Apache::Watchdog::RunAway - a Monitor for Terminating Hanging Apache Processes


  use Apache::Watchdog::RunAway ();
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::TIMEOUT = 0;
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::POLLTIME = 60;
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::DEBUG = 0;
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::LOCK_FILE = "/tmp/safehang.lock";
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::LOG_FILE = "/tmp/safehang.log";
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::SCOREBOARD_URL = "http://localhost/scoreboard";
  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::VERBOSE = 0;



A module that monitors hanging Apache/mod_perl processes. You define the time in seconds after which the process to be counted as hanging. You also control the polling time between check to check.

When the process is considered as 'hanging' it will be killed and the event logged into a log file. The log file is being opened on append, so you can basically defined the same log file that uses Apache.

You can start this process from or through any other method. (e.g. a crontab). Once started it runs indefinitely, untill killed.

You cannot start a new monitoring process before you kill the old one. The lockfile will prevent you from doing that.

Generally you should use the amprapmon program that bundled with this module's distribution package, but you can write your own code using the module as well. See the amprapmon manpage for more info about it.


  • stop_monitor()

    Stops the process based on the PID in the lock file. Removes the lock file.

  • start_monitor()

    Starts the monitor in the current process. Creates the lock file.

  • start_detached_monitor()

    Starts the monitor in a forked process. (used by amprapmon). Creates the lock file.


This is an alpha version of the module, so use it after a testing on development machine.

The most critical parameter is the value of $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::TIMEOUT (see CONFIGURATION), since the processes will be killed without waiting for them to quit (since they hung).


Install and configure Apache::Scoreboard module

  # mod_status should be compiled in (it is by default)
  ExtendedStatus On

  <Location /scoreboard>
    SetHandler perl-script
    PerlHandler Apache::Scoreboard::send

You also need to have mod_status built in and its extended status to be turned on:

  ExtendedStatus On

Configure the Apache::Watchdog::RunAway parameters:

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::TIMEOUT = 0;

The time in seconds after which the process is considered hanging. 0 means deactivated. The default is 0 (deactivated).

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::POLLTIME = 60;

Polling intervals in seconds. The default is 60.

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::DEBUG = 0;

Debug mode (0, 1 or 2). The default is 0. Level 2 logs a lot of debug noise. Level 1 only logs killed processes info.

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::LOCK_FILE = "/tmp/safehang.lock";

The process lock file location. The default is /tmp/safehang.lock

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::LOG_FILE = "/tmp/safehang.log";

The log file location. Since it flocks the file, you can safely use the same log file that Apache uses, so you will get the messages about killed processes in file you've got used to. The default is /tmp/safehang.log

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::SCOREBOARD_URL = "http://localhost/scoreboard";

Since the process relies on scoreboard URL configured on any of your machines (the URL returns a binary image that includes the status of the server and its children), you must specify it. This enables you to run the monitor on one machine while the server can run on the other machine. The default is URI is http://localhost/scoreboard.

  $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::VERBOSE = 0;

When about to forcibly kill a child, it will report in the log the first 64 bytes of the request and the remote IP of the client.

Start the monitoring process either with:


that starts the monitor in a forked process or


that starts the monitor in the current process.

Stop the process with:


The distribution arrives with amprapmon program that provides an rc.d like or apachectl interface.

Instead of using a Perl interface you can start it from the command line:

  amprapmon start

or from the file:

  system "amprapmon start";


  system "amprapmon stop";
  system "amprapmon start";


  system "amprapmon restart";

As mentioned before, once started it sholdn't be killed. So you may leave only the system "amprapmon start"; in the

You can start the amprapmon program from crontab as well.


The most important part of configuration is choosing the right timeout (i.e. $Apache::Watchdog::RunAway::TIMEOUT) parameter. You should try this code that hangs and see the process killed after a timeout if the monitor is running.

  my $r = shift;
  print "PID = $$\n";
    sleep 1;


The module relies on correctly configured /scoreboard location URI. If it cannot fetch the URI, it queitly assumes that server is stopped. So either check manually that the /scoreboard location URI is working or use the above test script that hangs to make sure it works.

Enable debug mode for more information.


You need to have Apache::Scoreboard installed and configured in httpd.conf, which in turn requires mod_status to be installed. You also have to enable the extended status, for this module to work properly. In httpd.conf add:

  ExtendedStatus On


Was ist dieses?


Apache, mod_perl, Apache::Scoreboard


Stas Bekman <>


Apache::Watchdog::RunAway is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.