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Bug #30525 mysql_close() fails in some situations with shared links
Submitted: 2004-10-22 06:19 UTC Modified: 2005-04-29 03:39 UTC
Avg. Score:4.5 ± 0.9
Reproduced:3 of 3 (100.0%)
Same Version:0 (0.0%)
Same OS:1 (33.3%)
From: l dot cameron2 at ugrad dot unimelb dot edu dot au Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: MySQL related
PHP Version: 5.0.x and 4.x OS: *
Private report: No CVE-ID:
 [2004-10-22 06:19 UTC] l dot cameron2 at ugrad dot unimelb dot edu dot au
Preface: I *do* understand that by default MySQL connections are shared in PHP.
 I also note that in older versions a single mysql_close() would close all of the links; see #9107: there now there appears to be reference counting before finally closing the TCP connection -- which is IMHO better than the older behaviour, but the implementation has its own bugs:

 PHP appears to keeps an internal count of the number of times a link has been duplicated. When the link count is <= 0, the underlying TCP connection is actually closed.
 * close() reduces the link count by 1
 * setting the connection to null *also* reduces the link count by 1 -- even if that link has already been close()d

 Currently the only workarounds for this are to:

[1] Set new_link to true every time you mysql_connect() -- potentially creating a lot of TCP connections and slowing the program down

[2] close() the link, but never set it to null and hope that PHP won't clean it up until the end of the program: This *will* fail sometimes though; see the example at

[3] Never mysql_close() links, only set them to null and hope that PHP will in fact clean up the TCP connection before MySQL runs out of available connections (admittedly only a problem when you have a lot of simultaneous connections to your database) -- this does work now, but we're not supposed to assume anything about when PHP does its object destruction.

 The third is really the only viable solution; but is dependent on the internal implementation of the MySQL extension.

 At best, the current situation is that if you ever have shared links, you should never call mysql_close if you ever expect to use that database again in your program.

Reproduce code:
Simple example:

#!/usr/local/bin/php -q
$conn1 = mysql_connect('localhost:3306', 'levi', 'DaCr0n!');
$conn2 = mysql_connect('localhost:3306', 'levi', 'DaCr0n!');

mysql_select_db('surveytest', $conn1);
mysql_select_db('surveytest', $conn2);

mysql_close($conn1); $conn1 = null;
mysql_close($conn2); $conn2 = null;


See also the example at

Expected result:

Blank output.

Actual result:
PHP Warning:  mysql_close(): 1 is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in /home/levi/public_html/mysql2.php on line 10
<br />
<b>Warning</b>:  mysql_close(): 1 is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in <b>/home/levi/public_html/mysql2.php</b> on line <b>10</b><br />

(If I remove the mysql_close($conn1); it works)
(If I remove the $conn1 = null; it also works)


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 [2005-04-27 13:25 UTC] kevin at hatry dot com
i just want to add a last comment to make clear that this bug is important.

this is (i think) a much used type of program :

function do_something_in_mysql () {
 $link3 = mysql_connect('localhost','root','',false);
 // do some common queries here
 echo "link3:"; var_dump($link3);

$link1 = mysql_connect('localhost','root','',false);
echo "link1:"; var_dump($link1);


// here $link1 is UNUSABLE !!

echo "link1:"; var_dump($link1);

fails with :
link1:resource(4) of type (mysql link)
link3:resource(4) of type (mysql link)
Warning: mysql_close(): 4 is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in ... on line 14
link1:resource(4) of type (Unknown)

i think that closing a connection in the same environnement that it was open (like in the function here) is good programming so it shouldn't fail like that !

And the problem is *not* that the mysql_close closed all connections as shown by this example :

function do_something_in_mysql () {
 $link3 = mysql_connect('localhost','root','',false);
 echo "link3:"; var_dump($link3);
 // do some common queries here

$link1 = mysql_connect('localhost','root','',false);
$link2 = mysql_connect('localhost','root','',false);

echo "link1:"; var_dump($link1);
echo "link2:"; var_dump($link2);

// here $link1 is still USABLE

echo "link1:"; var_dump($link1);
echo "link2:"; var_dump($link2);


here there is no failure :
link1:resource(4) of type (mysql link)
link2:resource(4) of type (mysql link)
link3:resource(4) of type (mysql link)
link1:resource(4) of type (Unknown)
link2:resource(4) of type (Unknown)

there would be one if we had closed $link2 after $link1 for example.
 [2005-04-27 14:48 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

When using same connection parameters no new connection will be established by default, instead an exisiting one will be reused. Set the optional newlink parameter to true if you want to establish more than one physical connection.
 [2005-04-29 01:56 UTC] l dot cameron2 at ugrad dot unimelb dot edu dot au
Please reread the first post where I explicitly talked about shared connection behaviour.

 The bug is that when using shared connections, if you ever use mysql_close() *and* set your links to null, your shared connections will be closed prematurely.

 As outlined above, the net result of the is that you can never call mysql_close() on a shared connection and expect to have it work correctly.
 [2005-04-29 03:39 UTC]
Please stop reopening this, this is not a bug but just how it works.

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