Scary Moments in Administering nginx

So I was trying to install xdebug on my Slicehost slice and I couldn’t get the damn module to load.

I was following these instructions – installed via PECL, added the line to php.ini, restarted the web server, etc. Nothing. Wasn’t showing up in either “php -m” or the output of phpinfo().

So then I decided to compile from source, using instructions on the same page. Now it actually got worse. I was getting a 502 error and this in the logs:

2009/06/04 16:50:46 [error] 4461#0: *1 recv() failed (104: Connection reset by peer) while reading response header from upstream, client: XXX.XXX.XXX, server:, request: “GET /index.php HTTP/1.1”, upstream: “fastcgi://”, host: “”

Begin freakout.

Nothing was working. Bounce web server. Nothing. Bounce slice. Nothing.

Continue freakout.

Don’t totally know why I decided to restart fastcgi, but sweet mother that worked. And not only that, xdebug was loading as expected.

sudo /etc/init.d/php-fastcgi restart

End freakout.

(To be more precise, I restarted nginx first and then restarted fastcgi.) Hope that helps someone out there. Certainly scared the tuna salad out of me for a good half hour. Oh the joys of system administration for developers.

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