Tag Archives: sockets

php signals while selecting

So a fairly longstanding gripe of mine has been that PHP fails to execute registered signal handlers when it receives a signal in the middle of a blocking select call. Today, I finally bumped into a situation where I couldn’t just change the spec to avoid the situation… and I’ve finally figured out how to make it work.

The bug has been reported here, where it was ignored for a few months before being shot down and ignored some more as per php dev team regulations.

Sample code given by the reporter of the bug is markedly similar to the situations I’ve encountered the problem:

By filling in his blanks, my first test case looks something like this:

When executing the script and pressing ^C (which sends SIGINT), the following occurs:
ammon@morbo:~$ php sigtest.php
PHP Warning: socket_select(): unable to select [4]: Interrupted system call in /home/ammon/sigtest.php on line 13
select returned ”

Ok, so the warning is to be expected, and we can easily squelch that.

The real problem is that the signal handler never runs.

However… for the first time in my life, a response to a php bug report proves enlightening. The dev who answered this ticket provides his sample code and says he can’t duplicate the bug. Upon looking at the differences between their code, only one difference stands out:

The declare(ticks) directive is deprecated as of php 5.3 and will not be with us in php 6.0. Ticks are an unreliable, unpredictable, and generally bad thing in php. I’ve neither successfully used them nor seen a successful and justified use.

That being said… turning the tick on but not telling it to do anything appears to address the problem of discarded interrupts:

And execution:
ammon@morbo:~$ php sigtest.php
received sig #2
select returned ”
Which is precisely the desired behavior.

I don’t know what the performance hit for turning ticks on is, I haven’t had time to research this. But I can confirm that by declaring ticks globally, it does work in an OO environment as well:

Executing and hitting ^C:
ammon@morbo:~$ php sigtest.php
received sig #2
select returned ”
After a few minutes of largely unscientific testing, it appears that turning ticks on globally costs a whopping 4 bytes of ram and causes the script to occasionally consume more cpu than the top process I used to monitor it. So… at first glance the cost is pretty negligible and all I can say is that if you ever need to handle signals (SIGTERM, SIGHUP, etc…) from within a blocking select call in php, it looks like declare ticks is the only option for now.

I did the initial tests in 5.1.6, but can confirm the same behavior in 5.2.5. I don’t know how the behavior is going to be in 5.3, since I don’t run alpha releases on my servers but my gut likes to think that it will continue to work the same for now… and will hopefully not break until 6.0 (when everything else will explode for a few years). Shrug.

flash policy service daemon

Sorry it took me so long to post this, but WordPress 2.5 doesn’t seem to like me trying to upload gz/zip files, so I had to upload the source manually.

Well, it’s been months since I promised to post some usable socket policy service code, so I will.

The script here is meant to serve as a good starting point for people whose servers need to allow flash clients to make socket connections. I have not actually used this exact code in a production environment, but I have been using code that is 99% identical for a while now. I am confident that any blatant flaws are the result of simple copy-paste errors as I compiled the package. Please let me know if you find any.

I have however, stress tested the heck out of this service. One instance successfully served up over 16000 policy file requests fed into it as rapidly as I could send them. The same networking code has also handled requests from at least 100 different hosts at roughly the same time.

Everything has been combined into a single cli php script that requires no special installation. Just plop it down on the server and run it as root. It will take care of the rest. The config defaults should be safe, but you probably want to specify them more clearly – just to be safe.

The daemon is made of three classes:

  • Logger – A rudimentary log file management class that I copy from project to project in one form or another. The included version is stripped down from some of the other versions I’ve written, and I’m planning on releasing a more feature-rich version in the future.
  • Daemon – A simple class for daemonizing a process. Adapted and re-adapted countless times from an original php4 class I found on the net a few years ago by some guy named Seth (whose email domain no longer exists).
  • FlashPolicyService – The meat and potatoes, a child of Daemon. Mostly, this is just the requisite networking code and glue to make everything work together.

As with any of my other code, this is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0.


Source code after the jump.
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