Problem: Connecting or upgrading ArcSDE causes "Error: (-1)"


When connecting to ArcSDE with the administration command (sdelayer/shp2sde, ArcView 3.2a, or ArcGIS Desktop) the gsrvr core dumps.
The sde.errlog reports the following error:
"Error: (-1): Couldn't Start Server Task"

The following error message may also occur:
"Error: (-1) Network Operation failure"

Other situations can occur during an ArcSDE install or upgrade. Difficulty may also be encountered when trying to install or validate stored procedures and triggers.


The problem can occur on UNIX platforms where clients are gradually upgrading their ESRI products or even keeping multiple versions of ESRI products.

The gsrvr.shared is a dynamically linked library, and when it runs there is a chance it links to an incorrect version of SDE client libraries. SDE client libraries can exist in ArcSDE, ArcInfo Workstation, and ArcIMS on UNIX platforms.

Solution or Workaround

  1. Check LD_LIBRARY_PATH and PATH. Check the setting for LD_LIBRARY_PATH and PATH for the UNIX account responsible for maintaining SDE. Verify that the SDEHOME comes first in the path. Assign SDE first compared to any other ESRI product.
  2. If step 1 is not sufficient, perform the following:

    Change the Symbolic link from gsrvr.shared to gsrvr.static.

    cd $SDEHOME/bin
    mv gsrvr gsrvr.old
    ln -s gsrvr.static gsrvr
    stop/restart ArcSDE.

    gsrvr.static has all the SDE client and RDBMS client libraries compiled into the executable. It does not look for shared libraries in other locations.