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I just got my VSP setup using Debian Lenny and made a silly mistake today trying to install VirtualMin. All I know is that apart from my perfectly running fine Apache process I've got couples of Apache processes owned by some www-data user. I removed VirtualMin but they are still hanging around and draining so much RAM.

Could anyone give me some pointer as to how I could prevent these extra www-data's Apache processes from running?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Apache running as www-data is the default in Debian Lenny. You might be confusing a single 'parent' apache process (running as root) with apache 'children' doing HTTP request processing (running as www-data). Both 'parent' and 'children' processes should look like they were started with /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start (when you ps aux | grep apache), and the only difference is the process owner.

To control init startup scripts you could use sudo sysv-rc-conf (sudo aptitude install sysv-rc-conf if you don't have it - it is just an easy curses-like Perl wrapper for init scripts).

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Those spare processes are there to cope with incoming request demands.

What you're looking for is MinSpareServers, but please read http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/prefork.html for why you might not want to lower it.

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/misc/perf-tuning.html might also be useful.

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