Change in PHP 7 that may break some of Ubuntu servers on update

This is translation of my original article in russian:

7.0.0 Hash marks (#) are no longer recognized as comments.

Seems harmless. Administrators will see errors on test installation and fix old configs. But here comes one nasty trait of php-fpm: it refuses to start with incorrect php-fpm.conf, but it will start with incorrect php.ini, ignoring all settings there just rolling back to default values. Error is not written to php-fpm log. It can be spotted in console, but service start script hides that messages.

If php.ini was copied from 5th version, and more strict parser of 7th reads it with errors - php-fpm will silently work with default values. For example, if old file had # for comments and some of that comments has a brace ( inside. Without brace it still allows such comments, despite what changelog says.

Maximum size of uploaded file becomes post_max_size=8m. expose_php in on, so PHP version is sent out in X-Powered-By header. disable_functions, used to restrict potentially dangerous functions, becomes empty. display_errors is 1 and visitors will see a full stacktrace on error pages. And a lot of other funny things.

Ubuntu maintainers are trying to avoid this problem with a kludge:




errors=$(/usr/sbin/php-fpm7.0 --fpm-config "$CONFFILE" -t 2>&1 | grep "\[ERROR\]" || true);

But the kludge doesn’t work:

root@xenial:~# /usr/sbin/php-fpm7.0 --fpm-config  /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php-fpm.conf --test
PHP:  syntax error, unexpected '(' in /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini on line 6
[14-Sep-2016 14:24:46] NOTICE: configuration file /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php-fpm.conf test is successful

root@xenial:~# /usr/lib/php/php7.0-fpm-checkconf; echo $?

php7.0-fpm package from popular ppa:ondrej/php, often used to deliver PHP 7 to Ubuntu trusty and precise servers, does not have this check at all.

In total: if you are upgrading from PHP 5 tp PHP 7, make sure, that is does not ignore settings in php.ini and use default values.


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