Fast CGI (spawn-fcgi / php-cgi) crashes/dies/hangs

nerdgrind nginx-forum at
Wed Dec 9 03:46:48 MSK 2009

Apache is rock solid. That's a fact. Keep reading to see how many web sites support this fact.

php-fcgi is unstable, and unreliable. That's a fact. It's no joke when a web site goes down on a production server. Down time is lost money.

The forums are saturated with complaints about the instability and unreliability of php-fcgi, etc., serving PHP for Nginx and other servers that don't serve PHP themselves.

When Apache, or Litespeed, are used on the backend to serve PHP for Nginx, and those other static file servers like Zeus and lighttpd, there are zero complaints, because Apache is reliable and stable when serving PHP.

When you say:

Apache cannot handle the load on the same hardware.

... you must have never used Apache to serve millions of request, because I have, and I know you have no idea what you're talking about, and the system administrators handling some of the biggest web sites on the Internet also know you don't have a clue about Apache's abilities.

You said:

php-fpm handles millions of requests a day for me without an issue.

Post the URL to your web site that handles millions of requests a day, because I believe you're claim is a lie. The only site I can find for you is, and that doesn't get much traffic at all. uses Apache, uses Litespeed, uses Nginx on the frontend with Litespeed on the backend. uses Apache. uses Apache, they must have switched from lighttpd because of the memory leak, or maybe because of problems with php-fcgi. uses Apache, and Xcache.

Developer	October 2009	Percent	November 2009	Percent	Change
Apache	        108,078,535	46.90%	110,201,883	47.17%	0.27
Microsoft	49,723,999	21.58%	49,691,412	21.27%	-0.31	        30,069,136	13.05%	30,069,189	12.87%	-0.18
nginx	        13,813,997	5.99%	14,988,610	6.42%	0.42
Google	        13,819,947	6.00%	13,771,004	5.89%	-0.10
lighttpd	1,020,227	0.44%	1,113,605	0.48%	0.03

I guess some of the highest trafficked web sites on the Internet are using a web server that doesn't use php-fcgi to handle PHP.

What's more important is that there is no way to know how many web sites are using Apache or lighttpd as a backend server to handle PHP, since those people never complain about problems, and the small number of web sites that do try to use php-fcgi complain on forums all over the Internet about problems with reliability and stability.

Those are the facts Mike. Your support for php-fcgi sounds more like an opinion than a statement based on fact.

I've seen your comments here about how much you love php-fpm. Giving people the impression that php-fcgi is the only option they have to handle PHP on the backend, can mislead someone into many hours or days of frustration that can lead them into dumping Nginx, because they blame Nginx for the problems caused by php-fcgi. I suggest balancing your advice with other options like Apache.

Posted at Nginx Forum:,28783,29065#msg-29065

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