We have run Debian Linux, Ubuntu Linux and other x's and have NEVER
in last 4 years seen the memory leak that shows up with some window 2003/Apache/PHP combo's. We tried W23k,Apache and PHP for 3 months last summer (mostly newest versions of PHP/Apache, but some older too). We had some many memory and performance issues that we eventually gave it up.
We have are seeing better luck with Window23K, IIS6 (FastCGI) and new PHP, but we will not use it for production yet...
On your other questions... It's hard to compare servers and typical RAM use because it all depends on the number of end users and what they are doing... I can't really confirm you have the mem leak bug from what you write above... just confirm a few facts
First, it was not at all uncommon for the Apache process our our windows 2003 server
(Httpd.exe) to take 15 to 90MB of RAM under light or typical use. When it was "stable" the apache process would fluctuate from 50 to 250MB RAM and take and release RAM to any
level between these numbers (based on OUR users), but with the bad combinations of Apache/PHP and the memory leak we would see the RAM start at 40-80MB and then just keep climbing. Some RAM would occasionally be released, but often NOT completely, and eventually RAM use increased to sometimes 500 - 800MB RAM! As you would expect the server became progressively less responsive and soon would no longer server Moodle pages.
is what is happening to you (especially under light/medium load) then you probably have the real mem leak. There are combinations of Apache/PHP that work (I know PHP 5.2.1 is well regarded), but you have to get the right version of Apache to work with it. I know I read about 2-3 combo's of Win23K, Apache and PHP that major sites claim are stable. I didn't save the links I found, but if you search the Windows forum well (PHP, Apache, window 2003) I am sure you will find them. Look for bigger sites (colleges, Universities, etc) with a few years under their belts. Ken Wilson has a stable windows server using IIS
, PHP and MySQL