Apache 1.3.3 - "Resource temporarily unavailable: couldn't spawn child process"

Apache 1.3.3 - "Resource temporarily unavailable: couldn't spawn child process"

Post by Daniel Mahone » Wed, 09 Dec 1998 04:00:00



I'm running Apache 1.3.3 configured with php 3.0.5.  I've configured with
--enable-module=info --enable-module-rewrite
--activate-module=src/modules/php/libphp3.a
and configured by access.conf and httpd.conf to allow server side includes.

When I try to access a page making use of SSI, I get the error message in
the subject line.  Any ideas what I'm doing wrong here?  This damn thing is
about to drive me crazy!

FWIW, OS is FreeBSD 3.0

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1. Intermittent CGI error: "Resource Temporarily Unavailable: couldn't spawn child process"

I have an intermittent problem, my cgi scipts will stop working for a
few minutes, though web pages continue to load. A check of the web
server error log reveals:
Resource Temporarily Unavailable: couldn't spawn child process
/usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/foo.cgi (sometimes a response form, or a
counter script, or (ugh)FrontPage). I removed all the calls to an old
counter that does not support file locking, and that helped. I chowned
the appropriate scripts to the uid of the web server, and that helped.
The frustrating thing is that this error did not occur on the old
server, it was running Apache 1.2.5 and BSDI 2.2 on a pentium 100 with
80 megs of RAM, the new server is a Pentium 330 dual processor with
256 megs of RAM running BSDI 4.0.1, and obviously something is
limiting the amount of resources the web server can use. Running "top"
at the time the errors are occuring reveals that the server is not at
all busy.
I have seen the various Rlimit directives mentioned on the Apache
documentation but I hesitate to implement them, as I am not sure what
the default is for this OS, but I think that is part of my problem,
especially the RLimitNPROC directive.
http://www.apache.org/docs/mod/core.html#rlimitnproc
My login.conf says (in the default section) that 128 processes can be
running, and 64 of them current, but I am not sure that is where the
values are set, but I suspect so.
I am open to (and eagerly await) any suggestions.
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