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Core PHP Programming, Third Edition by Leon Atkinson

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9.5. POSIX

Kristian Koehntopp added a module to PHP to support the POSIX.1 standard, also known as IEEE 1003.1. This standard describes functionality provided to user processes by an operating system. A few functions in this section are not part of the standard, but are commonly available in System V or BSD UNIX systems.

Many of these functions are available only to the root user. PHP scripts are executed by the owner of the Web server process, which is usually a special user for just this purpose. Running the Web server as root is unusual and dangerous. Anyone able to view a PHP file through the Web server could have arbitrary control over the system. Keep in mind, however, that PHP can be compiled as a standalone executable. In this case it ...

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