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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server OS X Server
This may help you out if you are running any server version of OSX on a desktop machine and are experiencing extreme slowness while starting new programs. I installed Tiger server on my desktop machine and was running into unexplained creeping slowness with applications. It turned out to be related to a memory hogging program that Server runs by default, called Web Performance Cache, or webperfcache (name of the program).

webperfcache performs a very useful function if you are serving web pages on the internet and want really high performance. It caches static web pages in memory to accomplish this, which is great if you're a web company, but is generally unnecessary for home use. The problem is it forces these pages to stay resident in memory, and has a negative impact on OS X's memory paging and swapping routines. Long story short, turning it off drastically improved the performance of my G4, and it might help you out, too, if you're the kind of person who runs Server at home as a graphical desktop.

To disable it, go into the Server Admin program (under Applications/Server) and click on the local node (your computer's name) under Computers and Services. Then select the Web service, and under this the Settings tab. There is an Options tab under settings that controls optional web server components. You should uncheck Web Performance Cache here and save your settings.

It can be re-enabled by checking this box again, but I can't see why anyone would need to.
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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server
Authored by: Interactive on Feb 14, '07 09:19:04AM
There is no Options tab. Workgroup Manager > Computers & Services > Web > Settings > ? I am running Server Admin v10.4.7 (157.8).

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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server
Authored by: cmccarthy on Feb 14, '07 09:42:59AM

The article appears to be missing a few steps for getting to this preference. From the Server Admin help:

Turn on the performance cache in Server Admin.

  1. In Server Admin, click Web in the list for the server you want.
  2. Click Settings in the button bar.
  3. In the Sites pane, double-click the site in the list.
  4. In the Options pane, click Performance Cache to change its state.
  5. Click Save.

You can also improve server performance by disabling the access log.

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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server
Authored by: extra88 on Feb 14, '07 11:16:22AM

Thanks for providing the complete instructions. I don't run OS X Server on a desktop and don't use the web service on the server but in case I do, it's helpful to know where to find these per-site settings.

However, why would you want to disable the access log? Seems to me you'd want to know the who, what, when's of a web service if you're running it. If not, why not stop the web service entirely?

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Be aware that OS X Server
Authored by: st3phen on Feb 14, '07 08:38:32PM

is very, very reliant on being able to resolve it's own hostname via "reverse DNS"/Pointer Records. Server will lookup it's hostname for many reasons and will definitely slow or hang certain services until this resolution failure finally times-out. One of the most important things a standalone server needs is a properly-configured local DNS and to have it's IP configuration pointed at that DNS.

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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server
Authored by: martyg555 on Feb 15, '07 04:39:06PM

I searched Spotlight for webperfcach. It was not there. Statement for going to Applications/Server. My Home Library has no such location. Please give more details. I takes a very long time to load an email selection from VersionTracker. I have a Power Mac G5 with dual 2.7 gig processors.

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Authored by: mustang_dvs on Feb 15, '07 11:28:36PM

webperfcache isn't a .app program, it's a UNIX service that's unique to OS X.

If you're using OS X client (the "regular" version of OS X), don't worry that you don't have a folder called Server inside your main Applications folder -- /Applications/Server/ contains applications that control parts of Mac OS X Server, but are otherwise of no use. (If, on the other hand, you're running OS X Server and you don't have an /Applications/Server/ folder, then something's probably wrong.)

If you're serving locally, using the /Users/~username/Sites folder, I don't believe that webprfcache is on by default. If your machine is running slowly, either open /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor or type top -u in the Terminal and you can find out what's hogging your CPUs.

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A fix for system slowness with locally-run Server
Authored by: mustang_dvs on Feb 15, '07 11:16:21PM

Web Performance Caching can still be running, even if the Server Admin GUI says it's not.

If one or more of your sites occasionally uses port 16080, then the performance cache is still running.

If that's the case, you need to manually remove any references to :16080 (change them to :80) in the .conf files located in: /etc/httpd/sites/

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