(PHP 4 >= 4.0.5, PHP 5, PHP 7)

apache_child_terminateTerminate apache process after this request


bool apache_child_terminate ( void )

apache_child_terminate() will register the Apache process executing the current PHP request for termination once execution of PHP code is completed. It may be used to terminate a process after a script with high memory consumption has been run as memory will usually only be freed internally but not given back to the operating system.

Return Values

Returns TRUE if PHP is running as an Apache 1 module, the Apache version is non-multithreaded, and the child_terminate PHP directive is enabled (disabled by default). If these conditions are not met, FALSE is returned and an error of level E_WARNING is generated.


Version Description
5.4.0 This function became available under FastCGI. Previously, it was supported only when PHP was installed as an Apache module.


Note: This function is not implemented on Windows platforms.

See Also

  • exit() - Output a message and terminate the current script

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User Contributed Notes 4 notes

Stephan Ferraro
7 years ago
I found out a solution for Apache 2. However this works only without threads and only on POSIX compatible OS systems (e.g. Linux, OpenSolaris...).


// Terminate Apache 2 child process after request has been
// done by sending a SIGWINCH POSIX signal (28).
function kill_on_exit() {
posix_kill( getmypid(), 28 );

register_shutdown_function( 'kill_on_exit' );

louis at ewens dot com
9 years ago
Apache child processes are greedy. If they get bloated by a PHP application that requires a lot of memory, they stay that way. The memory is never given back to the OS until that child dies.

You could use MaxRequestsPerChild in Apache to kill all child processes automatically after a certain number of connections. Or you can use apache_child_terminate to kill the child after your memory intensive functions.

Note: apache_child_terminate is not available in Apache 2.0 handler.
admin at hostultra dot com
10 years ago
this code will add apache_child_terminate() function if it is not already present.

if (!function_exists("apache_child_terminate")){
function apache_child_terminate(){

function killonexit(){
@exec("kill ".getmypid());
daniele_dll at yahoo dot it
9 years ago
In response to sam at liddicott dot com:

it isin't so simple! You should never kill an apache process because it is automatically freed when apache need!

And, if you use apache worker or thread based mpm you risk to kill the entire process!

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