Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm seeing an issue where PHP-FPM works perfectly for a few days, and then decides to fill up all the memory + swap and invoke OOM-Killer. After this happens, the server is completely dead and you can't even SSH into it anymore. A hard restart has to happen to bring things back to normal.

I'm wondering why this is happening and if there's either a fix or a workaround, such as limiting the amount of memory it can use or restarting the process if it's starts using too much.

I've captured the kernel dumps the last few times its happened.


My php-fpm.conf


My www.conf:


Let me know if there's anything else I can give you for more information on why this could be happening.

share|improve this question

You may need to find out whether all the memory allocation is caused by one unusual request (in which case you will have to fix the code) or this is the result of a progressive memory leak. In the latter case you can decrease max_requests parameter to restart PHP-FPM children more often.

If you cannot fix the problem in the code, you may have to use a dirty hack. Like, write a script that would monitor PHP memory consumption and restart it.

There's also a way to limit memory consumption for a given process (as described here or here), but I had no chance to test it.

share|improve this answer

There is a lot of great information around about OOM. If you want to understand what is happening I recommend to search for it with some more keywords like this

I had this myself once in a customer project and had to take care of this. Unfortunately none of the recommended above did help as this is related to the kernel. OOM is a dirty workaround for overcommitting memory in linux.

What helped (me) was to set some kernel parameters that avoid the OOM altogether. To quickfix it, add the following lines to /etc/sysctl.conf to make the change persistent over boot:

vm.overcommit_memory = 2
vm.overcommit_ratio = 80

I would however recommend to read up on the OOM. You might find some more useful informations about it.

share|improve this answer

Try to reduce pm.max_requests to some lower values (1000). Also, you have high pm.start_servers, pm.start_servers, pm.max_spare_servers values and extremely high pm.max_children

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.