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if no_of_processes (ps ax ¦ grep httpd) > 200
Yes the real issue is bigger, but I have no clue why the number of processes keep growing and can't be killed automatically by the system.
When that happens, there are accordingly growing number of records like those below in the httpd log file.
[Mon Mar 05 16:08:15 2007] [warn] child process 24829 still did not exit, sending a SIGTERM
[Mon Mar 05 16:08:21 2007] [error] child process 24829 still did not exit, sending a SIGKILL
I think it has something to do with mysql, because at the early stage before the server is brought down, dynamic pages using mysql slow down while static pages of plain text still respond normally.
At the moment I simply don't know what I can do to get closer to finding out what is the origin of the issue. Can anybody give me some advices or suggestions or any comments?
As far as having a large number of open threads - you might want to check your http.conf and make sure keepalive is disabled or has a very low timeout.
Keepalive makes a thread that serves up a page stay open (to respond to other requests for more pages or css or js or images). Generally you will get MUCH improved performance out of apache if you use it for dynamic content only (which makes keepalive useless because apache will be generating only a single request per page) and serve up js, css, images, and other static stuff via something more lightweight (I use squid in reverse proxy mode).