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From "Joshua Slive" <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Apache overwhelmed, restart fails
Date Tue, 18 Jul 2006 18:21:31 GMT
On 7/18/06, Robert Fox <> wrote:
> Hello-
> We've been using Apache 2 here at Notre Dame libraries for several years now, and for
the most part, the performance has
> been very reliable. However, there have been times during very peak usage periods when
the Apache servers will freeze
> and essentially stop responding to further requests. We have several CGI applications
running under the server that can
> be taxing, and sometimes Apache seems to get overwhelmed, and the maximum number of available
server spawns are reached.
> When this happens, I've tried to restart Apache by first shutting it down and then starting
the server again. However,
> what usually happens is that the first server process will start, and child processes
do not spawn. This renders Apache
> useless again, and I'm usually forced to completely re-boot the server machine on which
Apache is running in order to
> clear RAM and reset the network connections. Then, Apache comes up and everything is
fine until the next incident. Here
> are some specs on our installation:
> Server version: Apache/2.0.54
> OS Version: Red Hat EL 3.0 (kernel 2.4.21-4.ELsmp)
> Modules loaded: PHP 5, authentication modules, etc.
> The CGI applications are mainly Perl based.
> I've looked in the Apache logs (both main and error) and there is no indication that
the server is failing around the
> time that Apache freezes up. It seems odd that I can't stop the Apache servers and restart
them, which solves 90% of
> these sorts of issues with Apache. Except for administrative purposes, I rarely need
to restart Apache, so this isn't a
> major issue. But, I would like to know where to look to try and determine what is happening
when I'm unable to restart
> Apache. It's odd that the first process would start but the child processes won't. Any
> Thank you for your help,

Could be a library linked to php blocking on some resource someplace.
Any other non-standard modules in use?

You might try getting some backtraces of stuck parent and child processes:


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