Web interface freezes when making changes; PHP problem?

  • Hello!

    Ever since I upgraded my 2.0.1 installation to 2.1, I have the intermittent problem that when making changes to the configuration, like editing firewall aliases or rules, when I click SAVE the web interface freezes.

    I found out that the changes did get saved, and the web server process is still okay, but some PHP process stops responding.

    I have to go to the console, do a "killall php" and then restart the web configurator. Then all is okay again, for a while.

    Can I do anything to give more info about this problem?

  • push

    I reinstalled pfSense freshly from the 2.1 ISO, updated to latest snapshot, but the problem is still there.

    Sporadically, especially after a while without config changes, when I try to edit e.g. port aliases, the web interface freezes. On the console, I see that an PHP process hangs:

    [2.1-BETA1][root@rigel.xxx.xxx]/root(1): ps aux | grep php
    root    8778  0.0  4.5 51868 22780  ??  I    Wed01PM   0:00.06 /usr/local/bin/php -f /etc/rc.update_alias_url_data
    root   22942  0.0  5.0 48796 25100  ??  I    Wed01AM   0:01.18 /usr/local/bin/php
    root   71329  0.0  4.4 48796 22188  ??  I    Wed12AM   0:01.70 /usr/local/bin/php

    When I kill that process, and restart the web configurator, the web interface works again.

    Doesn't anybody have an idea what's wrong here? This issue is getting very annoying, and I'll need to revert to 2.0 soon if I can't find a fix for it. :(

    I indeed do have a URL alias, which fetches a text file from a web server of mine, and which lists a number of IP addresses that are to be blocked in the firewall. Previously, I had the package "pfBlocker" installed, which I removed though a week ago, cause I had the suspicion that it's the culprit. But apparently it isn't.

  • The GUI works faster if the pfsense have DNS resolution.
    For some things the scripts do DNS resolve and this needs long time.

  • Hmm, you might be onto something there. I have one URL alias defined which fetches an HTTP URL with a hostname in it. I just tried resolving that hostname in the "Diagnostics / DNS Lookup" function, and the process took about 20 seconds. Seems one of the nameservers I have defined in the General page is not responding.

    Okay, I'll check that out! If it's the reason, how come though that the PHP script "update_alias_URL_data" hangs for such a long time (I waited about 10 minutes now before I killed it) on a simple DNS lookup? I never had that problem on pfSense 2.0 where I also use URL Aliases with the same hostname, and the same DNS servers.

  • push

    Nameservers were not the issue here.

    I fixed my DNS settings now. All nameservers entered in the General Setup now work 100%. A test name resolution via "Diagnostics / DNS Lookup" works perfectly.

    Still, once per day, when I make changes to the aliases, the PHP process that tries to evaluate URL Aliases, completely hangs and I have to kill it. I doubt this is caused by DNS issues.

    I removed the URL alias now and am curious what happens tomorrow. Can a developer please advise what to do here? I have the suspicion that there is a bug in the URL Alias evaluation function.