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Tracing runaway process/excess load

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by m.petersen68, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. m.petersen68

    m.petersen68 Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    I'm configuring a newish WHM dedicated server. I have only 7 of my own accounts on so far, which are all Joomla 1.5 websites. I have no "clients" (people that aren't me) on the box.

    Yesterday I received two automated emails of the "Stats Overload" variety. I found some excellent information on this site on that error this morning, but as one of the reported loads was over 10 and I have so little on this box, I decided to dig a little deeper.

    I logged on to WHM and checked the live server stats early in the morning. I was suprised to see the CPU load up at 98% despite Joomla reporting I had no users logged on (and therefore possibly editing articles). While the server stats DO tell me the 'offending' account, in the process column it just says:

    Top Process %CPU 97.3 /usr/bin/httpd
    Top Process %CPU 97.2 /usr/bin/httpd
    Top Process %CPU 97.1 /usr/bin/httpd

    I used the Server Health pane to kill the offending processes, at which point server load dropped to a nominal level. The Process Tracer didn't really give me any information I could use.

    So it seems I have a malfunctioning or runaway process on this particular Joomla 1.5 site.

    I jumped onto TOP but things look normal at the moment.

    So my question is: how can I troubleshoot this excessive load next time it happens, and how can I figure out what caused the load in retrospect (in the hope I can fix it before it happens again)?

    kindest regards

    Matthew P

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