I try to run an apache instance. It doesn't run properly. I am trying to get some diagnostic information. I gave ps command and the apache instance that don't run properly are output with -k start. What does "-k start" mean?

Here is a piece of the output of ps command. The first apache server works properly, but the second one doesn't.

 0.0  3144 22166 /home/mertnuhoglu/webapps/roxalana_osqa/apache2/bin/httpd.worke
 0.0  1620 23311 /home/mertnuhoglu/webapps/django/apache2/bin/httpd -k start

5 Answers 5


That's the root process of the apache server. It binds to port 80 (or wherever) starts, then forks additional processes to handle actual requests.

What is it about that process that you say is "not working"?

  • Thank you all. Then "-k start" is not related to my problem. The server gives 500 Internal Server error. I will try to diagnose the problem more. Dec 17, 2010 at 21:10

The ps command shows the running processing with their parameters. So, -k start should be the parameters passed to httpd process. You can check the listening state of apache using:

$ sudo netstat -lnp | grep 80

Also, check the apache log files.


This is the parameter httpd was started with.


http://linux.die.net/man/8/httpd -k start tells the server to start itself


Auto start if it got down -k :)

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