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I have a bunch of scripts, but some of them are higher priority than others:

/var/www/normal-priority/script1.pl
/var/www/normal-priority/script2.pl
/var/www/normal-priority/script3.pl

and

/var/www/high-priority/script1.pl
/var/www/high-priority/script2.pl
/var/www/high-priority/script3.pl

All running under mod-perl. They reside in separate directories.

From time to time, the normal-priority scripts get very busy, and the httpd servers "swamp out" the less frequently called high priority ones.

Is it possible to set aside n httpd servers so that they only listen for the "high priority" scripts?

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    Do they have to run under httdp or could they just run standalone? – Izzy Jun 24 '13 at 22:24
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You can use the directive RLimitNPROC to limit the number of processes allowed to start in e.g. a directory. Since you're keeping the scripts in separate directories, this should work:

<Directory /var/www/high-priority>
  RLimitNPROC Max
</Directory>

<Directory /var/www/normal-priority>
  RLimitNPROC 4711  # Change this number to something that works for you
</Directory>

You can also set limits for CPU and memory usage.

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