Stopping and Restarting Apache HTTP Server - Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

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Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.4Stopping and Restarting Apache HTTP Server

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    This document covers stopping and restarting Apache HTTP Server on
    Unix-like systems. Windows NT, 2000 and XP users should see
    Running httpd as a
    Service and Windows 9x and ME users should see Running httpd as a
    Console Application for information on how to control
    httpd on those platforms.

 Stop Now
 Graceful Restart
 Restart Now
 Graceful Stop
See alsohttpdapachectlStartingComments


    In order to stop or restart the Apache HTTP Server, you must send a signal to
    the running httpd processes.  There are two ways to
    send the signals.  First, you can use the unix kill
    command to directly send signals to the processes. You will
    notice many httpd executables running on your system,
    but you should not send signals to any of them except the parent,
    whose pid is in the PidFile. That is to say you
    shouldn't ever need to send signals to any process except the
    parent. There are four signals that you can send the parent:
    HUP, and
    WINCH, which
    will be described in a moment.

    To send a signal to the parent you should issue a command
    such as:

kill -TERM `cat /usr/local/apache2/logs/`

    The second method of signaling the httpd processes
    is to use the -k command line options: stop,
    restart, graceful and graceful-stop,
    as described below.  These are arguments to the httpd binary, but we recommend that
    you send them using the apachectl control script, which
    will pass them through to httpd.

    After you have signaled httpd, you can read about
    its progress by issuing:

tail -f /usr/local/apache2/logs/error_log

    Modify those examples to match your ServerRoot and PidFile settings.

Stop Now

Signal: TERM
apachectl -k stop

    Sending the TERM or stop signal to
    the parent causes it to immediately attempt to kill off all of its
    children. It may take it several seconds to complete killing off
    its children.  Then the parent itself exits. Any requests in
    progress are terminated, and no further requests are served.

Graceful Restart

Signal: USR1
apachectl -k graceful

    The USR1 or graceful signal causes
    the parent process to advise the children to exit after
    their current request (or to exit immediately if they're not
    serving anything). The parent re-reads its configuration files and
    re-opens its log files. As each child dies off the parent replaces
    it with a child from the new generation of the
    configuration, which begins serving new requests immediately.

    This code is designed to always respect the process control
    directive of the MPMs, so the number of processes and threads
    available to serve clients will be maintained at the appropriate
    values throughout the restart process.  Furthermore, it respects
    StartServers in the
    following manner: if after one second at least StartServers new children have not
    been created, then create enough to pick up the slack. Hence the
    code tries to maintain both the number of children appropriate for
    the current load on the server, and respect your wishes with the

    Users of mod_status
    will notice that the server statistics are not
    set to zero when a USR1 is sent. The code was
    written to both minimize the time in which the server is unable
    to serve new requests (they will be queued up by the operating
    system, so they're not lost in any event) and to respect your
    tuning parameters. In order to do this it has to keep the
    scoreboard used to keep track of all children across

    The status module will also use a G to indicate
    those children which are still serving requests started before
    the graceful restart was given.

    At present there is no way for a log rotation script using
    USR1 to know for certain that all children writing
    the pre-restart log have finished. We suggest that you use a
    suitable delay after sending the USR1 signal
    before you do anything with the old log. For example if most of
    your hits take less than 10 minutes to complete for users on
    low bandwidth links then you could wait 15 minutes before doing
    anything with the old log.

    When you issue a restart, a syntax check is first run, to
    ensure that there are no errors in the configuration files.
    If your configuration file has errors in it, you will get an
    error message about that syntax error, and the server will refuse to
    restart. This avoids the situation where the server halts and then
    cannot restart, leaving you with a non-functioning server.

    This still will not
    guarantee that the server will restart correctly. To check the
    semantics of the configuration files as well as the syntax, you
    can try starting httpd as a non-root user. If there
    are no errors it will attempt to open its sockets and logs and fail
    because it's not root (or because the currently running
    httpd already has those ports bound). If it fails
    for any other reason then it's probably a config file error and the error
    should be fixed before issuing the graceful restart.

Restart Now

Signal: HUP
apachectl -k restart

    Sending the HUP or restart signal to
    the parent causes it to kill off its children like in
    TERM, but the parent doesn't exit. It re-reads its
    configuration files, and re-opens any log files. Then it spawns a
    new set of children and continues serving hits.

    Users of mod_status
    will notice that the server statistics are set to zero when a
    HUP is sent.

As with a graceful restart, a syntax check is run before the
restart is attempted. If your configuration file has errors in it, the
restart will not be attempted, and you will receive notification of the
syntax error(s).

Graceful Stop

Signal: WINCH
apachectl -k graceful-stop

    The WINCH or graceful-stop signal causes
    the parent process to advise the children to exit after
    their current request (or to exit immediately if they're not
    serving anything). The parent will then remove its PidFile and cease listening on
    all ports. The parent will continue to run, and monitor children
    which are handling requests. Once all children have finalised
    and exited or the timeout specified by the GracefulShutdownTimeout has been
    reached, the parent will also exit.  If the timeout is reached,
    any remaining children will be sent the TERM signal
    to force them to exit.

    A TERM signal will immediately terminate the
    parent process and all children when in the "graceful" state. However
    as the PidFile will
    have been removed, you will not be able to use
    apachectl or httpd to send this signal.

    The graceful-stop signal allows you to run multiple
    identically configured instances of httpd at the
    same time. This is a powerful feature when performing graceful
    upgrades of httpd, however it can also cause deadlocks and race
    conditions with some configurations.

    Care has been taken to ensure that on-disk files such as lock files
    (Mutex) and Unix socket files
    (ScriptSock) contain the server
    PID, and should coexist without problem. However, if a configuration
    directive, third-party module or persistent CGI utilises any other on-disk
    lock or  state files, care should be taken to ensure that multiple running
    instances of httpd do not clobber each other's files.

    You should also be wary of other potential race conditions, such as
    using rotatelogs style piped logging. Multiple running
    instances of rotatelogs attempting to rotate the same
    logfiles at the same time may destroy each other's logfiles.

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CommentsNotice:This is not a Q&A section. Comments placed here should be pointed towards suggestions on improving the documentation or server, and may be removed again by our moderators if they are either implemented or considered invalid/off-topic. Questions on how to manage the Apache HTTP Server should be directed at either our IRC channel, #httpd, on Freenode, or sent to our mailing lists.

Copyright 2017 The Apache Software Foundation.Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
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