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From "Robinson Craig" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Upgrading to PHP5 sent httpd processes through the roof
Date Tue, 30 Oct 2007 22:25:22 GMT
Hi Ian,

Some progress...but haven't solved the problem. Essentially, it has
something to do with the way that keep-alive transactions are being
cleaned up. The keep-alive processes are cleaning up eventually...but in
a much longer time than before (I'm talking minutes). Interestingly, for
those pages with NTLM auth on (which requires keep-alive), the process
is in a constantly "replying (W)" status. This effectively takes one of
our processes out of action, and you could imagine, it doesn't take long
to hit your MaxClients threshold.

If you turn keep-alive off, then everything works magnificently. This is
what we have done for one of our sites (yes... A workaround...but we
REALLY need PHP5 up there). Unfortunately, for our intranet we use NTLM
(sadly), so we aren't able to disable keep-alive.

Incidentally, we are using PHP 5.1.6 on Apache 1.3. Thanks for the heads
up about 5.2.x on Apache 2....I'll pay much more attention now.

Cheers, Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Ballantyne [] 
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2007 10:47 PM
To: Robinson Craig
Subject: Re: [users@httpd] Upgrading to PHP5 sent httpd processes
through the roof

Hi Craig,

Only saw your post today.  Did you make any progress?

We have two V440's (4xSparc IIIi, 16Gb RAM) and saw similar problems
updating from PHP 4 to 5 with apache 2.  In fact updating past 5.1.6
into the 5.2.x series has been a disaster.  The servers have today
typically 120-160 child processes, and under heavy load that couunt can
go up to 300, PHP4 saw 30-60 processes.  The worst we ever had was over
3,800 processes!!! (the limit was specially set upwards for that day as
we knew we were going to get thumped by a registration - the machines
handled it :-).  With 5.2.x we are also having problems with the maximum
number of open files in the system too.

At this point in time I would suggest that you try 5.1.6 and see how you
We are running with the 5.2.5-rc1 and will update again tomorrow to the
newest CVS because of continuing problems.

My opinion of PHP 5.2.x is that it's a disaster.


On Friday 28 September 2007, you wrote:
> Dear experts,
> I've been working through a process of upgrading our SUN web servers
> >from PHP4 to PHP5. An interesting thing happened when I did our 
> >Internet
> web server this morning. Typically, the number of HTTP processes 
> running during business hours is about 20 - 40. However, upon 
> installing PHP5 and changing the apache conf to load the new PHP5 
> module, increased the number of processes to 100 - 130. Consequently 
> consuming more memory and swap.
> PHP pages have marginally changed, but not significantly in structure.
> Has anyone ever seen any activity like this?? It seems that it has 
> something to do with the new PHP5 library being loaded, as number of 
> processes increases pretty well straight away after restart of APACHE.
> ENV: apache 1.3 on Sparc Solaris 8.
> Relevent bits from httpd.conf:
> Timeout 300
> KeepAlive On
> MaxKeepAliveRequests 100
> KeepAliveTimeout 15
> MinSpareServers 5
> MaxSpareServers 10
> StartServers 5
> MaxClients 150
> MaxRequestsPerChild 0
> Any help gratefully accepted :-).
> Cheers, Craig
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Ian Ballantyne
IT Systems & Communications
Medical University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 23
A-1090 Wien
Tel: +43 1 40160-21231

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