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I've set up a basic LAMP installation on a Linode Ubuntu 10.04 server using the following apt-get command:

sudo apt-get install apache2 apache2.2-common apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils ssl-cert mysql-server mysql-client php5 php5-common libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql php5-mcrypt

I haven't really changed any Apache configuration settings apart from the ServerName property. For the most part this all works fine. However, every couple of page requests, say every 3 or so, it seems that the page doesn't want to load. If I leave the browser sit there it just tries to keep loading the page not really timing out or anything. Clicking the same link again will usually trigger a correct page load but sometimes it won't.

What could be a cause of this and how would I be able to investigate the underlying issue of this?


OK, so I tried MrTuttle's suggestions. Trying to replicate the issue isn't easy but armed with two consoles tailing the Apache error.log and the other tailing the access.log, and a Chrome Inspect tab open I was, after clicking around for a while to, finally able to trigger the issue.

When the issue occurs I see in the Chrome Inspect tab that the call to the server is "pending" and nothing else really happens. Both my error.log and access.log don't show any new entries. I left the browser loading for a few minutes and nothing happened. I decided to go to the shops and when I came back there was finally a message in my browser saying that the page could not be loaded and that the server might be down (which is clearly not the case).

One odd thing that I noticed is that this issue does not occur on Windows (at least I haven't been able to trigger it so far), only on Linux (my day to day desktop) and my friends Mac.

I'm not really sure what else I can do to investigate this issue.

share|improve this question

Pop open something like firebug, or chrome's "inspect" tab, and see where the HTTP connection's stalling, just to rule out anything goofy. Next, presuming your browser thinks that it's hitting your server, check your access_logs to see if your server's seeing the connection. If it is, but you don't get any content delivered, is there anything in the error_log? Maybe something like MaxClients Reached (ie: apache can't serve any more pages until there's an apache child free to service the request; i'd be surprised if this is the case, but who knows).

Also, what sort of page is this? Just a piece of static content?

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I will try what you suggest. The pages are PHP generated. I have another server running Trac and Subversion with the same basic install and it's experiencing the exact same problem. So, one server with PHP installed and another one with Trac are both performing the same behavior. Also, the same issue happens in different browsers so I don't think it's anything client side. – Luke Jul 6 '11 at 23:26
I've updated my question. – Luke Aug 9 '11 at 21:24

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