I've been forced to spend time troubleshooting Apache again recently. One cool tool I've been using this time is apache-top.
apache-top is a Python script which is meant to be run from a Unix command line.
You can run it like this:
The output is very reminiscent of the Unix `top` command. The purpose of the output is to show you a quick Apache status and show you which Apache processes are causing the most load on your server.
python apache-top.py -u http://localhost/server-status
The default display sorts the Apache processes by SS (Seconds since beginning of most recent request). Sometimes I use the 'C' key to sort the display by CPU utilization.
This is a pretty useful tool for getting a look "inside" Apache. It's an improvement over Apache's built in server-status and it's a handy addition to any web administrator's toolbox.