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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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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 for why you might not want to lower it. might also be useful.

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