make varnish don't start a subprocess

Harald Friessnegger harald at
Tue Mar 24 16:13:55 CET 2009

hi des

Am Freitag, 20. März 2009 19:14:30 schrieb Dag-Erling Smørgrav:
> > the varnishd started by supervisor just needs 5% memory and gets
> > restarted if it grows above a certain limit. the subprocess eats up my
> > RAM and can't be conrolled by supervisor.
> The parent will restart it if you kill it (but doing so will flush the
> cache).  However, varnishd doesn't "eat memory", unless there is a bug.
> You should read varnishd(1) and figure out how to select the storage
> backend and how to limit the size of the cache.

i'd be happy to make varnish stick to a certain memory limit.
maybe you've got some ideas how to make that happen?

is the file backend i'm using too small?
what other factors could make the varnish process use such a lot of RAM

i try to provide as much information as possible, please let me know if you 
need further details:

atm we're using filestorage with a limit of 500M.

whilst the file itself is exactly 500 megabyte in size, varnish
uses 1115M memory - 44% of the total available 2,5GB RAM (1,5GB RAM, 1GB 
disk-swap) after 5 days of uptime. see `figure 1` below.

these are the arguments we're starting varnish with:

exec /home/zope/parts/varnish-build/sbin/varnishd \
    -f "/home/zope/etc/varnish.vcl" \
    -P "/home/zope/parts/varnish/" \
    -a localhost:6181 \
    -T localhost:6182 \
    -s file,"/home/zope/parts/varnish/storage",500M \
    -F \
    -t 0 "$@"

varnish version: varnish-2.0.2.tar.gz

figure 1: memory consumption of varnish and it's subprocess::

  Mem:   1548288k total,  1540604k used,     7684k free,      680k buffers
  Swap:  1048568k total,  1048568k used,        0k free,   156252k cached
  4096 nobody    15   0 1921m 666m  81m S    0 44.1   0:42.44 varnishd
  13263 zope      15   0  908m 646m 1764 S    0 42.8 252:01.48 python2.4
  4090 root      15   0 98196  80m  80m S    0  5.3   0:00.12 varnishd

thanks for your help,

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