.0:8080. If HAProxy is also configured to use
0.0.0.0:8080 then the operating system will throw an
EADDRINUSE error, and HAProxy will show a
cannot bind socket error message, since it cannot claim the socket for itself.
In the previous
journalctl section, something was already bound to all the available IPv4 addresses (denoted by
0.0.0.0:80). Most modern Linux distributions include a utility called
ss which can be used to gather information about the state of a system’s network sockets.
The following command will determine the name of the process that is already bound to an IPv4 interface on port
80. Ensure that you substitute the port from the error message if it is different from
80 in the following command:
- sudo ss -4 -tlnp | grep 80
The flags to the
ss command alter its default output in the following ways:
ssto only display IPv4-related socket information.
-trestricts the output to
-ldisplays all listening sockets with the
-trestrictions taken into account.
-nensures that port numbers are displayed, as opposed to protocol names like ‘http
orhttps`. This is important since HAProxy may be attempting to bind to a non-standard port and a service name can be confusing as opposed to the actual port number.
-poutputs information about the process that is bound to a port.
| grep 80limits the output to lines that contain the characters
80so there are fewer lines that you have to examine
Note: in this IPv4 and the following IPv6 example, if you do not have a line in your output with a matching port, then your
cannot bind socket error may be derived from an
EADDRNOTAVAIL error. Skip to the next section Troubleshooting with the
ip Utility to examine the available IP addresses on your system.
With all of those flags, you should receive output like the following:
OutputLISTEN 0 511 0.0.0.0:80 0.0.0.0:* users:(("nginx",pid=40,fd=6))
The first three fields are not important when troubleshooting a
cannot bind socket error so they can be ignored. The important fields are the fourth (
0.0.0.0:80), which matches the
journalctl error that you discovered earlier, along with the last
users:(("nginx",pid=40,fd=6)), specifically the
If you have a
cannot bind socket error that is related to an IPv6 interface, repeat the
ss invocation, this time using the
-6 flag to restrict the interfaces to the IPv6 network stack like this:
- sudo ss -6 -tlnp |grep 80
-6 flag limits the
ip command to IPv6 interfaces. If HAProxy is unable to bind to an IPv6 socket, you should have output like the following:
OutputLISTEN 0 511 [::]:80 [::]:* users:(("nginx",pid=40,fd=7))
Again, substitute the port number in question from your
journalctl output if it is different from the highlighted
80 given here.
In both these cases of IPv4 and IPv6 errors, the
ss output indicates that there is a program with process ID 40 (the
pid=40 in the output) that is bound to the
[::]:80 interfaces respectively. This process is preventing HAProxy from starting since it already owns the port. To determine the name of the program, use the
ps utility like this, substituting the process ID from your output in place of the highlighted
40 value in this example:
- sudo ps -p 40
You will receive output that is similar to the following:
OutputPID TTY TIME CMD 40 ? 00:00:00 nginx
nginx in the output is the name of the process that is listening on the interfaces. Now that you have the name of the program that is preventing HAProxy from starting, you can decide how to resolve the error. You could stop the
nginx process, reconfigure
nginx to listen on a different interface and port, or reconfigure HAProxy to avoid the port collision.
It is important to note that the process may be different from
nginx and the port and IP addresses may not always be
[::] if you are diagnosing a
cannot bind socket error. Oftentimes, different web servers and proxies will be in use on the same server. Each may be attempting to bind to different IPv4 ports and IPv6 interfaces to handle different web traffic. For example, a server that is configured with HAProxy listening on the IPv4 loopback address (also referred to as
localhost) on port
8080 will show
ss output like this:
OutputLISTEN 0 2000 127.0.0.1:8080 0.0.0.0:* users:(("haproxy",pid=545,fd=7))
It is important to combine
systemctl output, or
journalctl output that indicates specific IP addresses and ports, with diagnostic data from
ss, and then
ps to narrow down the process that is causing HAProxy to fail to start.
Sometimes when you are troubleshooting a
cannot bind socket error message with
ps there will not be any output at all, which means that the error may not be caused by a socket conflict. The next section of this tutorial explains how to troubleshoot a
cannot bind socket error using the
Troubleshooting with the
The previous section explained how an
EADDRINUSE operating system error could cause a
cannot bind socket error message. However, if you have examined
ps output and there is no socket conflict on your system, the issue may be caused by an
EADDRNOTAVAIL operating system error instead. In this case HAProxy may be trying to bind to a socket that is not available to your operating system.
