Ruby processes spawning rapidly

This would be my first time posting here and I’m hoping to get some
enlightenment on my problem.

I have Mac OS X Server Leopard v10.5.2 with 4GB of RAM. We recently
had a new site developed for our company and it was developed on ROR.

I’m running an out of the box configuration for Ruby on Rails.
Bluecloth is installed but everything else is stock. The database is

The app is created on Windows workstations and then deployed to a svn
repository that runs on Linux. To get the app running in my
environment I had to troubleshoot and make a few tweaks to the rb
config files to run the app. Each time our provider would make
changes to our site they would send me the revised files via email and
I would put them in place and restart my web services.

I have since set up SSH so that our provider could push out updates to
my server without any intervention by me via subversion. We have
subversion and the symbolic links all set up and running. But ever
since these changes have been made my rails app has gone crazy on me.
Fastcgi will intermittently spawn 10-13 ruby processes one after the
other rapidly. Some of the ruby processes will eat 1-3MB of RAM per
1-2 seconds and will eventually take all 4GB of RAM that the server
has and then the app will stop responding.

Our provider has looked over the Apache logs as well as the logs in
the rails app itself and they tell me I need to configure mod_fastcgi
to only allow so many ruby processes to run. On their linux server
they have mod_fastcgi configured to run static with only (2) ruby

I’m not a web developer or a web guru- just a simple server
administrator that can’t seem to find any information out there
related to my problem. One thing to note is that the old site I was
updating manually when changes were made never had this problem and
still doesn’t. I’ve compared config files in my rails app and
everything is essentially the same.

Since our service provider knows nothing about OS X and how it’s
configured, they can’t assist me very well.

Any help or suggestions would be great!

Well the obvious thing is to see how those essentially similar files
differ. By your own admission you’re not an expert so their might be
something subtle lurking there.
It’s been a while since I used fastcgi but there used to be a log file
where it would log stuff like it crashing & having to restart, might
have some interesting info.
As far as I recall configuring the number of fastcgi process is done
either in the .htaccess file in the rails app’s public folder, or in
the corresponding virtual host entry in apache’s configuration.


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