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Rob Allen:
Installing XHGui via Ansible
April 14, 2015 @ 10:50:47

Rob Allen has posted a guide to his site today showing how to install XHGui via Ansible. XHGui is a graphical interface to view the results of XHProf, a performance evaluation tool.

I'm still using Ansible to provision Vagrant VMs. This is how I added the XHGui profiler to my standard setup.

He walks you through the five steps his process follows to get the necessary software installed and configured to get up and running:

  • Install Composer
  • Install the uprofiler PHP extension
  • Install XHGui
  • Set up for profiling
  • Set up host for XHGui website

Each step includes the commands to execute or the lines to add/update to the configurations to get the system up and working.

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tutorial install xhgui xhprof ansible build vagrant vm virtualmachine

Link: http://akrabat.com/installing-xhgui-via-ansible/

Etsy Code as Craft Blog:
Experimenting with HHVM at Etsy
April 08, 2015 @ 08:49:20

On the Etsy "Code as Craft" blog they've posted an article about their experiences in experimenting with HHVM at Etsy and some of the differences it makes.

In 2014 Etsy's infrastructure group took on a big challenge: scale Etsy's API traffic capacity 20X. We launched many efforts simultaneously to meet the challenge, including a migration to HHVM after it showed a promising increase in throughput. Getting our code to run on HHVM was relatively easy, but we encountered many surprises as we gained confidence in the new architecture.

They start with a brief overview of what HHVM is for those that aren't sure and talk about where their focus was in these experiments. They list out some of the main reasons for trying out HHVM and the role of concurrency in their current application. They started with the "minimum viable product" and compared benchmarks between PHP 5.4 and HHVM on several endpoints. They also show how they "teed" incoming requests to both servers to ensure that the responses were the same across both. They also talk about using employee-only traffic and the overall statistics for when they released the HHVM version internally. They also talk about some of the undocumented features to keep an eye out for if you're thinking of switching: "warming up" the requests to align them in JIT memory, using perf(1) for profiling and the use of the HHVM interactive debugger (hphpd).

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hhvm etsy experiment performance throughput statistics hiphop vm

Link: https://codeascraft.com/2015/04/06/experimenting-with-hhvm-at-etsy/

Rob Allen:
Building and testing the upcoming PHP7
March 30, 2015 @ 10:14:08

Rob Allen has posted a guide to building and testing PHP 7, the next upcoming major build of the PHP language (released sometime later this year).

The GoPHP7-ext project aims to ensure that all the known PHP extensions out there work with the upcoming PHP 7. This is non-trivial as some significant changes have occurred in the core PHP engine (related to performance) that mean that extensions need to be updated. In order to help out (and prepare my own PHP code for PHP 7!), I needed the latest version of PHP7 working in a vagrant VM. Fortunately Rasmus has created a such a VM called php7dev, so let's start there.

He walks you through the process of grabbing the latest version of the virtual machine and set it up as a Vagrant VM instance. He talks about the different PHP versions contained in the VM and how to update PHP 7 to the latest pre-release version. Finally he talks about building an extension on the VM (he uses the apfd extension) and how to configure the VM to be able to test your own code too.

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php7 test vm extension rasmuslerdorf vagrant tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/building-and-testing-php7/

Lorna Mitchell:
XHGui on VM, Storage on Host
January 05, 2015 @ 12:09:08

Lorna Mitchell has a new post today showing you how you can use XHGui in a virtual machine, sorting the resulting performance data on the VM rather than your local machine.

I'm doing some performance tuning on a project at the moment and my favourite tool is still XHGui - but it's designed to run on the same machine as its victim and since this is a vagrant VM, the chances of me destroying the machine and therefore the data are pretty high! Instead, I set it up to store the data onto the host and I thought I'd share how I did that. All these instructions for Ubuntu on both host and guest, and I've tried not to be specific about the vagrant elements in order to focus on how the pieces fit together rather than what you should type.

She walks you through all the steps you'll need to get the software up and running as well as configuring the actual guest VM to direct the data to the right place. She sets up the data source to push the results into (a MongoDB) and configures the PHP installation with an "auto prepend" of the XHGui header file. Finally, she includes the commands you'll need to view the data on the VM itself, running the built-in PHP web server as an ad-hoc instance on the VM itself.

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xhgui xhprof mongodb vm virtualmachine tutorial localhost

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2015/xhgui-on-vm-storage-on-host

php[architect]:
Build a VM for Drupal 8 with Vagrant
November 26, 2014 @ 10:22:22

A new tutorial has been posted on the php[architect] site today showing you how to build a VM for Drupal 8 with the help of Vagrant.

At this year's php[world] hackathon, I spent my time getting a Vagrant machine configured to run Drupal 8. I know there are other options, like Acquia's own Dev Desktop, or even Zend Server. However, I like using Vagrant to run my LAMP stacks, especially on OS X. I've never been able to easily run xAMP on non-Linux machines. Installing MySQL can be a pain, system updates can change the version of PHP you're running, and some PHP extensions are really difficult to build-even with Homebrew. Vagrant simplifies getting a working development environment running by automating the provision of a virtual machine for you, usually with a tool like Chef, Puppet, or Ansible.

