PHP5-FPM crashing: "server reached pm.max_children setting" (Ubuntu 14 - LEMP)

My WordPress droplet, 512gb/Ubuntu14/Swap/LEMP/never gave a problem. From today PHP5-FPM writes this message in /var/log/upstart/php5-fpm.log:

WARNING: [pool www] server reached pm.max_children setting (5), consider raising it

So after reading, I’ve been increasing this size to 30 in /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf but still writes the error, now:

server reached pm.max_children setting (30)

What’s the reason this is happening now? It hasn’t been a high traffic lately, and $free shows 200mb free memory.

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Hi, So you did not describe what kind of server Nginx was hosting. If it is a wordPress that is exposed to the world, then my guess the script-kiddies are slamming you with login requests and/or searching for other WP potential exploits.

You should go back to your Nginx logs and see where all the traffic is going to. You can then address them with Nginx rate-limits. (See : There you can put realistic limits and not allow them to hit your server unfettered.


You might try setting it to pm = static and set a high enough pm.max_children based on the server memory

Someone could do a good job for the humanity and answer this! :)

Is this even a problem? What is this warning?