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Bug #22674 [PATCH] Unexpected build-up of persistent connections
Submitted: 2003-03-13 08:31 UTC Modified: 2003-12-12 07:56 UTC
Avg. Score:4.0 ± 1.5
Reproduced:5 of 5 (100.0%)
Same Version:5 (100.0%)
Same OS:1 (20.0%)
From: msquillace at sogei dot it Assigned:
Status: Closed Package: OCI8 related
PHP Version: 4CVS, 5CVS OS: Redhat 7.3
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
 [2003-03-13 08:31 UTC] msquillace at sogei dot it
Environment is Linux RedHat 7.3, Apache 1.3.27, PHP 4.3.1 DSO with OCI8 ( and several other extensions; the Oracle database ( is on a Win2k server.

The described behaviour also shows in PHP 4.2.2 and PHP 4.2.3, and with Oracle 9i, and can be reproduced (I usually begin by starting Apache with the -X switch) e.g. with the following script:

$conn0 = OCIPLogon("user1","pwd1", "db1");
$conn1 = OCILogon("user2","pwd2", "db1");
print "<pre>".OCIServerVersion($conn0)."<br>";
print OCIServerVersion($conn1)."</pre>";

The number of outstanding Oracle sessions can be checked from sqlplus:

select machine,process,username,status from v$session order by process;

where "process" shows the PID of the Apache process executing the PHP script.

I'd expect to see exactly one persistent session (for user1) associated with the single Apache process after running the script, but I observe two instead, one for each user.

Running the same script again doesn't change the situation.

There's more, though: if at this point I run a similar script where I've changed the OCILogon to OCINLogon, I observe the correct behaviour of (an additional) new session being first created for user2 then destroyed at script end, but when I subsequently re-run the original script (OCILogon), another persistent session for user2 appears!

This leads to a persistent session build-up with Oracle eventually complaining for too many sessions.

As a side (but important) note, I observed that while Oracle is case-insensitive with regard to the user credentials and the db alias used in a connection, the OCI8 extension is case-sensitive: if I make two OCIPLogon(s) whose arguments differ only in case I get two persistent Oracle sessions.

I'd suggest converting the (left- and right-trimmed) arguments to upper or lower case in the extension before checking for reusability against already existing sessions.


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 [2003-04-15 14:00 UTC] fred dot cohen at iridium dot com
this setting in httpd.conf helps the problem considerably:
MaxRequestsPerChild 100

I've seen situations where every apache process would have two oracle connections open.  Trick seems to be to limit the life of the apache process.
 [2003-04-16 03:27 UTC] msquillace at sogei dot it

I have since submitted a patch to the OCI8 module that solves this problem, and am waiting for it to be committed.

For further details you can follow the relevant thread in the php.internals mailing list starting with:
 [2003-11-27 01:21 UTC]
Please provide an URL to your unified diff patch against latest PHP_4_3 CVS branch.

 [2003-12-06 07:44 UTC] msquillace at sogei dot it
I have just built the diff against the current PHP_4_3 branch.

The diff patches the bugs reported but doesn't include the user credentials' case conversion nor the timing-out mechanism I devised for persistent connections, since I understand that Thies Arntzen doesn't believe it is appropriate to include them in the maintained extension.

I upgraded the code to use the new "smart_str" helper functions.

I'll email the patch to, because I can't provide an URL to it right now: let me know if it reaches you.
 [2003-12-06 11:08 UTC]
I put the patch online:

 [2003-12-12 07:56 UTC]
This bug has been fixed in CVS.

In case this was a PHP problem, snapshots of the sources are packaged
every three hours; this change will be in the next snapshot. You can
grab the snapshot at
In case this was a documentation problem, the fix will show up soon at

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Thank you for the report, and for helping us make PHP better.

fixed in pecl
 [2004-01-03 17:25 UTC] kamil at okac dot org
The bug is fixed only in 5.0, the 4.x is still unpatched.
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