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Knowledgebase: CGI/Perl
Perl temporarily unavailable?
Posted on 01 January 2004 05:44 AM
Question
For about a minute or two, /usr/local/bin/perl and /usr/bin/perl became unavailable. The permissions were changed to rwx------.
What was happening?

Answer
This can happen when there is a spike in the Perl usage that appears to threaten the server loads. When one or more sites on a server have a script or two that get out of control they have the potential to send the server loads into a spiral and ultimately can take a server down.

The automated guardian system is there to watch for those types of scenarios and if it sees one happening it will shut down Perl for a minute or two until the server calms down... This has proven to be the best way to handle the situation as the other option is to allow a runaway script to take a server all the way down, potentially leaving all of the sites on that server with say 15 to 20 minutes of no service rather than just a minute or two of "restricted service".