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From "Robert Andersson" <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Immortals httpd processes
Date Wed, 29 Oct 2003 09:14:53 GMT
TubBiX wrote:
> When i send a 'top' command, i can see that i have some immortals httpd
> processes which are running.

"immortal" == zombie?

> These immortals processes made my server running really slowly ... it
> swaps a  lot. I can kill them, but do it every day would be really boring

They make it slow because they have gotten very fat through some memory
consumption disorder, not CPU hogging?

What processes are these? I guess that they are Apache's children just
hanging around waiting for more requests to serve.

If so, your main problem is likely memory leaks, most likely in PHP. The
workaround would be to let Apache kill off a child when it has served a
certain number of requests. Do this with the MaxRequestsPerChild directive,

    MaxRequestsPerChild 100


There are other things you can do as well, in order to keep the children
becoming too fat over time and limiting how many of them there are, but this
depends much on your setup and needs. Do some reading:

> My hosting company said that it's a software problem (means that my php
> script do an infinite loop that made immortals http processes), but i
> change any lines of my script until 3 months and this problem appear 1
> month ago ...

I'm still not sure what you mean by "immortal" children (as you *can* kill
them), but I doubt that this is a script error. PHP is quite notorious for
memory leaks, or so I've heard. Perhaps something changed in the server
config one month ago.

We'll need more information about your setup (OS, Apache version, config,
memory, etc), and to see top's output could be useful as well.

Robert Andersson

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