Thread Process Apache Memory

what is the Difference between Thread & Process?
Thread is light weight process.

The Worker MPM can consume much less memory because the heap memory is shared among threads, while that’s not true for processes.

However, it retains much of the stability of a process-based server by keeping multiple processes available, each with many threads.

One major disadvantage is the stability of the worker MPM: if a thread becomes corrupt, all threads of a process can be affected. In the worst case, this may result in a server crash. Especially when using the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) with Apache under heavy load, internal server errors might occur due to threads being unable to communicate with system resources. Another argument against using the worker MPM with Apache is that not all available Apache modules are thread-safe and thus cannot be used in conjunction with the worker MPM.

PREFORK : When Apache starts up, it creates multiple child processes that handle HTTP requests. The initial parent process acts like a guardian angel, making sure that all the child processes are working properly and coordinating everything. As more HTTP requests come in, more child processes are spawned to process them. As the HTTP requests slow down, the parent will kill the idle child processes, freeing up resources for other processes. The beauty of this scheme is that it makes Apache extremely robust. Even if a child process crashes, the parent and the other child processes are insulated from the crashing child.

What is Heap Memory?
A memory heap is a common structure for holding dynamically allocated memory.

Heap memory is essentially a large pool of memory (typically per process) from which the running program can request chunks. This is typically called dynamic allocation.

Memory allocated from the heap will remain allocated until one of the following occurs:

1. The memory is free’d
2. The program terminates

If all references to allocated memory are lost (e.g. you don’t store a pointer to it anymore), you have what is called a memory leak. This is where the memory has still been allocated, but you have no easy way of accessing it anymore. Leaked memory cannot be reclaimed for future memory allocations, but when the program ends the memory will be free’d up by the operating system.

It is different from the Stack, where “automatic variables” are allocated. So, for example, when you define in a C function a pointer variable, enough space to hold a memory address is allocated on the stack. However, you will often need to dynamically allocate space (With malloc) on the heap and then provide the address where this memory chunk starts to the pointer.

Virtual memory systems separate the memory addresses used by a process from actual physical addresses, allowing separation of processes and increasing the effectively available amount of RAM using paging or swapping to secondary storage. The quality of the virtual memory manager can have an extensive effect on overall system performance.

Dynamic Memory Allocation:
The task of fulfilling an allocation request consists of locating a block of unused memory of sufficient size. Memory requests are satisfied by allocating portions from a large pool of memory called the heap. At any given time, some parts of the heap are in use, while some are “free” (unused) and thus available for future allocations. Several issues complicate implementation, such as external fragmentation, which arises when there are many small gaps between allocated memory blocks, which invalidates their use for an allocation request. The allocator’s metadata can also inflate the size of (individually) small allocations. This is managed often by chunking. The memory management system must track outstanding allocations to ensure that they do not overlap and that no memory is ever “lost” as a memory leak.

OS & Apache Caching

Operating System Caching

Almost all modern operating systems cache file-data in memory managed directly by the kernel. This is a powerful feature, and for the most part operating systems get it right. For example, on Linux, let’s look at the difference in the time it takes to read a file for the first time and the second time;

colm@coroebus:~$ time cat testfile > /dev/null
real 0m0.065s
user 0m0.000s
sys 0m0.001s
colm@coroebus:~$ time cat testfile > /dev/null
real 0m0.003s
user 0m0.003s
sys 0m0.000s

Even for this small file, there is a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to read the file. This is because the kernel has cached the file contents in memory.

By ensuring there is “spare” memory on your system, you can ensure that more and more file-contents will be stored in this cache. This can be a very efficient means of in-memory caching, and involves no extra configuration of Apache at all.

Additionally, because the operating system knows when files are deleted or modified, it can automatically remove file contents from the cache when necessary. This is a big advantage over Apache’s in-memory caching which has no way of knowing when a file has changed.

Despite the performance and advantages of automatic operating system caching there are some circumstances in which in-memory caching may be better performed by Apache.

Firstly, an operating system can only cache files it knows about. If you are running Apache as a proxy server, the files you are caching are not locally stored but remotely served. If you still want the unbeatable speed of in-memory caching, Apache’s own memory caching is needed.

Not So Used Apache Directives in VHost Configurations:

With the help of Alias directives, URLs can be mapped to physical file system locations. This means that a certain path even outside the Document Root in the file system can be accessed via a URL aliasing that path.
Alias /icons points to /usr/share/apache2/icons for the Apache icons displayed in the directory index view.


Similar to the Alias directive, the ScriptAlias directive maps a URL to a file system location. The difference is that ScriptAlias designates the target directory as a CGI location, meaning that CGI scripts should be executed in that location.


With Directory settings, you can enclose a group of configuration options that will only apply to the specified directory.
Access and display options for the directories /srv/www/htdocs, /usr/share/apache2/icons and /srv/www/cgi-bin are configured here. It should not be necessary to change the defaults.

