• Clear out your active semaphores

Semaphores? What the heck is a semaphore? Well, it’s actually an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals. But, when it comes to programming, semaphores are used for communicating between the active processes of a certain application. In the case of Apache, they’re used to communicate between the parent and child processes. If Apache can’t write these things down, then it can’t communicate properly with all of the processes it starts.

ipcs -s

If you see a list of semaphores, Apache has not cleaned up after itself, and some semaphores are stuck. Clear them out with this command:

for i in ipcs -s | awk '/httpd/ {print $2}'; do (ipcrm -s $i); done

Now, in almost all cases, Apache should start properly. If it doesn’t, you may just be completely out of available semaphores. You may want to increase your available semaphores, and you’ll need to tickle your kernel to do so. Add this to /etc/sysctl.conf:

kernel.msgmni = 1024
kernel.sem = 250 256000 32 1024
And then run sysctl -p to pick up the new changes.