PHP Australia Conference 2015

Thread-Safe Resource Manager

When PHP is built with Thread Safety enabled, the engine requires a way to isolate contexts from one another, such that the threads of a process may service individual requests without interference. TSRM is omnipotent within PHP, extension authors have to do very little in order to make sure their extensions can function in both a Thread Safe and Non Thread Safe architecture.

Example #1 Accessor macros for per-module globals

#ifdef ZTS
#define COUNTER_G(v) TSRMG(counter_globals_id, zend_counter_globals *, v)
#else
#define COUNTER_G(v) (counter_globals.v)
#endif

The snippet above shows how an extension author is expected to define their global accessors. The TSRMG macro takes an identifier, type cast and element name. The identifier is assigned by TSRM during initialization of the module. Declaring global accessors in this way ensures that an extension can operate safely in a Thread Safe and Non Thread Safe architecture using the same logic.

TSRM manages the isolation and safety of all global structures within PHP, from executor globals to extension globals, a pointer to the isolated storage is also passed around with most, or many of the API functions. The macros TSRMLS_C and TSRMLS_CC translate to "thread safe local storage" and "thread safe local storage prefixed with a comma" respectively.

If a function requires a pointer to TSRM, it is declared with the macro TSRMLS_D or TSRMLS_DC in it's prototype, which translates to "thread safe local storage only" and "thread safe local storage prefixed with a comma" respectively. Many macros within the engine reference TSRM, so it is a good idea to declare most things to accept TSRM, such that if they need to call upon TSRM they do not have to fetch a pointer during execution.

Because TSRM is thread local, and some functions (for compatibility reasons) are not able to accept TSRM directly, the macro TSRMLS_FETCH exists, which requests that TSRM fetches the pointer to the thread local storage. This should be avoided wherever it can be, as it is not without cost in a Thread Safe setup.

Note: While developing extensions, build errors that contain "tsrm_ls is undefined" or errors to that effect stem from the fact that TSRMLS is undefined in the current scope, to fix this, declare the function to accept TSRMLS with the appropriate macro, if the prototype of the function in question cannot be changed, you must call TSRMLS_FETCH within the function body.

The functionality documented hereafter is aimed at advanced use of TSRM. It is not ordinary for extensions to have to interact with TSRM directly, the pecl programmer should use API's above TSRM such as the Module Globals API.

TSRM Internals
Prototype Description
typedef int ts_rsrc_id The type definition to represent a resource by numeric identifiers
int tsrm_startup(int expected_threads, int expected_resources, int debug_level, char *debug_filename) expected_threads and expected_resources are not hard limits. debug_level and debug_filename only have an effect on windows in Debug mode or when TSRM_DEBUG is defined. Called once per process in ZTS mode during server startup.
void tsrm_shutdown(void) Should be the last thing called in the process to destroy and free all storage TSRM storage in ZTS mode.
ts_rsrc_id ts_allocate_id(ts_rsrc_id *rsrc_id, size_t size, ts_allocate_ctor ctor, ts_allocate_dtor dtor) Allocates and thread safe pointer of size bytes, calling ctor on the pointer, assigning (and returning) the id to rsrc_id, the dtor is called when the resource is free'd. Module globals are isolated in ZTS mode using this API.
void *ts_resource_ex(ts_rsrc_id id, THREAD_T *th_id) Fetches a resource by previously allocated id from the entries created by the specified thread identifed by th_id.
void *ts_resource(ts_rsrc_id id) Fetches a resource by previously allocated id from the entries created by the calling thread.
void ts_free_thread(void) Destroys and frees the entries for the calling thread, currently this API is only used by ISAPI module.
void ts_free_id(ts_rsrc_id id) Destroys the resource identified by previously allocated id. Module globals are cleaned up in ZTS mode using this API.

Note: There are more TSRM API functions to enable the creation and destruction of interpreter contexts, the usage of such functionality is out of the scope of this documentation, please see TSRM/TSRM.h for more information.

TSRM Mutex API
Prototype Description
MUTEX_T tsrm_mutex_alloc(void) Allocates and returns a suitable MUTEX_T for the environment.
int tsrm_mutex_lock(MUTEX_T mutexp) Locks mutexp for the calling thread.
int tsrm_mutex_unlock(MUTEX_T mutexp) Unlocks mutexp for the calling thread.
void tsrm_mutex_free(MUTEX_T mutexp); Destroys and frees the (unlocked) and previously allocated mutexp.

Note: The mutex API is exposed by TSRM. However, its internal usage is far too wide to document usefully here, none the less, basic functionality and prototypes are documented here.

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