To determine whether a
cannot bind socket error is caused by an
EADDRNOTAVAIL, examine both the IPv4 and IPv6 network interfaces on your system using the
- sudo ip -4 -c address show
ipto only display IPv4-related interface information.
-cadds color coding to the output so that it is easier to parse visually.
address showdisplays the IP address for an interface, with the
-cflags taken into account.
You should receive output that looks similar to the following on any Linux distribution that includes the
Output1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000 inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever 2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc fq_codel state UP group default qlen 1000 inet 203.0.113.1/24 brd 203.0.113.255 scope global eth0 valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever inet 192.0.2.1/24 brd 192.0.2.255 scope global eth0 valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever 3: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc fq_codel state UP group default qlen 1000 inet 198.51.100.1/24 brd 198.51.100.255 scope global eth1 valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
Make a note of your IP addresses that correspond to the highlighted examples in this output. Your IP addresses and network interfaces will be different than the examples shown here. You may have more or fewer interfaces, and each may have more or fewer addresses assigned to them. The important part is to note the IP addresses from
To examine IPv6 addresses that are assigned to your system, use the
ip command with the
-6 flag like this:
- sudo ip -6 -c address show
You should receive output like the following:
Output1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 state UNKNOWN qlen 1000 inet6 ::1/128 scope host valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever 2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 state UP qlen 1000 inet6 2604:a880:400:d1::3d3:6001/64 scope global valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever inet6 fe80::a4ff:aaff:fec9:24f8/64 scope link valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
Again note the highlighted values in this example output and look for the corresponding IPv6 addresses in your output.
Once you have a list of addresses that are assigned to your system, you can try to find a matching IP address that corresponds to the
cannot bind socket [x.x.x.x:80] error. If there is no IP address that matches, then HAProxy is likely configured to use an IP address that is not available to your system and the
cannot bind socket error is being caused by the operating system throwing an
To resolve the error you will need to edit your
/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg file and change the
bind address or addresses to an IP address that is available to your system based on the output of the
For example, if
/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg contained a
bind line like the following using
198.51.100.123 as the IP address, but your system has
198.51.100.1 assigned based on the example output above, you will need to edit the bind line.
Following this hypothetical example, this
haproxy.cfg snippet shows the invalid IP address:
. . . frontend main bind 198.51.100.123:80
bind line that matches the IP address in the example
ip output would look like this:
. . . frontend main bind 198.51.100.1:80
Once you have edited
/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg with the correct IP address, restart it using the
- sudo systemctl restart haproxy.service
Now examine HAProxy’s status and make sure that the output shows an
active (running) line:
- sudo systemctl status haproxy.service
Output● haproxy.service - HAProxy Load Balancer Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/haproxy.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active (running) since Wed 2020-08-19 21:31:46 UTC; 17h ago Docs: man:haproxy(1) file:/usr/share/doc/haproxy/configuration.txt.gz Process: 487 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/haproxy -f $CONFIG -c -q $EXTRAOPTS (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) . . . Aug 19 21:31:46 d6cdd0c71489 systemd: Started HAProxy Load Balancer.
If you have resolved the
cannot bind socket error your output should be similar to this example output. The highlighted lines that show HAProxy is active, and that the process was started successfully.
In this tutorial you learned how to troubleshoot an HAProxy
cannot bind socket error message on both IPv4 and IPv6 interfaces. You learned how to use
systemctl to examine the status of the HAProxy server and try to find error messages. You also learned how to use
journalctl to examine the
systemd logs for specific information about a
cannot bind socket error.
With the appropriate error messages from the
systemd logs, you then learned about the
ss utility and how to use it to examine the state of a system’s network sockets. After that you learned how to combine process ID information from
ss with the
ps utility to find the name of the process that is causing HAProxy to be unable to start.
Finally, in the case of a
cannot bind socket error that is related to an unavailable IPv4 or IPv6 address, you learned how to use the
ip utility to examine available network interfaces on your system.