Apache performs certain actions in response to the KILL, TERM, HUP, and USR1 signals (as arguments to kill). All Apache system administrators should be familiar with the use of these signals to control the Apache web server.
#define SIGHUP 1 /* hangup, generated when terminal disconnects */ #define SIGKILL 9 /* last resort */ #define SIGTERM 15 /* software termination signal */ #define SIGUSR1 30 /* user defined signal 1 */
The four types of signal are:
The three other signals have safe and legitimate uses, and the next sections will explain what happens when each of them is sent to an Apache server process.
It should be noted that these signals should be sent only to the parent process, not to any of the child processes. The parent process PID may be found either by using ps auxc | grep apache (where it will usually be the lowest-numbered Apache process) or by executing cat on the httpd.pid file. See Section 5.3.3, later in this chapter, for more information.
Before each process is terminated, the Perl cleanup stage happens, in which Perl END blocks and global objects' DESTROY methods are run.
When all child processes have been terminated, all open log files are closed and the parent itself exits.
Unless an explicit signal name is provided, kill sends the TERM signal by default. Therefore:
panic# kill -TERM 1640
panic# kill 1640
will do the same thing.
If the configuration files contain errors when restart is signaled, the parent will exit, so it is important to check the configuration files for errors before issuing a restart. We'll cover how to check for errors shortly.
Using this approach to restart mod_perl-enabled Apache may cause the processes' memory consumption to grow after each restart. This happens when Perl code loaded in memory is not completely torn down, leading to a memory leak.
The only difference between USR1 and HUP is that USR1 allows the children to complete any current requests prior to terminating. There is no interruption in the service, unlike with the HUP signal, where service is interrupted for the few (and sometimes more) seconds it takes for a restart to complete.
By default, if a server is restarted using the USR1 or the HUP signal and mod_perl is not compiled as a DSO, Perl scripts and modules are not reloaded. To reload modules pulled in via PerlRequire, PerlModule, or use, and to flush the Apache::Registry cache, either completely stop the server and then start it again, or use this directive in httpd.conf:
(This directive is not always recommended. See Chapter 22 for further details.)
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