I am trying to create a webserver that serves PHP scripts. Currently, it works as follows:

  1. The client requests /index.php?test=value
  2. The server invokes php index.php
  3. The server feeds the HTTP request headers as STDIN to the PHP process
  4. The server reads the output of php from STDOUT and returns it to the client

All of this is working except that the parameters are not being passed to the PHP script because:



array(0) { }

How do $_GET parameters get passed to the PHP binary when it is invoked?

  • Which web server? How have you configured the web server? How have you configured PHP? – joschi Oct 3 '10 at 7:00
  • @jos: It's JetHTTP - one I wrote myself. – Nathan Osman Oct 3 '10 at 7:28

Which PHP binary are you using? The CLI or CGI? I suspect you need a CGI version of the binary for PHP to properly handle accept the environment variables and POST data if you pass that.

The php-cgi binary implements the CGI interface, which allows you to pass parameters on the command line:

php-cgi -f index.php left=1058 right=1067 class=A language=English

Which end up in $_GET:

    [left] => 1058
    [right] => 1067
    [class] => A
    [language] => English

You may want to read up on how CGI works so you can implement that in your web server.

Ref: RFC3875

  • Yup... sure enough. That was the problem. – Nathan Osman Oct 4 '10 at 23:34

According to Wikipedia, the answer is to set the QUERY_STRING environment variable:

QUERY_STRING='user=foo&pass=bar&left=1234' php-cgi index.php

or in separate steps:

export QUERY_STRING='user=foo&pass=bar&left=1234'
php-cgi index.php

This works if you use the php-cgi command, because this is part of the CGI specification. The ordinary php command ignores this variable, but your script might use it.


If you pass php script.php test=asdf

$result = parse_args($argv,$argc,$help);

If you are passing it to STDIN, you would need to read STDIN and parse the headers yourself. REQUEST_URI would contain the data you need, and you could pass that.

  • I need the variables to be available in $_GET like they are when PHP is used under Apache. – Nathan Osman Oct 3 '10 at 6:20
  • All well and good until someone visits /index.php?test=asdf;rm%20-rf%20/ – danlefree Oct 3 '10 at 6:54
  • @dan: Don't worry, my webserver is smart enough to handle that. – Nathan Osman Oct 3 '10 at 7:30

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