[Mongrel] Problems with mongrel dying

Zed A. Shaw zedshaw at zedshaw.com
Thu Nov 2 22:19:51 EST 2006

On Thu, 02 Nov 2006 19:13:54 -0700
Robert Vogel <robert at kitchendemocracy.org> wrote:

> Hello  -
> I need help.  For the past 11 days, one of the two mongrel processes on
> my railsmachine VPS has been crashing intermittently - it has crashed
> about 10 times, with increasing frequency in the past few days. 
> Unfortunately, after many, many hours I still have not been able to
> reproduce this problem in a controlled way - neither on my production
> railsmachine nor on my development machine.  As far as I can tell, I
> have followed these suggestions from Bradley and Zed and Zed's Mongrel
> book:

That's awesomely complete for an analysis.  And you say they just "poof" go away?  Ok, so there *has* to be something different about your setup compared to other folks.  I'm thinking the oom killer thing is to blame.  Usually when someone says it "just goes boom" it's because of this.

While you may think your mongrel process isn't using that much ram, keep in mind it's based on how much is available vs. what's used. You could have a mysql that eats all the ram and Linux decides to kill your mongrel.

So, to confirm this isn't the case, monitor your memory usage totals during the day, and install monit to e-mail you when it needs to restart.  Monit will tell you it had to restart, then you can jump on and see what your memory usage log was reporting.

I usually just run a little cron job that spits out the free command to a file once every 5 minutes or so.

Also, look in the linux log files.  IIRC the oom killer doesn't say anything, but check to see if they improved this "magic".


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