fpassthru broken on OS X

I’ve gotten a few strange bug reports about broken downloads in SabreDAV over a certain size. I was admitedly a bit sceptical, because this always worked pretty well.

I’ve unable so far to confirm this on other systems, but I’m very curious what other people are seeing.

To test, create a large file. The following statement creates a 5GB file:

dd if=/dev/zero of=5gigs bs=1024 count=5242880

Next, we want to stream this with fpassthru(), the following script should do this:


$file = __DIR__ . '/5gigs';

$h = fopen($file, 'r');

I’ve tried this at a few sizes:

  • At 1.5 GB the download succeeds
  • At 3 GB and 6GB the script crashes and I’m not getting an error message.
  • At 5GB I’m consistently only receiving 1 GB worth of data, before the script dies without warning.

This is tested on PHP 5.5.7 on OS X 10.9, and the behavior is the same through apache, or on the command line. If the previous file was called ‘foo.php’, you can easily test by running:

php foo.php > output

Output buffering and max execution time is off. Before I’m reporting a bug to bugs.php.net, I would love to know if I’m the only one out there seeing this.

So unless I’m making a mistake somewhere, else:

Do not use fpassthru on OS X if you want to support large files!

The following two workarounds always workthough:


$file = __DIR__ . '/5gigs';

$h = fopen($file, 'r');

while(!feof($h)) {
    echo fread($h, 4096);

And my personal preference:


$file = __DIR__ . '/5gigs';

$h = fopen($file, 'r');
file_put_contents('php://output', $h);


Now confirmed on 5.5.9 and opened a php bug report: https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=66736