Josh Brooks wrote:

I want to kill apache children that exceed a certain memory size - but I
want to make sure only to kill children.

If you're having memory problems with Apache,
this is not the way to solve it.

Rather, limit the number of children
using 'MaxClients' or 'ServerLimit'.
That will restrict your total memory
usage.  (Note that restricting the number
of children can considerably improve overall
performance, especially if it prevents
the system from swapping.)

There's also a setting that limits the
total number of requests handled by a
particular child before that child
exits on its own.  That can be useful
for limiting the damage from memory
leaks, for example.

Using some of the newer MPMs, it's
also possible to designate certain children
to process memory-hungry requests and
manage overall memory usage that way.

Probably the most important point, though, is
to carefully evaluate your design choices.
mod_perl, for instance, is a notorious
memory pig.  (It's possible to limit
memory usage with mod_perl, but it requires
a great deal of care.)

Trying to kill children is just a bad
idea.  In particular, there's no way
to ensure that you kill a child between
requests, so you're gauranteed to lose
some requests if you go this way
(and quite possibly hang a few TCP
connections along the way).  Don't
do it.

Tim Kientzle

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