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From "Farrell, Doug" <>
Subject [users@httpd] Linux/Apache memory/performance problems
Date Mon, 15 Sep 2003 21:26:16 GMT
Hi all,

We've got a website out there on a Dell 2650 server (dual 1.2 Mhz processor
PIII's with 2 Gig of ram) running RedHat 8.0 (kernel 2.4.18-19.9.0smp) and
Apache 2.0.40, with MySQL as the database (on the same machine). Our site is
run by a bunch of CGI programs developed in C++ with gcc 3.2 and a lot of
code we developed ourselves, our CGI executables are < 1 meg in size. Okay,
here is our problem, which I admit is very vague and pretty general. Over
time, as our servers get used, their performance slows down a lot. When you
look at the machine with the top utility, there really isn't that much CPU
activity, on the order of 2 - 5%. But memory seems pretty low, like on below
80 meg's for free memory. Keep in mind this is a 2 Gig of ram machine. Also,
when you look at the machine with top there are a lot of <defunct> CGI
processes out there. At this point the machine is sluggish to respond to
just about anything, telnet, ftp, whatever.  Rebooting the machine helps,
but doesn't last long.

To me it has the feel of a memory leak, but since these are CGI processes
handling our web requests, I thought any memory leaks would be handled by
the OS when the CGI process ended. I don't know what to do to try and
isolate the problem, is it our apps (likely, but not sure what to do about
it), Apache or Linux. Right now we are setting up a test case server that is
an image of one of the problem live serves. Then we will try to reliably
replicate the problem on that server. Then we can try different 'fixes' to
see what works. 

If anyone has any suggestions, ideas, comments or questions, I'd be very
happy to hear them.

Thanks in advance,
Doug Farrell

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