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From "Morten K. Poulsen" <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Explosion of clients
Date Thu, 02 Apr 2009 23:21:51 GMT
Hi Russell,

On Thu, 2009-04-02 at 16:45 -0600, Russell Bell wrote:
> I run a crontab job that collects the 'top' output every 5 minutes.
> Twice in the last 6 months httpd has spawned as many clients
> as it can, consuming all memory.  For months it uses 14-20 clients
> then, suddenly, explodes to creating 50 to 100 - whatever the
> value of MaxClients.  The logs that record accesses don't show
> an increase in accesses or errors - indeed they show a decrease.
> I see no unusual behavior in any logs

What are those httpd processes serving?

Is Apache still responding?

> Restarting stops the explosion of clients and all returns to as it was.
> The first time it happened I searched for causes, marked it as a
> quirk, but it happened again yesterday.

If Apache is still responding, you can get an overview of this by
requesting the server-status page (if you have mod_status enabled):


If Apache is not responding, I've written a tool which might help you
find out what is going on:

This tool can easily be run from cron to log activity at regular

Best regards,

Morten K. Poulsen <>
CTO, FableTech

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