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PHP lstat the full path many times before read the file is looking for. And this happens when in apache httpd configuration is specified PHP_ADMIN_VALUE open_basedir setting or if safe_mode is ON.

If I have a simple website with only phpinfo.php page and inside we have only "".

Consider we have latest version of httpd (2.2.15) and PHP (5.2.13 or 5.3.2).

If we specify safe_mode=on or PHP_ADMIN_VALUE open_basedir in Virtual host configuration:

<Directory "/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs">
                PHP_ADMIN_VALUE open_basedir "/usr/local/myspace/webspace"
</Directory>
<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName damorealt.xoom.it
        DocumentRoot "/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs"
    CustomLog   /var/log/httpd/damorealt/access_log   combined
    ErrorLog   /var/log/httpd/damorealt/error_log
</VirtualHost >

Calling page http://damorealt.xoom.it/phpinfo.php we can reproduce following behavior:

First check

25933 lstat("/usr", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0

Second check

25933 lstat("/usr", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0

Third check (incomplete)

25933 lstat("/usr", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0

Fifth check.

25933 lstat("/usr", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
25933 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0

Read the file!

25933 open("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", O_RDONLY) = 16
25933 fstat(16, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0
25933 read(16, "\n", 8192) = 16
25933 read(16, "", 8192)                = 0
25933 read(16, "", 8192)                = 0
25933 close(16)                         = 0

If PHP_ADMIN_VALUE open_basedir "/usr/local/myspace/webspace" is removed ::

First check

26235 time(NULL)                        = 1278696735
26235 lstat("/usr", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
26235 lstat("/usr/local", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
26235 lstat("/usr/local/myspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
26235 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
26235 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
26235 lstat("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0

Read the file.

26235 open("/usr/local/myspace/webspace/httpdocs/phpinfo.php", O_RDONLY) = 16
26235 fstat(16, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=16, ...}) = 0
26235 read(16, "\n", 8192) = 16
26235 read(16, "", 8192)                = 0
26235 read(16, "", 8192)                = 0
26235 close(16)                         = 0
26235 uname({sys="Linux", node="svilpar4", ...}) = 0
26235 time(NULL)                        = 1278696735
26235 writev(15, [{"HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\nDate: Fri, 09 J"..., 173},[...]
26235 chdir("/")                        = 0

Can someone explain me why PHP have such behavior?

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Realpath cache is disabled if safe_mode or open_basedir are set. This dramatically reduce performance of PHP Engine and this behavior can bring a server to its knees. Especially because there is a lack of documentation!

Looking at source code main/main.c of PHP engine 5.2.13 you can see:

1292:  /* Disable realpath cache if safe_mode or open_basedir are set 
*/
                if (PG(safe_mode) || (PG(open_basedir) && *PG(open_basedir))) {
                        CWDG(realpath_cache_size_limit) = 0;
                }

1769: /* Disable realpath cache if safe_mode or open_basedir are set */
        if (PG(safe_mode) || (PG(open_basedir) && *PG(open_basedir))) {
                CWDG(realpath_cache_size_limit) = 0;
        }

Please refer to: http://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=52312

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