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I could found 437 SYNs to LISTEN sockets dropped from netstat -s from the server on my server which runs nginx.

I found this explanation from the man page: --statistics, -s, Display summary statistics for each protocol.

Then what does this count 437 mean, is it a snapshot or a summed up count for some time period?

Thanks a lot.

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Nginx accepts connections very quickly, but in extremely high-traffic situations, a connection backlog can still happen at the system level (which is a distinct bottleneck from the application-level connection handling) When this occurs, new connections will be refused.

"SYNs to LISTEN sockets dropped" is a symptom that your Nginx drops the packets. My advise is to first monitor the Nginx active connections using ngx_http_stub_status_module[1]. Then identify current system wide open file descriptors and adjust kernel parameters accordingly.

The connection queue size can be increased by modifying the somaxconn and tcp_max_syn_backlog kernel variables. Please refer these valuable resources[2][3] for more information.

[1] https://nginx.org/en/docs/http/ngx_http_stub_status_module.html

[2] http://engineering.chartbeat.com/2014/01/02/part-1-lessons-learned-tuning-tcp-and-nginx-in-ec2/

[3] https://www.scalyr.com/community/guides/how-to-monitor-nginx-the-essential-guide

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Usually wmem and rmem defaults are 212992 bytes. Apparently not enough on busy server. Raised to 8MB and the problem disappeared.

sysctl -w net.core.wmem_default=8388608
sysctl -w net.core.rmem_default=8388608

See What causes “SYN to LISTEN sockets dropped”?.

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