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The server hits the MaxClients setting and then just hangs until manually restarted. I have a 512MB ram VPS and i've set the MaxClients setting to 10. The child processes that apache spawns are not killed eventhough no connection to the server appears in netstat.

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Use server status to see what the processes are doing:

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/mod/mod_status.html

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i managed to get mod status to work. And i see many requests to a specific file eventhough nobody is connected to the server. I stopped that site and now everything is back to normal. Thanks for the info. Any ideeas on how to prevent this in the future are greatly appreciated :) –  Overdeath Feb 13 '11 at 15:57
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Even If you have no connection, apache will start some child to be able to quick answer to request (creating child process have a cost). You can parameter this with MinSpareServers, MaxSpareServers, and StartServers.

With 512MB, you can specify more than 10 MaxChild.

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