Apache HTTP Server Version 2.0

Apache Module worker

Description: Multi-Processing Module implementing a hybrid multi-threaded multi-process web server
Status: MPM
Module Identifier: mpm_worker_module


This Multi-Processing Module (MPM) implements a hybrid multi-process multi-threaded server. By using threads to serve requests, it is able to serve a large number of requests with less system resources than a process-based server. Yet it retains much of the stability of a process-based server by keeping multiple processes available, each with many threads.

The most important directives used to control this MPM are ThreadsPerChild and MaxClients. By multiplying together the value of these directives you define the total number of simultaneous connections that the server can handle.


See also

How it Works

Each process has a fixed number of threads. The server adjusts to handle load by increasing or decreasing the number of processes.

A single control process is responsible for launching child processes. Each child process creates a fixed number of threads as specified in the ThreadsPerChild directive. The individual threads then listen for connections and serve them when they arrive.

Apache always tries to maintain a pool of spare or idle server threads, which stand ready to serve incoming requests. In this way, clients do not need to wait for a new threads or processes to be created before their requests can be served. Apache assesses the total number of idle threads in all processes, and forks or kills processes to keep this number within the boundaries specified by MinSpareThreads and MaxSpareThreads. Since this process is very self-regulating, it is rarely necessary to modify these directives from their default values. The maximum number of clients that may be served simultaneously is determined by multiplying the maximum number of server processes that will be created (MaxClients) by the number of threads created in each process (ThreadsPerChild).

While the parent process is usually started as root under Unix in order to bind to port 80, the child processes and threads are launched by Apache as a less-privileged user. The User and Group directives are used to set the privileges of the Apache child processes. The child processes must be able to read all the content that will be served, but should have as few privileges beyond that as possible. In addition, unless suexec is used, these directives also set the privileges which will be inherited by CGI scripts.

MaxRequestsPerChild controls how frequently the server recycles processes by killing old ones and launching new ones.

Apache HTTP Server Version 2.0