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Bug #21895 implicit_flush and flush() not working proplerly with CLI SAPI
Submitted: 2003-01-27 01:12 UTC Modified: 2003-05-01 20:38 UTC
Avg. Score:4.3 ± 0.7
Reproduced:3 of 3 (100.0%)
Same Version:2 (66.7%)
Same OS:0 (0.0%)
From: haawk at acknet dot org Assigned: helly (profile)
Status: No Feedback Package: Output Control
PHP Version: 4.3.0 OS: FreeBSD 4.7
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2003-01-27 01:12 UTC] haawk at acknet dot org
Basically it just seems to not be working at all on my system...however when initiating "php -i" I get:

implicit_flush => On => Off

my configure line was: ./configure --with-mysql --enable-ftp --with-apxs=/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs

Here is the script, which doesn't output ANYTHING until the script is then all flushed out at once...the warning messages come out as the script executes, but not the echo's or print()'s

$ftp_server = 'host';
$ftp_user_name = 'user';
$ftp_user_pass = 'pass';
$localprefix = '/usr/home/blah/';
$remoteprefix = '/usr/home/blah/';

$subdirs = array('lib','HELP','ONJOINS','HELP/CHANSERV','HELP/NICKSERV');

foreach ($subdirs as $dir) {
mkdir($localprefix . $dir);
print("mkdir $localprefix . $dir\n");

// set up basic connection
$conn_id = ftp_connect($ftp_server);

// login with username and password
$login_result = ftp_login($conn_id, $ftp_user_name, $ftp_user_pass);

// check connection
if ((!$conn_id) || (!$login_result)) {
        echo "FTP connection has failed!\n";
        echo "Attempted to connect to $ftp_server for user $ftp_user_name\n";
    } else {
        echo "Connected to $ftp_server, for user $ftp_user_name\n";

// get the files

foreach ($subdirs as $dir) {
ftp_chdir($conn_id, "$remoteprefix$dir");
$curdir = ftp_pwd($conn_id);
foreach (ftp_nlist ($conn_id, $curdir) as $file) {
$download = ftp_get($conn_id, $localprefix . $dir . '/' . $file, $file, FTP_ASCII);

// check upload status
if (!$download) {
        echo "FTP upload has failed for $dir/$file!\n";
    } else {
        echo "Downloaded $dir/$file successfully\n";

// close the FTP stream


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 [2003-02-05 18:21 UTC] sthomas at townnews dot com
I think the key is this:

implicit_flush => On => Off

Is there a double internal pointer to this setting or something?  No amount of setting implicit_flush will
make both of them true.

This script does not output as you'd expect:


while (TRUE)
  echo ".\n";


This should output a period every second on the CLI, but does not.  Even putting a call to flush() in the while loop does nothing.  I was able to get this to work by using ob_flush() oddly enough.

So essentially, flushing is completely broken unless you use ob_flush.
 [2003-02-06 05:58 UTC]
Thank you for taking the time to write to us, but this is not
a bug. Please double-check the documentation available at and the instructions on how to report
a bug at

That script is working exactly as expected, and the call to ob_flush() is exactly the expected solution.  implicit_flush has no relation to ob_flush(), or output buffers in general.

There are indeed two layers of output buffering, but, slightly confusingly, only one of them is called "output buffering" -- this is the layer handled by the ob_*() functions. If output buffering is on, it works like this:

output goes to (script's) output buffer (ob).

ob_flush() sends it to PHP's "connection" buffer.

flush() (or implicit_flush) sends connection buffer to browser.

If you want to use flush() or implicit_flush to send output to the browser as it's produced, you'd be much better to turn output buffering off.  (You could also take a look at ob_implicit_flush() (, but it seems to me this would be rather inefficient.)
 [2003-02-06 06:02 UTC]
Oops -- my bad -- didn't read enough of the report properly. I see I seem to have explained what you already know.  Sorry!
 [2003-05-01 20:38 UTC]
No feedback was provided. The bug is being suspended because
we assume that you are no longer experiencing the problem.
If this is not the case and you are able to provide the
information that was requested earlier, please do so and
change the status of the bug back to "Open". Thank you.

 [2008-08-14 13:49 UTC] a at a dot com
just set "output_buffering = Off"
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