Debugging "Maximum call stack size exceeded"

I have a server that I can cause to die with the following output:

EventEmitter.prototype.emit = function(type) {
RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded

However, without a stack dump or trace, I have no way of finding whether this is infinite recursion or just a slightly-too-large chain, let alone where the problem function is.

Running Node with the --trace option caused my tests to not only run slow (as one would expect), but to not reproduce the problem.

Anybody have any solutions or tips for getting to the bottom of this?


It seems the answer is currently: sit tight and wait for Node.js to update to a newer V8 version, or build your own with the patch from this Chromium project bug report.

This archived thread from the v8-dev mailing list shows a discussion in which

  • Dave Smith brings up this very issue and proposes a patch
  • Yang Guo of the Chromium project discusses it, files a Chromium bug against the issue, and applies a different fix
  • Dave notes that Node (0.8 at the time) is using V8 3.11 and asks about backporting the patch. Yang replies that the patch will probably land in V8 3.15 and will not be backported.

Note that Node.js v0.8 used V8 3.11; Node.js 0.10 is currently using V8 3.14. So the patch accepted by Chromium for this issue is still "in the future" as far as Node is concerned.

(This answer owes thanks to @Coderoshi, since it's by following the thread from his answer that I learned all this.)

The chance of it being a "slightly-too-large chain" seems unlikely.

It's probably a function calling the event that triggered itself.

So if the slowing down of the code is making the infinite recursion to stop. My guess would be that you have a queue and with the slower mode its not getting filled up as fast.

If this doesn't help then I think I need more info. Maybe someone has a catch-all for this though.

This patch might help you find a solution. It expands the stack trace tremendously:

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