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I am running a Turnkey Linux LAMP stack (based on Ubuntu). The server is hosting a relatively large WordPress installation with a pretty hefty amount of allocated RAM (on a dedicated machine). We get about half a million visitors a year, so it's not overwhelming.

And yet, sometime between every four hours and every four days, the server just stops serving pages. I've looked in the Apache logs, and all I've found are some known errors where certain graphic images are no longer available. I haven't found anything that seems to provide a clue why this is happening.

The machine itself doesn't fail, because I can connect in via Webmin and reboot. Once I reboot, it works fine -- again for a random amount of time.

So, where do I start trying to narrow down what's happening? As far as I can tell, the Apache and MySQL processes are still running. Just nothing's being service.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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You should look at the machine's logs, not just Apache. See if there's anything that corresponds to the outages in /var/log/messages and /var/log/syslog. –  cjc Nov 9 '12 at 18:38
    
What kind of known errors? Is apache server crashing? –  FINESEC Nov 9 '12 at 18:40
    
I agree with @cjc / also if your server is virtual one, examine the logs on the host –  Kamil Šrot Nov 9 '12 at 19:28
    
FINSEC, I honestly can't tell if it's "crashing" (as in ceasing to be loaded), but it stops responding to page requests. The process list shows the Apache instances are loaded in memory, which is where I'm finding things to be strange. cjc, I'll look in those logs and see if there's anything that seems hinky. Thnks! –  David Gewirtz Nov 9 '12 at 19:52

1 Answer 1

Could you have too many files open and need to issue ulimit -n [max files]? This happens quite often. The default on many systems can be as low as 256 open files.

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