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Bug #39992 proc_terminate() leaves children of child running
Submitted: 2006-12-30 15:52 UTC Modified: 2008-08-12 22:03 UTC
Avg. Score:4.4 ± 0.8
Reproduced:33 of 35 (94.3%)
Same Version:2 (6.1%)
Same OS:23 (69.7%)
From: Assigned:
Status: Open Package: Program Execution
PHP Version: 6CVS-2006-12-30 (CVS) OS: linux
Private report: No CVE-ID:
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 [2006-12-30 15:52 UTC]
With the short reproduce code below, PHP fork()s a new process (sh), that itself forks a new one (php). proc_terminate() kill()s the sh process, but the php one doesn't get killed.
I'm not really sure what is causing this problem, but it is breaking run-tests.php on timeout.

Reproduce code:

$cmd='php -r "while(1){}" 2>&1';
$proc = proc_open($cmd, array(), $pipes);



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 [2006-12-30 15:54 UTC]
Ah I forgot: removing the "2>&1" part everything works fine.
 [2008-08-12 16:28 UTC]
Nuno, is this still valid bug? I can't reproduce it even with PHP 5.2.6..
 [2008-08-12 22:03 UTC]
Yes, I'm still able to reproduce it. In some systems you may need higher proviledges in order to reproduce this bug.
 [2010-02-17 08:23 UTC] gryp at dakin dot be
We're having the same problem by starting java.
(the java process starts as root and forks itself to another userid)

the 'sh' gets killed but our java process keeps on running
 [2010-03-13 20:19 UTC] mast at imast dot ru
Well I've also just found this problem.
I run sh script via proc_open and if this script runs child processes that could 
hang, they will not be killed if you run proc_terminate().

To fix it I use:

// As soon proc is started
$status = proc_get_status($proc);
posix_setpgid($status['pid'], $status['pid']);

// When I need to kill it
posix_kill(-$status['pid'], 9); // sends SIGKILL to all processes inside group

Why not to add this into proc_terminate() implementation?
 [2014-10-17 12:12 UTC] alanevans+phpnet at gmail dot com
I've happened on this same issue also, though I also find that proc_get_status returns only the pid of some /bin/sh wrapper.

I've tried on PHP 5.5 and 5.6,

Interesting to note is that the behaviour on OSX is quite easy to handle: there is no /bin/sh wrapper process at all in that case, but on Ubuntu (currently tested on lucid), you only ever have access to the /bin/sh proc: the process you actually started and the one that you care about is left running.

I'm going to work around this by having child processes write their own pids to a file and use those for signalling.
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