Apache::GTopLimit - Limit Apache httpd processes

    This module allows you to kill off Apache httpd processes if they grow
    too large or have too little of shared memory. You can choose to set up
    the process size limiter to check the process size on every request:

        # in your
        # ___________________

        use Apache::GTopLimit;

        # Control the life based on memory size
        # in KB, so this is ~10MB
        $Apache::GTopLimit::MAX_PROCESS_SIZE = 10000; 

        # Control the life based on Shared memory size
        # in KB, so this is ~4MB 
        $Apache::GTopLimit::MIN_PROCESS_SHARED_SIZE = 4000;

        # Control the life based on UnShared memory size
        # in KB, so this is ~6MB 
        $Apache::GTopLimit::MAX_PROCESS_UNSHARED_SIZE = 6000;

        # in your httpd.conf:
        # ___________________

        # debug mode must be set before the module is loaded
        PerlSetVar Apache::GTopLimit::DEBUG 1

        # register handler
        PerlFixupHandler Apache::GTopLimit
        # you can set this up as any Perl*Handler that handles 
        # part of the request, even the LogHandler will do.

    Or you can just check those requests that are likely to get big or
    unshared. This way of checking is also easier for those who are mostly
    just running Apache::Registry scripts:

        # in your handler/CGI script
        use Apache::GTopLimit;
          # Max Process Size in KB


        use Apache::GTopLimit;
           # Min Shared process Size in KB


        use Apache::GTopLimit;
           # Min UnShared process Size in KB

    Since accessing the process info might add a little overhead, you may
    want to only check the process size every N times. To do so, put this in
    your or CGI:

        $Apache::GTopLimit::CHECK_EVERY_N_REQUESTS = 2;

    This will only check the process size every other time the process size
    checker is called.

    "MAX_PROCESS_UNSHARED_SIZE" are independent, and each will be checked if
    only set. So if you set the first two -- the process can be killed if it
    grows beyond the limit or its shared memory goes below the limit. It's
    better not to mix "MAX_PROCESS_UNSHARED_SIZE" with the first two.

    This module will run on platforms supported by a Perl interface
    to libgtop (which in turn needs libgtop : See ).

    This module was written in response to questions on the mod_perl mailing
    list on how to tell the httpd process to exit if:

    *   its memory size goes beyond a specified limit

    *   its shared memory size goes below a specified limit

    *   its unshared memory size goes beyond a specified limit

  Limiting memory size

    There are two big reasons your httpd children will grow. First, it could
    have a bug that causes the process to increase in size dramatically,
    until your system starts swapping. Second, your process just does stuff
    that requires a lot of memory (or leaks memory) , and the more different
    kinds of requests your server handles, the larger the httpd processes
    grow over time.

    This module will not really help you with the first problem. For that
    you should probably look into Apache::Resource or some other means of
    setting a limit on the data size of your program. BSD-ish systems have
    setrlimit() which will croak your memory gobbling processes. However it
    is a little violent, terminating your process in mid-request.

    This module attempts to solve the second situation where your process
    slowly grows over time. The idea is to check the memory usage after
    every request, and if it exceeds a threshold, exit gracefully.

    By using this module, you should be able to discontinue using the Apache
    configuration directive MaxRequestsPerChild, although for some folks,
    using both in combination does the job. Personally, I just use the
    technique shown in this module and set my MaxRequestsPerChild value to

  Limiting shared memory size

    We want the reverse the above limit for a shared memory limitation and
    kill the process when its hs too little of shared memory.

    When the same memory page is being shared between many processes, you
    need less physical memory relative to the case where the each process
    will have its own copy of the memory page.

    If your OS supports shared memory you will get a great benefit when you
    deploy this feature. With mod_perl you enable it by preloading the
    modules at the server startup. When you do that, each child uses the
    same memory page as the parent does, after it forks. The memory pages
    get unshared when a child modifies the page and it can no longer be
    shared, that's when the page is being copied to the child's domain and
    then modified as it pleased to. When this happens a child uses more real
    memory and less shared.

    Because of Perl's nature, memory pages get unshared pretty fast, when
    the code is being executed and it's internal data is being modified.
    That's why as the child gets older the size of the shared memory goes

    You can tune your server to kill off the child when its shared memory is
    too low, but it demands a constant retuning of the configuration
    directives if you do any heavy updates in the code the server executes.
    This module allows you to save up the time to make this tuning and
    retuning, by simply specifying the minimum size of the shared memory for
    each process. And when it crosses the line, to kill it off.

    Finally instead of trying to tune the memory size and shared memory
    thresholds, it's much easier to only specify the amount of unshared
    memory that can be tolerated and kill the process which has too much of
    unshared memory.

    Stas Bekman <>

    An almost complete rewrite of "Apache::SizeLimit" toward using GTop
    module (based on crossplatfom glibtop). The moment glibtop will be
    ported on all the platforms "Apache::SizeLimit" runs at (I think only
    Solaris is missing) "Apache::SizeLimit" will become absolete.

    Doug Bagley wrote the original "Apache::SizeLimit"

    See external file 'Changes'.

    The "Apache::GTopLimit" module is free software; you can redistribute it
    and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.