The AdminServer

Posted on December 10, 2012 by

HipHop, if properly configured*, will actually startup not one, but two http servers.  The first, on port 80 by default, you’re already familiar with.  Requests are translated to filesystem paths, and PHP files are executed to generate content.  The other one, however, you might not have come across yet.

This second http server allows you, as the administrator, to take action through a web browser similar to the apachectl command.  This interface can enable/disable/display various statistics, dump jit translations and apc values, and even instruct the server to shut itself down.

* Note: HipHop builds prior to Dec 10, 2012 had the AdminServer
  enabled by default.  If you do not wish to have this running,
  you should add AdminServer.Port = 0 to your config file.

Enabling the AdminServer

Turning it on is actually just a one-line change to your config file, but since it provides administrator type functionality, it’s best to set a password as well, and probably a firewall to block unwanted traffic.

AdminServer {
  Port = 8080
  Password = superSecret

For firewalls, I find linux’s iptables do the trick nicely.  These two lines allow access from localhost, but drop any other packets bound for the admin server from elsewhere.

iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --destination-port 8080 -j DENY

Getting a list of commands

Just browse to the AdminServer’s port and you’ll get a text/plain dump of the available commands and their usage.  For the purpose of these examples, I’ll be using cURL from the command line.

$ curl 'http://localhost:8080'

Some commands, like /stats-web are binary switches, calling once will turn them ‘On’ (indicating you’ve enabled it), calling again will return ‘Off’.  Others, like /check-health will give you info on HipHop’s internal workings in JSON (or HTML or XML) format.

$ curl 'http://localhost:8080/check-health'
,  "queued":0
,  "tc-size":544
,  "tc-stubsize":358
,  "targetcache":20480
,  "units":1

Password authorization

If you set a password in your configuration, then all queries to the AdminServer (apart from /help or no command at all) will require that password be passed with the request, e.g.:

curl 'http://localhost:8080/check-health?auth=superSecret'

Generally speaking, however, you should probably firewall your AdminServer or disable it entirely (by setting Port=0).

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