How can one use multi threading in PHP applications


Is there a realistic way of implementing a multi-threaded model in PHP whether truly, or just simulating it. Some time back it was suggested that you could force the operating system to load another instance of the PHP executable and handle other simultaneous processes.

The problem with this is that when the PHP code finished executing the PHP instance remains in memory because there is no way to kill it from within PHP. So if you are simulating several threads you can imagine whats going to happen. So I am still looking for a way multi-threading can be done or simulated effectively from within PHP. Any ideas?

10/22/2011 12:47:38 AM

Multi-threading is possible in php

Yes you can do multi-threading in PHP with pthreads

From the PHP documentation:

pthreads is an object-orientated API that provides all of the tools needed for multi-threading in PHP. PHP applications can create, read, write, execute and synchronize with Threads, Workers and Threaded objects.

Warning: The pthreads extension cannot be used in a web server environment. Threading in PHP should therefore remain to CLI-based applications only.

Simple Test

class AsyncOperation extends Thread {

    public function __construct($arg) {
        $this->arg = $arg;

    public function run() {
        if ($this->arg) {
            $sleep = mt_rand(1, 10);
            printf('%s: %s  -start -sleeps %d' . "\n", date("g:i:sa"), $this->arg, $sleep);
            printf('%s: %s  -finish' . "\n", date("g:i:sa"), $this->arg);

// Create a array
$stack = array();

//Initiate Multiple Thread
foreach ( range("A", "D") as $i ) {
    $stack[] = new AsyncOperation($i);

// Start The Threads
foreach ( $stack as $t ) {


First Run

12:00:06pm:     A  -start -sleeps 5
12:00:06pm:     B  -start -sleeps 3
12:00:06pm:     C  -start -sleeps 10
12:00:06pm:     D  -start -sleeps 2
12:00:08pm:     D  -finish
12:00:09pm:     B  -finish
12:00:11pm:     A  -finish
12:00:16pm:     C  -finish

Second Run

12:01:36pm:     A  -start -sleeps 6
12:01:36pm:     B  -start -sleeps 1
12:01:36pm:     C  -start -sleeps 2
12:01:36pm:     D  -start -sleeps 1
12:01:37pm:     B  -finish
12:01:37pm:     D  -finish
12:01:38pm:     C  -finish
12:01:42pm:     A  -finish

Real World Example

class AsyncWebRequest extends Thread {
    public $url;
    public $data;

    public function __construct($url) {
        $this->url = $url;

    public function run() {
        if (($url = $this->url)) {
             * If a large amount of data is being requested, you might want to
             * fsockopen and read using usleep in between reads
            $this->data = file_get_contents($url);
        } else
            printf("Thread #%lu was not provided a URL\n", $this->getThreadId());

$t = microtime(true);
$g = new AsyncWebRequest(sprintf("", rand() * 10));
/* starting synchronization */
if ($g->start()) {
    printf("Request took %f seconds to start ", microtime(true) - $t);
    while ( $g->isRunning() ) {
        echo ".";
    if ($g->join()) {
        printf(" and %f seconds to finish receiving %d bytes\n", microtime(true) - $t, strlen($g->data));
    } else
        printf(" and %f seconds to finish, request failed\n", microtime(true) - $t);
7/6/2017 5:57:28 PM

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