Call to undefined function http_post_data()

After updating my server from testing to Squeeze it suddenly crashed after running a high CPU % perl script.

Being unresponsive I reset the machine to reboot it.

After booting up and testing websites running on it I came along an odd PHP error;

Call to undefined function http_post_data()

Probably due to PHP updates from Lenny/testing to Squeeze.

This error is caused by not having installed PECL-HTTP (and php-pear php5-dev libcurl3-openssl-dev)

However, PECL-HTTP had been installed for ages and running the pecl install command resulted in this:

# pecl install pecl_http
pecl/pecl_http is already installed and is the same as the released version 1.7.0
install failed

Some quick Googling didn’t come up with a simple fix.

I then tried to reinstall PECL-HTTP (by uninstalling and reinstalling it)

# pecl uninstall pecl_http
Unable to remove "" from php.ini
uninstall ok: channel://
# pecl install pecl_http
downloading pecl_http-1.7.0.tgz ...
Starting to download pecl_http-1.7.0.tgz (173,979 bytes)

Which luckily did solve my issue…

So reinstalling does actually solve stuff on Linux 😡

Be sure to have in your php.ini and to restart php if it’s running with fastcgi or restarting Apache after making the changes.

nginx + fastcgi PHP

I recently migrated vm1 to nginx instead of lighttpd. Just for the sake of playing and testing around.

As there’s a PHP page as well, I had to set up fastcgi with PHP. I mainly followed this tutorial to try to get PHP working.

However, every PHP page I visited returned following error:

No input file specified.

As I was fairly sure it was path (or variable) related, I played around with:

fastcgi_param   SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

Changing $document_root to the full path, etc, without success.

However, as I used the init script in the tutorial, and read a few posts about possible permission errors, I tried adding the group to the fastcgi daemon starter as well.

Change this:

start-stop-daemon --quiet --start --background --chuid "$USER" --exec /usr/bin/env -- $PHP_CGI_ARGS


start-stop-daemon --quiet --start --background --chuid "$USER" -g www-data --exec /usr/bin/env -- $PHP_CGI_ARGS

Notice the “-g www-data” part.

You can always make a variable in case you ever want to edit it.

Restart php_fastcgi and try again. Should work fine now.

Some fast stats: vm1 + nginx, vm1 + lighttpd, vm0 + IIS7one + Apachevm1 + nginx + PHP and one + Apache + PHP.

These stats should only give a quick overview. To get correct results it should be ran on the same hardware, at the same moment with the same load, and 100% the same pages.

“One” is a Gentoo dual Pentium III with 1.2Gb ram, “vm0” is a Windows 2008 Xen Virtual machine with 1 Gb ram, and has access to two vCPUs (Xeon), “vm1” is a Debian with 128Mb ram, and also access to two vCPUs (Xeon). Nginx wins on static content (followed by Lighttpd). Apache wins by a little over nginx on PHP content in these tests.

Here‘s another site with some stats.

Agenda / Todo page

This summer I created a simple “agenda” for myself. I’ve been using it every now & then, but forgot to “share” it. So here it goes.

Screenshots below


  • Add todo items
  • Change todo items to completed
  • List of (completed) todo items
  • PHP + MySQL
  • Basic Prowl support
  • Example SQL create script
  • There’s NO login. Use .htaccess files to disable world wide access.



version 0.1

Feel free to edit and use this simple agenda however you want.