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I really don't understand the purpose of this variable - what exactly is the purpose of it? To prevent the exhaustion of ram? It seems ineffective as each request could use a variable amount of ram up to the maximum.

If I need to process 10 requests that take 10MB in memory, and 1 request that takes 1024mb of memory concurrently. Does this mean if I only have (1024+10*10 = 1124mb) of memory available, I should set the max_children to 1 - because 2 potential requests could exhaust the memory if they were both using 1024mb?

This configuration has a limitation in that I can't process 20 requests even if they would only use 10mb each.

What happens to a new connection once the php-fpm server reaches it's pm.max_children value? Does it return a 502 for the new connection?

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