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I've been using Apache with PHP for years, both as standalone installs (Windows and Linux) and as part of WAMP stacks on Windows.

Today I decided to try out Zend Server CE, and was surprised that it provides two things:

  • The original Apache Service Monitor, which allows me to restart Apache
  • The Zend Controller application, which has a "Restart PHP" button

I've never thought about "restarting PHP", as I'm used to see PHP as an Apache module. AFAIK, there is no way to "restart PHP", but you do apply your new PHP settings by restarting Apache.

Is "restarting PHP" just restarting Apache behind the scenes, or doing something else?

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I believe the option to restart PHP actually restarts a bunch of other components of the stack like caching and Java. Could not find the documentation on that though. – Belmin Fernandez Sep 27 '11 at 23:34
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's my understanding of what happens:

  • The Zend Server GUI communicates with PHP running in Apache, via XML-RPC (localhost:80083)
  • The function zend_restart_php() is called (which is defined by the PHP module ZendUtils), and that causes the Apache module to re-read it's INI file and re-initialize.
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That's a very interesting explanation, thanks! – Benjamin Nov 18 '11 at 18:12

This is a value-add to Zend Server / Zend Server CE that it will in fact restart the PHP processes without restarting all of Apache.

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That's not possible if you're running PHP as an Apache module, is it? – ceejayoz Oct 3 '11 at 15:57

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