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Currently I'm running our web application on a LAMP stack on a VPS with the following specs:

  • 768MB memory

  • Xen PV

  • Ubuntu Maverick

What I'm finding is that web server requests are frequently timing out. Interestingly, this is on my development configuration so it's getting very little traffic but despite that I'm getting timeouts. I'm wondering if Apache isn't somehow memory starved. I'm planning on converting it over to ngix but in the mean time I would like to determine what is causing the timeouts.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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You've not said if you're using something like FastCGI with PHP in your Apache build. If you're using PHP, Ruby or Python and not using that, then it's possible the spawn process required by each script execution is causing the timeouts.

However, I think overall you've not given enough information to really give many specific suggestions. Look in your Apache error log and if possible post the errors as an update, that's probably the first place to look.

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Get real with your question. You say NOTHING about how many requests you handle, how the server looks physically etc. All those are interesting items.

768mb memory may be a lot, mey be little. depends on application, user requests.

Timeoutss can come from a slow database. How fast is your disc subsystem for the mysql part? Where doe the timeout occur.

Then you ask for an optimal configuration on an unknown problem.... how should we know? There is no such think as an optimal configuration. It all depends on what yuo do. This is why web server and server setups in generally are very disparate (differ a lot) in their configruation. For example the datbase part alone for an internal application i work on personally has 10 discs and 8gb memory and it is not enough. our optimal setup would not even be close to optimal for me here.

We need a LOT more information to give any non-stupid advice here (or: advice which is not a total shot in the dark).

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if you read the question, the OP is not asking for a solution, but where to start troubleshooting - ... I would like to determine what is causing the timeouts. Does anyone have any suggestions? – Mark Henderson Apr 12 '11 at 8:03
Error analysis. Timeout - what does it MEAN? TCP? Is there an error in the logs about a database timeout? Is the database just slow and thus the page takes longer than allowed? Check load (cpu, io). IO likely is critical fast on a chap vps. – TomTom Apr 12 '11 at 8:32

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