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From (Robert S. Thau)
Subject Re: MaxServers
Date Sun, 30 Jul 1995 11:12:41 GMT
   Date: Sat, 29 Jul 1995 22:05:20 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Brian Behlendorf <>
   Precedence: bulk

   Not to restart the flame war (ack!) but I have to ask a silly question: 
   from the httpd.conf docs in 0.8.4 it's not clear whether I can control 
   the absolute maximum number of processes that can run - that if I had an 
   heavily burdened server (running, say, an archive for 
   alt.binaries.multimedia.erotica with 10 megabyte quicktime movies that 
   500 people want at the same time) the number of processes doesn't just go 
   through the roof. Please tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

Sigh... this was one of the few substantive points of the "debate",
and it's unfortunate if it got lost for onlookers amidst the flood of
irrelevancies.  To answer the question --- there is a hard limit of
150 server processes.  This is not presently configurable; making it
so would be an easy change, though it would be very unwise to call the
parameter "MaxServers" (people who set MaxServers low on NCSA 1.4 and
rely on the forking fallback would be totally screwed).

For what it's worth, my opinion has been that when people have a
chance to configure this sort of thing, they all too often screw
themselves and their clients by configuring it too low, and this is
the reason why it isn't easily configurable (you can if you can find
the constant in the *.h file, but people who do that either know what
they are doing, or get what they deserve).

I can see the case for making it configurable --- there are apparently
real machines which would be crashed by 150 processes, and also real
dedicated servers for which bounds much lower are (according to Chuck,
at least) also unreasonable.  However, I don't want to do anything
that would encourage people to screw themselves.  If someone could
come up with a name for this thing which makes it clear that it's
intended solely to stave off disaster (ServerDangerLimit, or something
like that, except that that's lousy) I'd be a little more comfortable
about having it in the config files directly, but still queasy.


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