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This project attempts to benchmark the baseline level of responsiveness of various PHP frameworks to discover the overhead involved in using each one.

The previous version of this project is at Google Code here: This version supersedes the previous version at Google Code.

Benchmarking Server Setup

Hardware and Operating System

The benchmark is performed on an Amazon EC2 m1.large instance. This provides 4 EC2 compute units and 7.5 G of RAM. The operating system is a stock 64-bit Ubuntu 10.10 image provided by

Installation instructions for EC2 are beyond the scope of this project. Once you have an EC2 account at Amazon and the appropriate EC2 shell tools, run a new instance under your own username ...

ec2-run-instances ami-08f40561 --instance-type=m1.large -k {$USERNAME}

... then SSH into the running instance to continue.

ssh -i /path/to/id_rsa-{$USERNAME} ubuntu@{$SUBDOMAIN}

Software Installation

After the instance comes online, issue the following shell commands to install and configure the necessary packages.

# become root
sudo -s

# initial updates
aptitude update
aptitude dist-upgrade -y

# apache2, php, git, siege
aptitude install -y \
    apache2-mpm-prefork \
    libapache2-mod-php5 \
    php-apc \
    php5-cli \
    php5-common \
    php5-dev \
    git-all \

# install http_load
cd /root
tar -zxvf http_load-12mar2006.tar.gz
cd http_load-12mar2006
make install

# modify the Apache DocumentRoot for the project checkout
cd /etc/apache2/sites-available/
sed -i "s~/var/www~/var/www/htdocs~" default
sed -i "s/AllowOverride None/AllowOverride All/" default

# turn off mod_deflate, turn on mod_rewrite
a2dismod deflate
a2enmod rewrite

# replace /var/www with the project checkout
rm -rf /var/www
git clone git:// /var/www

# switch to /var/www and open all permissions (e.g. for caches)
cd /var/www
chmod -R 777 htdocs

# create real config file from the distribution copy
cp config.ini-dist config.ini

# restart apache
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now you can run the benchmarks against a series of framework targets.

Running the Benchmarks

At the EC2 command line, issue the following:

cd /var/www
./bench/http_load target/all.ini

(There are other bench scripts and target files as well.)

The script will do the following for each framework target:

  • Restart Apache
  • Browse to the framework once to warm up the cache
  • Benchmark the the framework 5 times for 1 minute each with 10 users
  • Log the results

At the end of the benchmarking, the script will collate the logged benchmark results and print a report on the framework responsiveness.


A study of the overhead incurred by various PHP frameworks.






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