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apache reload and child fault

I had a strange problem tonight with two twin web server running debian
stable (apache 1.3.26-0woody3).

These web server are under a load balancing. Now, logrotate runs every
day at 00:10. Tonight apache won't reload properly, and *BOTH* machines
went down until i manually killall apache and started it

First machine:
on /var/log/syslog:
Dec  2 00:10:01 homer /USR/SBIN/CRON[27676]: (root) CMD
(/usr/sbin/logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf.apache)
on /var/log/apache/error.log
[Tue Dec  2 00:10:05 2003] [alert] Child 3894 returned a Fatal error... 
Apache is exiting!
nagios alert: 
Tue, 02 Dec 2003 00:22:15 +0100
** PROBLEM alert - Homer eth1/HTTP

Second machine:
Dec  2 00:10:01 flanders /USR/SBIN/CRON[13124]: (root) CMD
(/usr/sbin/logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf.apache
[Tue Dec  2 00:10:04 2003] [alert] Child 31728 returned a Fatal error...
Apache is exiting!
nagios alert:
** PROBLEM alert - Flanders
eth1/HTTP is CRITICAL **
Tue, 02 Dec 2003 00:35:59 +0100

From 00:10 and on both servers stopped responding.
While ps ax showed the apache childs running, /etc/init.d/apache stop
didn't work saying "no apache running"
A manual restart (killall apache && /etc/init.d/apache start) on *both*
server solved this

Any idea on what's going on ?
Roberto Sebastiano <robs@multiplayer.it>

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