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  1. #11

    I've also noticed that doing an /etc/init.d/httpd restart command as you've mentioned seems to at least clean up the problem temporarily. If no other solution can be found, is there a way I can make a script that has apache restart if it gets over x number of http processes running or y user has made more than z number of connections? Maybe schedule something in cron?

  2. #12
    Ok, doing a restart doesn't work as well as I thought, as sometimes it sends everything to FIN_ACK (which is fine), other times it can't even stop apache.

  3. #13


    this is a personal question i guess; i am a school student, so you may nopt want to tell me lol, i would like to know what distro you are running, i have seen the knoppix 3.4 version do this while running phpBB, also what version of phpBB are you running.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #14
    I'm not totally sure. It's a managed machine, but I'll see if I can find out.

    Latest version of phpBB (2.0.13, I think.)

    The information it gives me with a 'uname -a' is:

    Linux 2.4.20-021stab026.6.777-smp #1 SMP Fri Jan 14 15:56:42 MSK 2005 i686 unknown

    What was the solution to the problem in the distro you saw this happening?

  6. #15
    And out of curiosity, what is proxy3c.external? Why would it have an address of Why would it get a whole bunch of stuff stuck in close_wait?

  7. #16
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    London, UK
    We had EXACTLY the same thing on this website last year, the problem IS with without a shadow of a doubt. I am aware of another site (also a phpbb forum) that had the same problem with

    I complained to bankone and it's stopped now HOWEVER that could be a coincidence rather than them fixing something. What ever the problem is it is still not fixed because they are now wacking your server. If the worst comes to the worst firewall off the bankone IP range.

    The connections in close_wait is natural, its just the TCP teardown going ahead. You can install a tool called "lingerd" for apache if you want to improve your server performance. I run it on the server and it works well.

    My first theory about is that their proxy's don't like phpbb forums, or particularly the session handling, however that is only a theory, and trying to get information out of bankone was like trying to get blood out of a stone.... My 2nd theory is their proxies are using some sort of HTTP prefetch - which is iteself is screwed, hence your site get's wacked.

    Have a look at your http log file's and watch what files are being requested... i kept getting loads of hits every seconds on faq.php and search.php if i remember correctly.


  8. #17
    I checked the connection logs a few weeks ago and it looked mostly like it was making several requests for the same images over and over, almost as if every time the user was going to a new page, he was making a enw request for everything. Fine, if he's not caching anything, that's no big deal, I'm sure there are others that don't cache anything, but obviously the problem is happening when it's making this new connection. He shouldn't have to request a new socket everytime he loads a page, and even if he did, the old one shouldn't be getting thrown into CLOSE_WAIT when he's done with it. My theory at this point is that there's a proxy of some sort in the middle that watches for him to make a new requests, then re-stablishes a new connection each time (requesting a new socket if it's the same server) abd then fails to close the one he was using previously in a proper manner. I wonder if there's some kind of background caching happening that just isn't sending a proper FIN to my server.

    I suppose I could try and contact them and see if they're willing/able to do something about it, but as you said, in a corporation like that who almost without a doubt has an external IT company do their networking, blood from stone is a good analogy. I really don't want to block the guy, as he's a long-time member, but I'm pretty much without options at this point.

    How would lingerd help in this situation, or would it?

  9. #18
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    London, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by SamuraiNigel
    How would lingerd help in this situation, or would it?
    In this specific situation it may not help, I was suggesting lingerd while we were on the topic of close/wait connections if you want to boost server performance in general... if your server isn't that busy then it's proberly not worth doing.

  10. #19


    first off what kind of forum are you running and im pretty sure if he works for bankone im sure they would NOT allow such use of their time and money (the internet) to be used to visit a nonsense webforum. also ask if he can turn his proxy off if not ban the ip address and goto town

  11. #20
    It's a phpBB-driven web forum (ver. 2.0.13) using PHP 4.1.2 and Zend Optimizer 2.1.0. The database is mySQL 3.23.58, Apache is version 1.3.27 (f any of that helps, I don't know.)

    How hard is lingerd to implement/install? I'll check it out if it helps server performance at all. I have a minimum of about 30 users connected at any given time of day from all over the world. The most we've had connected at once was a few hundred.

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