#Troubleshooting Invalid Argument Error on Debian Web Servers

A common error administrators may encounter while managing web servers on Debian systems is the “Invalid Argument” error. In this post, we’ll break down the issue, discuss how to diagnose the problem, and outline some strategies for fixing it.

What is the “Invalid Argument” Error?

When this error occurs, the system might be unable to complete a system call or application programming interface (API) call. The most common cause of the error is syntax issues related to a system call, such as incorrect or malformed parameters.

Diagnosing the Problem

One of the most useful tools for diagnosing the “Invalid Argument” error is vmstat. This utility can help us identify resource issues that could be causing the problem. Additionally, it can be used to gauge CPU and memory usage.

To use vmstat, open a terminal window and enter the following command:


This will produce a list of metrics about the current state of the system, such as active and blocked process counts, and memory metrics. Using this data, we can narrow down the cause of the issue to either a CPU, memory, or network problem.

Fixing the Issue

Once we’ve identified the resource that’s causing the issue, we can start to devise a strategy for resolving it.

For instance, if the problem is related to a CPU bottleneck, then we can increase the CPU resources available to the system by using a higher-performance CPU or by adding more cores. On the other hand, if the issue is caused by memory contention, then we can look into optimizing our application’s memory usage or adding more RAM. Finally, if the issue is related to network traffic, then we can consider scaling out the application to multiple servers or adding a content delivery network (CDN).

Once we’ve identified and fixed the underlying problem, we should be able to resolve the “Invalid Argument” error.


The “Invalid Argument” error can be a frustrating issue to troubleshoot, but by using a few simple tools, such as the vmstat utility, we can easily identify and troubleshoot the issue.

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