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Request #69290 Invalid modes do not trigger errors
Submitted: 2015-03-24 15:52 UTC Modified: 2015-03-28 14:54 UTC
Avg. Score:3.0 ± 0.0
Reproduced:1 of 1 (100.0%)
Same Version:1 (100.0%)
Same OS:1 (100.0%)
From: roborg at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Open Package: Program Execution
PHP Version: 5.5.23 OS: Windows
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2015-03-24 15:52 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
Valid modes for pipes are "r" and "w" according to the docs.

Though a comment in the docs suggests using "a" for STDERR on Windows, I believe this may be outdated.

Modes other than "r" and "w" (and possibly "a"?) should trigger an error, but are silently ignored and the pipe just doesn't work properly.

Test script:
$descriptors = array(
	array('pipe', 'x'),
	array('pipe', 'y'),
	array('pipe', 'z'),
$process = proc_open('ls', $descriptors, $pipes);

Expected result:
Error: proc_open(): x is not a valid descriptor mode

Actual result:


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 [2015-03-25 09:29 UTC]
in proc_open:

 if (strncmp(Z_STRVAL_PP(zmode), "w", 1) != 0) {
                    descriptors[ndesc].parentend = newpipe[1];
                    descriptors[ndesc].childend = newpipe[0];
                    descriptors[ndesc].mode |= DESC_PARENT_MODE_WRITE;
                } else {
                    descriptors[ndesc].parentend = newpipe[0];
                    descriptors[ndesc].childend = newpipe[1];

so, it's very clear why no notice was raised(assume "r" by default). considering bc issue, and not very helpful notices....

maybe change to a doc issue is better.
 [2015-03-25 09:30 UTC]
-Status: Open +Status: Feedback
 [2015-03-25 17:27 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
I found the issue in my code because I was passing in "a" as recommended in and I wasn't getting any output.

I'm pretty confident it used to work, so to me it seems BC has already been broken, as it's changed from working to failing silently - I'd rather it changed from working to giving an error (/warning/notice).
 [2015-03-25 20:41 UTC]
This code has not been changed since 2003[1], so it's somewhat
unlikely that a BC break has been introduced in PHP 5.x.y. If you
can reproduce a behavioral change, please let us know (and change
the bug status back to "Open").

[1] <>
 [2015-03-28 10:37 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
I've tested the script below with these results (sorry, I can't run these on the same OS):

PHP:    5.3.5
OS:     Win XP
Mode:   w
Result: Script hangs

PHP:    5.3.5
OS:     Win XP
Mode:   a
Result: Empty string

PHP:    5.5.13
OS:     Win 7
Mode:   w
Result: string 'x.......'

PHP:    5.5.13
OS:     Win 7
Mode:   a
Result: Empty string

So the behavior has changed somewhat between 5.3 and 5.5, but not in the way I thought...
It looks like the "a" mode never actually worked (as the output was empty), but just tricked PHP/Windows into not hanging.
I still think failing silently is a really bad thing though.


$descriptors = array(
	array('pipe', 'r'),
	array('pipe', 'w'),
	array('pipe', 'w'), // This one changes between 'a' and 'w'
$process = proc_open('c:\php\php.exe -r "$f = fopen(\'php://stderr\', \'w+\');fwrite($f, str_repeat(\'x\' . chr(10), 2048));', $descriptors, $pipes);
 [2015-03-28 10:38 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
-Status: Feedback +Status: Open
 [2015-03-28 10:38 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
 [2015-03-28 11:39 UTC]
-Status: Open +Status: Feedback
 [2015-03-28 11:39 UTC]
@roborg thanks for the report.

With the script hanging, I guess you're hitting the bug #51800 in 5.3 which was fixed in 5.5+ around last autumn. Pipe buffer on windows is way too small and can cause race conditions. Please check, if it's so - we can close this.

Besides that, something standing in the comments is not the documentation, so it makes absolutely no sense to claim it a bug if it doesn't work.

 [2015-03-28 14:54 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com
-Status: Feedback +Status: Open -Type: Bug +Type: Feature/Change Request
 [2015-03-28 14:54 UTC] roborg at gmail dot com

This isn't really related to #51800 - that's just how I found out that my script wasn't working.

I understand BC is a concern, but the only scripts affected by this are ones that aren't working anyway - they're just failing silently, which in my opinion is much worse than generating an error of some level (even just a notice).

If you pass in an invalid value for the first parameter e.g. change 'pipe' to 'foo' then you get an error - I can't see a reason that the mode parameter shouldn't be checked as well.

I guess if silently failing is what was intended then this is more of a feature request than a bug report so I'll update the type.
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