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[rhelv5-list] Apache: Too many open files ?



Hello,

I'm running a RHEL5 system as a virtual hosting server, (virtualmin). I've got about 1000~ sites operating at the moment. A few months ago Apache stopped functioning, a bunch of errors about "Too many open files". I don't have the exact messages anymore, but I tried a number of things in the /proc/ filesystem to raise the limit, not of which seemed to have an effect. Long story short, I ended up changing the apache config, and putting all 2000+ apache logs into just two files (access & error logs, which was obviously not the ideal fix, but I was unable to get any reaction from the system when changing the open file limits. I left it set at:

# cat /proc/sys/fs/file-max
1334555


Fast forward to this morning, apparently for a brief period of time (not more than an hour I assume) I had this same issue pop up (first time since). After doing a bit of searching I (finally) realized perhaps this was because of my /etc/security/limits.conf settings? (I overlooked this the first time, at least I think I did).

So I changed the limits for apache:

< @apache         -       nofile          4096
--
> @apache         soft    nofile          8192
> @apache         hard    nofile          63536


Most of the problems had gone away before I made this change to limits.conf, however some problems still persist (see below) and I haven't changed the apache logs to go back into their separate files for each virtual server yet. So for now the system is in a semi-operational state, apache works and serves webpages, but doesn't function on some things (like bugzilla for instance, and some other in-house php webapps), which leaves me uneasy, so I thought I'd write to you all here to get your feedback on this issue.
.


1. I'm still not convinced the changes to limits.conf really worked for apache, since i'm still getting these errors. Though now when I su to apache it does reflect the new soft limit (but the errors don't go away)
(temporarily gave apache a shell)
# su - apache
# ulimit -n
8192


2. Every site is not down now (like this morning, or a few months ago), but some are, for some example, bugzilla (and some in house webapps). Bugzilla is getting an internal server error, and the log file says:

[Mon Sep 15 04:55:53 2008] [error] [client 88.146.77.120] (24)Too many open files: couldn't set child process attributes: /home/sites/secure.cmdwebsites.com/sys/bugzilla/buglist.cgi [Mon Sep 15 04:55:53 2008] [error] [client 88.146.77.120] (24)Too many open files: couldn't spawn child process: /home/sites/secure.cmdwebsites.com/sys/bugzilla/buglist.cgi


The internal php webapps get something similar, but in the browser, the errors:

...: failed to open stream: Too many open files in /foo/bar.php on line 815


3. I read here: http://kb.parallels.com/en/260 that I may need to recompile Apache and a a few other "system packages". I sure hope not. Thoughts?



Thank you in advance for any help.
Cheers,
Nick


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