nginx eating all RAM, log files?

Joseph Cabezas tdgh2323 at
Mon Apr 22 20:03:56 UTC 2013


This is the output of ps, iam having a hard time interpreting the memory usage perhaps you can help me differ?

root     18951  0.0  0.1 195892  6340 ?        Ss   Apr16   0:00 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -c /etc/nginx/modified/nginx-consolidated-5.conf
root     18977  0.0  0.1 197600  5188 ?        Ss   Apr16   0:00 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -c /etc/nginx/modified/nginx-consolidated-8.conf
nginx    18978  0.0  0.2 200096  9392 ?        S    Apr16   5:02 nginx: worker process
nginx    18979  0.0  0.1 197604  5768 ?        S    Apr16   0:03 nginx: cache manager process
nginx    23921  0.0  0.2 199892  9148 ?        S    Apr21   1:28 nginx: worker process
nginx    23922  0.0  0.1 195896  4844 ?        S    Apr21   0:00 nginx: cache manager process
root     24894  0.0  0.0 103244   832 pts/0    S+   14:00   0:00 grep nginx
[root]# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          3631       1760       1871          0        307       1212
-/+ buffers/cache:        240       3391
Swap:         2047          0       2047

I have a cache explicitly set at the nginx.conf . My site is not that big, the cache I have doesnt get pass 15mb.

Please let me know if this is suitable or if I should report differently.


Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 20:32:31 +0100
From: rkearsley at
To: nginx at
Subject: Re: nginx eating all RAM, log files?


    Are you sure it's not the linux file/buffer cache that's using all
    your ram? (does ps/top show nginx or the worker processes using it

    Linux and most/all other unix variants will fill up unused ram with
    cached versions of the most recently used files so they don't have
    to be read from disk each time... it's completely normal and
    expected behaviour :)



    On 22/04/13 19:30, Joseph Cabezas

      I have two nginx instances (nginx/1.0.15) on a 4GB
        RAM machine. Each instance runs fewer than 25 requests as
        reported with stub_status on; 


        The problem is that once nginx is started from scratch it starts
        eating (or reserving?) RAM progressively as reported by free -m,
        up to the point where it leaves only 2-5mb left and then it
        doesnt go past that. In about 7 days it has eating everything.
        Nginx doesnt crash, nor does it touch swap but I definately feel
        it compromises system resources to the point iam concerned as in
        a production spike its wise to think the server has no room. 


        This is the exact same issue on 4 other nginx machines I have. 


        In order to start over again I must kill -QUIT the PIDs , delete
        the log file (which is smaller then 800mb) and then all goes
        back to the cycle.


        Please indicate me what pieces of information I can supply to
        debug this issue.






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