About PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS and lighttpd

If you are running PHP on a limited-resource box, like a [VPS][1] then you may have seen your PHP pages randomly hang. I was able to trace this issue down because the PHP pages were hung up and the normal html pages were still being served. The problem was ‘solved’ when I restarted the web server. Some research later, and talking to Thilo (bangert), I found out about PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS. This is an environment variable that PHP respects, it basically tells how many requests to serve before respawning fcgi. In my case, 500 seemed like a good number after testing. Your mileage may vary, but it is worth a try if you have those symptoms.

%% cat /etc/lighttpd/mod_fastcgi.conf 
server.modules += ("mod_fastcgi")
fastcgi.server = ( ".php" =>
    ( "localhost" =>
            "socket"   => "/var/run/lighttpd/lighttpd-fastcgi-php-" + PID + ".socket",
            "bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php-cgi",
            "max-procs" => "2", # default 4
            "bin-environment" => (
                "PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN" => "2", # default 1
                "PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS" => "500" #default 1000

[1]: http://blog.jolexa.net/tag/linode/

Jeremy Olexa

Random stuff that I write and make public to the interwebs. I am a tech enthusiast, so some posts are about tech/software. However, as of late, most will be about traveling. I hope you enjoy and find something useful.