Oscar (the author) took advantage of some time at the php[world] hackathon to create the necessary files for building this environment. He walks you through the steps to creating the basic vagrant file with "config" options (explaining each one) and walks through the setup of additional options, software like Apache and Drupal. He then sets up the Ansible configuration to create the box, run the provisioning and configuration of the resulting server. Finally, he shows the result of the install if everything was successful.

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drupal8 vagrant vm virtualmachine tutorial introduction configuration provision

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2014/11/build-a-vm-for-drupal-8-with-vagrant/

Rob Allen:
Using Phing to SSH into a Vagrant box
November 25, 2014 @ 10:22:55

In a quick new post to his site Rob Allen shows you how to have Phing SSH into a Vagrant box as a part of the VM creation process. In his case, he uses it to run database migrations.

Now that I've started using migrations, I've discovered a minor irritant. I run this project on a Vagrant VM and have discovered that I keep forgetting to ssh into the vagrant box before running the migrations script. The obvious solution is to automate this and I decided to use Phing to do so.

He walks through the installation of the libssh2 software (if you don't already have it) and the ssh2 PHP extensionSshTask to make the connection as the "vagrant" user and execute the given PHP command.

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vagrant ssh phing migrations automate tutorial vm virtualmachine

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/using-phing-to-ssh-into-a-vagrant-box/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
5 Easy Ways to Get Started with PHP on Vagrant
October 30, 2014 @ 10:44:49

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial showing you how to get started with Vagrant and PHP to create easier, more flexible development environments via virtual machines.

Vagrant is a tool for creating and managing virtual environments that help many developers not have to care about the "works on my machine…" problem. Vagrant creates reusable development systems that can be used again and again, helping you keep your system clean of too many installations.

They offer "five easy ways" to get started including various tools and services:

You can find summaries about each of the items on the list as well as links to more information in the full post.

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vagrant introduction getstarted service tool virtualmachine vm development

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/5-easy-ways-getting-started-php-vagrant/

HHVM Blog:
HHVM 3.1.0
May 30, 2014 @ 11:56:54

On the HHVM blog today they've announce the release of the latest version of the popular project, version 3.1.0. This version fixes a few issues (including a segfault) and crossed into their semi-annual "lockdown" to work directly on the project.

If you remember last time we focused on framework unit tests, performance, and growing beards. This time, our frameworks were in good shape thanks to Fred and our Open Academy students, but our github story was not as pretty. At the start of lockdown we had 60 pull requests and nearly 450 issues. So our focus this time was github health and of course as always, perf.

In the end they closed out 251GitHub issues and made things 16% more efficient in the process. They list out some of the updates in this release including:

You can grab this latest release from the pre-build packages page on the GitHub project account.

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hiphop vm hhvm release version github issues

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/5195/hhvm-3-1-0

HipHop Virtual Machine Blog:
Nightly Packages
January 23, 2014 @ 09:19:10

On the HipHop Virtual Machine blog today they're announcing a new option for those that "just can't wait" to get the latest and greatest HHVM version - nightly packages.

If you just can't wait to get your hands on the latest HHVM code, but you don't want to spend the time to compile it, we have a present for you. Every midnight, we run a script that pulls whatever is in master, compiles it, does a sanity check, builds a package and sends it off to the repo. You can then use it by adding the HHVM repo normally and then installing the "hhvm-nightly" package instead of the "hhvm" package. The nightly package should work identically to the current 8 week release cycle package; it will just have all the most recent commits with much less of the testing and hardening (so beware).

The post also includes three examples of the commands to grab this nightly release (via dl.hhvm.com) and install the "hhvm-nightly" package.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm nightly package

Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3203/nightly-packages

HHVM Blog:
We are the 98.5% (and the 16%)
December 24, 2013 @ 10:25:21

On the Facebook HHVM (HipHop VM) blog there's a recent post sharing some of their progress towards parity with the PHP language inside the tool (and the results of their "three week lockdown").

On November 4th, the HHVM team went on a 3-week performance and parity lockdown. The lockdown officially ended on November 22th. Overall, this lockdown was a qualified success. [...] Going into lockdown, the team knew that awesome performance alone would not suffice in making HHVM a viable PHP runtime to be used out in the wild. It actually had to run real, existing PHP code reliably.

In the post they include some numbers from their testing, the pass/fail status of the unit test suites for several major PHP projects including Composer, Joomla, Laravel, Slim and phpMyAdmin (with an overall parity of 98.58%). They share the raw numbers of the results and describe some of the testing environment, including some "assumptions and caveats" about the process. They also contributed back fixes as a part of the work, putting pull requests out there for several projects. They finish the post with some of the performance numbers, noting that they passed their goal and made it to 16% for an instance of facebook.com.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm performance parity unittest

Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/2813/we-are-the-98-5-and-the-16


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