Server Administrator E-Mail

E-mail address of the server administrator. This address is, for example, shown on error pages Apache creates.

Apache Start/Stop Scripts:
reload or graceful

Stops the Web server by advising all forked Apache processes to first finish their requests before shutting down. As each process dies, it is replaced by a newly started one, resulting in a complete “restart” of Apache.


Stops the Web server after a defined period of time configured with GracefulShutdownTimeout in order to ensure that existing requests can be finished.

GracefulShutdownTimeout needs to be set, otherwise stop-graceful will result in a regular restart. If set to zero, the server will wait indefinitely until all remaining requests have been fully served.

Base and Extension Modules

All base and extension modules are described in detail in the Apache documentation. Only a brief description of the most important modules is available here. Refer to to learn details about each module.


Provides methods to execute a script whenever a certain MIME type (such as application/pdf), a file with a specific extension (like .rpm), or a certain request method (such as GET) is requested. This module is enabled by default.

Provides Alias and Redirect directives with which you can map a URl to a specific directory (Alias) or redirect a requested URL to another location. This module is enabled by default.

The authentication modules provide different authentication methods: basic authentication with mod_auth_basic or digest authentication with mod_auth_digest. Digest authentication in Apache 2.2 is considered experimental.

mod_auth_basic and mod_auth_digest must be combined with an authentication provider module, mod_authn_* (for example, mod_authn_file for text file–based authentication) and with an authorization module mod_authz_* (for example, mod_authz_user for user authorization).

More information about this topic is available in the Authentication HOWTO at

Autoindex generates directory listings when no index file (for example, index.html) is present. The look and feel of these indexes is configurable. This module is enabled by default. However, directory listings are disabled by default via the Options directive—overwrite this setting in your virtual host configuration. The default configuration file for this module is located at /etc/apache2/mod_autoindex-defaults.conf.

mod_cgi is needed to execute CGI scripts. This module is enabled by default.

Using this module, Apache can be configured to compress given file types on the fly before delivering them.

mod_dir provides the DirectoryIndex directive with which you can configure which files are automatically delivered when a directory is requested (index.html by default). It also provides an automatic redirect to the correct URL when a directory request does not contain a trailing slash. This module is enabled by default.

Controls the environment that is passed to CGI scripts or SSI pages. Environment variables can be set or unset or passed from the shell that invoked the httpd process. This module is enabled by default.

With mod_expires, you can control how often proxy and browser caches refresh your documents by sending an Expires header. This module is enabled by default.

mod_include lets you use Server Side Includes (SSI), which provide a basic functionality to generate HTML pages dynamically. This module is enabled by default.

Provides a comprehensive overview of the server configuration under http://localhost/server-info/. For security reasons, you should always limit access to this URL. By default only localhost is allowed to access this URL. mod_info is configured at /etc/apache2/mod_info.conf.

With this module, you can configure the look of the Apache log files. This module is enabled by default.

The mime module makes certain that a file is delivered with the correct MIME header based on the filename’s extension (for example text/html for HTML documents). This module is enabled by default.

Necessary for content negotiation. See for more information. This module is enabled by default.

Provides the functionality of mod_alias, but offers more features and flexibility. With mod_rewrite, you can redirect URLs based on multiple rules, request headers, and more.

Sets environment variables based on details of the client’s request, such as the browser string the client sends, or the client’s IP address. This module is enabled by default.

mod_speling attempts to automatically correct typographical errors in URLs, such as capitalization errors.

Enables encrypted connections between Web server and clients. See Section 29.6, “Setting Up a Secure Web Server with SSL” for details. This module is enabled by default.

Provides information on server activity and performance under http://localhost/server-status/. For security reasons, you should always limit access to this URL. By default, only localhost is allowed to access this URL. mod_status is configured at /etc/apache2/mod_status.conf

mod_suexec lets you run CGI scripts under a different user and group. This module is enabled by default.

Enables user-specific directories available under ~user/. The UserDir directive must be specified in the configuration. This module is enabled by default.

Apache External Modules


Using mod_mono allows you to run ASP.NET pages in your server.
Package Name: apache2-mod_mono
Configuration File: /etc/apache2/conf.d/mod_mono.conf

mod_perl enables you to run Perl scripts in an embedded interpreter. The persistent interpreter embedded in the server avoids the overhead of starting an external interpreter and the penalty of Perl start-up time.
Package Name: apache2-mod_perl
Configuration File: /etc/apache2/conf.d/mod_perl.conf
More Information: /usr/share/doc/packages/apache2-mod_perl

PHP is a server-side, cross-platform HTML embedded scripting language.
Package Name: apache2-mod_php5
Configuration File: /etc/apache2/conf.d/php5.conf
More Information: /usr/share/doc/packages/apache2-mod_php5

mod_python allows embedding Python within the Apache HTTP server for a considerable boost in performance and added flexibility in designing Web-based applications.
Package Name: apache2-mod_python
More Information: /usr/share/doc/packages/apache2-mod_python


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