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DZone.com:
Get a Handle on PHP Handlers
March 25, 2015 @ 10:25:47

On DZone.com today there's a post covering the different kinds of handlers that can execute PHP - those pieces of code that work with the web servers we use every day to interpret and execute PHP code.

PHP Handlers? mod_php? FPM? How do we make sense of the inner workings of PHP outside of our lines of code? We know we can run PHP on the server to build web applications swiftly, but how can we optimize our environment and configurations to reach maximum scale? We know that PHP has its drawbacks for not being asynchronous or event-driven, which is all the more reason to ensure maximum optimization. The impact of your server environment on your PHP application performance can be more than you think you can afford. A careful examination of your PHP ecosystem will help you avoid suffering performance loss in areas you can otherwise solve for easily.

They provide a brief summary of what PHP handers, well, handle and where they fit in the overall architecture of execution. They then get into the details on some of them:

  • CGI - mod_cgi
  • suPHP - mod_suphp
  • DSO - mod_php
  • FastCGI - mod_fcgid
  • FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) - php-fpm

Included in each is an overview of how it works and some of the main advantages (and disadvantages) of their use. He also mentions two of the most popular web servers that work with these handlers: Apache and Nginx.

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handlers webserver execute modcgi modphp modsuphp modfcgi phpfpm

Link: http://php.dzone.com/articles/get-handle-php-handlers

PHP.net:
PHP 5.3.12 and PHP 5.4.2 Released!
May 04, 2012 @ 07:19:08

The PHP project has officially released the latest versions in both the 5.3.x and 5.4.x series in response to a bug that was found in the CGI setup of certain server+PHP configurations.

There is a vulnerability in certain CGI-based setups (Apache+mod_php and nginx+php-fpm are not affected) that has gone unnoticed for at least 8 years. Section 7 of the CGI spec states: 'Some systems support a method for supplying a [sic] array of strings to the CGI script. This is only used in the case of an `indexed' query. This is identified by a "GET" or "HEAD" HTTP request with a URL search string not containing any unencoded "=" characters.'

A large number of sites run PHP as either an Apache module through mod_php or using php-fpm under nginx. Neither of these setups are vulnerable to this. Straight shebang-style CGI also does not appear to be vulnerable. If you are using Apache mod_cgi to run PHP you may be vulnerable. To see if you are, just add ?-s to the end of any of your URLs. If you see your source code, you are vulnerable. If your site renders normally, you are not.

You can download this latest version from the downloads page for the source releases or windows.php.net for the Windows binaries. You can look at the Changelog if you'd like more details on the update.

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release bugfix cgi request handling apache modcgi



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