How to solve a broken SAP START profile – SAP ABAP Platform 1909, Developer Edition

After I successfully set up Principal Propagation on SAP ABAP Platform 1909, Developer Edition, the disp+work process failed to start. In this blog post you will learn how to solve this problem based on changes via transaction RZ10.

SAP disp+work process has failed to start
SAP disp+work process has failed to start

>> SAP no longer provides the Docker image. <<

When stetting up principal propagation on the Docker image (SAP ABAP Platform) I also added the following three parameters to the default profile via transaction RZ10:

  • icm/trusted_reverse_proxy_<x>
  • login/certificate_mapping_rulebased
  • icm/HTTPS/verify_client

After successfully tested the principal propagation, I stopped the SAP ABAP Platform 1909 and restarted it a few days later. Unfortunately, I received the error message that the service worker processes could not be started (see screenshot above).

To be honest, the first time I got this error message I decided after about 30 minutes to reset the image with the following command:

docker rm -f a4h # --> Caution: All configuration and development will be deleted <--

After I successfully set up the principal propagation again und got the error message again, it was clear to me that resetting is no longer an option. 😉 I searched the internet for a solution and found this forum post “disp+work.exe dispatcher stopped” from April 2006.

Analysis of the log files

In this forum post it is recommended to analyse the two log files ‘dev_disp and ‘dev_w0‘ (file path: /usr/sap/<SID>/D<xy>/work).

SAP log files dev_* on SUSE
SAP log files dev_* on SUSE

The log file ‘dev_disp‘ contains a crucial remark: “hostname ‘vhcala4hcs’ of parameter ‘rdisp/mshost’ unknown“. The parameter ‘rdisp/mshost‘ specifies the host on which the message server is running.

SAP: hostname 'vhcala4hcs' of parameter 'rdisp/mshost' unknown

This parameter is set in the START profile (path: /usr/sap/A4H/SYS/profile).

SAP START profiles
SAP START profiles

The screenshot below shows the parameter ‘rdisp/mshost‘ which I had already changed. As you can see, the parameter ‘SAPGLOBALHOST‘ still contains an incorrect value. You can also see the three parameters I added for the principal propagation.


I have replaced all occurrences of ‘vhcala4hcs‘ with ‘vhcala4hci‘ in both profiles ‘DEFAULT.PFL‘ and ‘A4H_D00_vhcala4hci‘ and now know why the changes via transaction RZ10 destroyed the START profile.

If you want to adjust the default profile via transaction RZ10 on the Docker image, check among others the values of the parameters ‘SAPGLOBALHOST‘ and ‘rdisp/mshost‘. It is likely that the values there are wrong (see the screenshot below) and are only correct in the profile files on the operational system level. If you want to avoid trouble, adjust these values directly via transaction RZ10 so that the profile is stored correctly in the profile file.

SAP RZ10: default profile
SAP RZ10: default profile

Adaptation of the hosts file required

Changing the default profile via transaction RZ10 also affects the hosts file, since after starting the HDB the SAP system tries to reach the servers under the full hostname ‘vhcala4hci.dummy.nodomain‘ instead of ‘vhcala4hci‘.

You can easily solve the problem by manually or automatically adding an additional entry to the hosts file within a few minutes. Unfortunately, direct changes to the host file are reset after the Docker image is restarted.

# Changes to the default profile require this additional entry in the hosts file vhcala4hci.dummy.nodomain

I decided to automatically adjust the hosts file after starting the Docker image. For this purpose, I created a hosts file with all relevant entries in the A4H-Admin’s home directory (path: /home/a4hadm).

# Relevant entries of the hosts file  localhost
::1        localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0    ip6-localnet
ff00::0    ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1    ip6-allnodes
ff02::2    ip6-allrouters vhcala4hci vhcala4hci.dummy.nodomain                                       

The easiest way to copy the complete hosts file from A4H-Admin’s home directory to /etc/hosts is to add the command at the end of the script ‘hdb_license_update‘ (path: /usr/local/bin).

# Add this command at the end of /usr/local/bin/hdb_license_update
cp /home/a4hadm/hosts /etc/hosts
echo "hosts updated" #this message is displayed during the startup process

During the startup process, the message ‘hosts updated‘ indicates that the hosts file has been updated.

SAP script HDP_LICENSE_UPDATE with success message hosts file was updated
SAP script HDP_LICENSE_UPDATE with success message hosts file was updated

You can use this command to access the Docker image:

docker exec -it a4h bash

Cheers, both SAP ABAP Platform, Developer Edition, and Principal Propagation are now working again. 🙂

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