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I just installed mpm_worker for Apache and added this to pre_main_global.conf:

<IfModule worker.c>
ServerLimit          40
StartServers          2
MaxClients          1000
MinSpareThreads      20
MaxSpareThreads      50
ThreadsPerChild      25
MaxRequestsPerChild   0

To test to see if this actually works, I changed the variable and restarted Apache.

<IfModule worker.c>
ServerLimit           1
StartServers          1
MaxClients            1
MinSpareThreads       1
MaxSpareThreads       1
ThreadsPerChild       1
MaxRequestsPerChild   1

To my surprise my busy site still responds as normal. I tested this on multiple browsers and deleted all the cache. What did I do wrong?

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What is the output of ./httpd -l?

I think your answer is here: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mpm.html

"MPMs must be chosen during configuration, and compiled into the server. Compilers are capable of optimizing a lot of functions if threads are used, but only if they know that threads are being used."

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