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Bug #34133 ob_start is "undefined" from time to time
Submitted: 2005-08-15 12:46 UTC Modified: 2005-08-23 01:00 UTC
Avg. Score:5.0 ± 0.0
Reproduced:1 of 1 (100.0%)
Same Version:0 (0.0%)
Same OS:0 (0.0%)
From: holly at phren dot net Assigned:
Status: No Feedback Package: Output Control
PHP Version: 5.0.4 OS: Windows Server 2003
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2005-08-15 12:46 UTC] holly at phren dot net
From time to time we get the error message "call to undefined function ob_start()" on of our customers' webserver.

This happens one to thrice a month and lasts for 1-2 minutes. I don't see any regularity which fits to any scheduled job, that is running on that machine.

ob_start() is the first function that is called and it is in the file, which was specified as "auto_prepend_file" in the php.ini, so every php-file on the webserver generates the error on every call in these 1-2 minutes.

So I'm not sure, if the same error would occur with another function at that place.

As this happens on a customers' production server, my options to test are very small, moreover the error was always reported, when it was already gone. All I have is the error-logfile.

I'm not sure, what information you could additionally need. So please tell me, if there's anything that you need to know.


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 [2005-08-15 12:50 UTC]
Not enough information was provided for us to be able
to handle this bug. Please re-read the instructions at

If you can provide more information, feel free to add it
to this bug and change the status back to "Open".

Thank you for your interest in PHP.

 [2005-08-15 12:58 UTC] holly at phren dot net
What kind of information do you need?

I can't reproduce this error. I googled a lot before posting this bug, and the only case which was similar to mine was this:

Unfortunatly it is dutch.

The beginning of the prepend file looks like this:


/* some comment */ 


// other code


So please specify, what information you need and don't just close the bug.
 [2005-08-15 13:05 UTC]
Have you read the link I posted?

 [2005-08-15 14:20 UTC] holly at phren dot net
Sure. I read it before i made the first post.


What I did?
I can't answer that question, because neither did I write that code nor did I see the error message in a browser. But there is a website, which uses an "auto_prepend_file" which I showed in the second post.

What I expected to happen?
I expect the Website to load correctly, with buffered output, so that the cookies and header()-calls work after output would have started.

What happend?
People surf onto that website and get the mentioned error-message occasionaly (as already described). This happens irregularly and only for about 1-2 minutes. After that phase everything works normally.

I can't try a CVS-snapshot, because it is a production server and because the error is not reproductable.

I'm sure, that I understand the error message.

I briefly provided code, which won't help you, because the problem is not reproducable for me. So it probably won't be for you.

I tried my best, writing English. I'm not a native speaker, but I think, people understand me. Otherwise feel free to ask about specific passages of my posts.

I use the current stable version of php5.

I only reported one problem in this bug report.

So, as you can see, there's not more information in this post, than there was in the previous ones. Not that I structured this post a little more that the other ones, you may be able to ask deeper questions to one of the paragraphs in this post.

I really think, the developers and volunteers here do a good job. Bugs are fixed quite fast and reports are responded to even faster. But I don't understand that you could not tell me a little more detailed, which information you need. I even asked for it in the very first post.
 [2005-08-15 14:25 UTC]
With this information, we still can't do anything though. If we can't reproduce it with a case, then how can you expect us to fix it? I've read the phpfreakz link that you posted but all it offers is silly comments on how not to use ob_Start() at all. There is obviously a bug, but it's very strange. The only way that can happen is that there is some memory corruption, but you can only find that with a debugger. If you can't offer that information, we can't help.
 [2005-08-23 01:00 UTC] php-bugs at lists dot php dot net
No feedback was provided for this bug for over a week, so it is
being suspended automatically. If you are able to provide the
information that was originally requested, please do so and change
the status of the bug back to "Open".
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