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We use webalizer to generate reports on our Apache access logs - it is useful in conjunction with Google Analytics.

The problem is that webalizer uses ALOT of CPU when running. If I run top I can see two perl processes with 90% CPU - this slows down the machine and therefore the website for our users.

Webalizer is run via a daily cron job (/etc/cron.daily/00webalizer):

#! /bin/bash
# update access statistics for the web site
if [ -s /var/log/httpd/access_log ]; then
   exec /usr/bin/webalizer -Q

Does anyone know how to limit how much CPU webalizer can use? For example, would nice help and how would I use it?

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Yes nice would help, it lower the process priority so your webserver and thus users get priority.

exec nice /usr/bin/webalizer -Q 
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Thanks - I'll give it a try. Will it lessen the CPU load at all? – Tom Apr 23 '10 at 9:44
No, but webalizer will only get scheduled when nothing else wants the CPU time – Chris Jones Apr 23 '10 at 11:12
After using nice for a few days I can report that unfortunately it isn't the silver bullet I was hoping for - webalizer is still overloading the server when it runs. – Tom Apr 26 '10 at 10:23
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Having monitored the situation for a while I have an embarrassing confession - Webalizer was not causing the load spike on our server. It was actually caused by logwatch, a different log file analyser. Both scripts were running at the same time (via cron.daily) and I only figured out which one was causing the issue by disabling one, then the other and comparing the CPU usage.

We don't need logwatch because I have never even seen the emails it produces. So, I disabled it by deleting the symbolic link in /etc/cron.daily/:

> ls -l /etc/cron.daily/0logwatch 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 39 Apr 17 03:46 /etc/cron.daily/0logwatch -> /usr/share/logwatch/scripts/

Problem solved. Sorry Webalizer - didn't mean to falsely accuse you of being a CPU hog.

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