Poor Apache2 SSL Performance

Hi everyone,

I have a Dell D600 laptop (1.4GHZ) with 1GB of RAM, 80GB HDD (7200 RPM) running OpenSuSE 10.3. This laptop acts as a frontend web server for my anti-spam solution (Maia Mailguard). When I browse pages on that server via http (port 80) there is no delay and pretty much instant response. When I browse the same pages over SSL (port 443) the performance is miserable. Icons take several seconds to appear and PHP pages take several seconds before they fully load. The box is not heavily loaded by any means (maybe 3 or 4 users total connecting at any given moment). SSL surfing used to be fast at one point in the past so I’m guessing it is just software configuration somewhere that has changed. The only change I can think of that has been made is the server is also reverse-proxying some other internal web apps for me over SSL, but those rarely get used.

Any thoughts? What configuration files should I post to assist in troubleshooting? Please go easy on me, I’m relatively a Linux newbie coming from a Windows administrative background.


The costly thing in SSL is the encryption setup at the start of the connection. Key size does not impact the connection speed once established.

The slowness occurs even after the initial login page loads. I’ve noticed the pages (all PHP) render almost to completion and then hang for a few seconds while loading the images. I doubt its just the SSL encryption that is causing poor performance because it was fast at one point in the past.