Tag Archives: zend server

PHP Security on the IBM i – Locking down the IFS permissions – Best way to handle authorities in the web root and subdirectories.

Are you unable to modify another user’s PHP file on the IBM i? Do you constantly need to give QTMHHTTP read permissions to the new PHP you uploaded? After going through this guide you’ll fix these issues and streamline your PHP development on the IBM i while maintaining security of the IFS.

Overview of permissions on your Webroot folder for Zend Server:

Summary: Public gets no access, Primary Group is a group that the user QTMHHTTP is a part of and only has read access, and the owner is your development team group profile (WEBCODERS) with your web development team user profiles in that group.

As always test this on a development machine DON’T DO THIS IN PRODUCTION unless you’ve tested it

5 Steps to secure your PHP installation

1. Don’t give *PUBLIC access


I’ve heard many people who are insecurely using PHP on the IBM i. If you are giving *PUBLIC any access to your files under /www/zendsvr/htdocs you are giving too much access. You don’t want anyone with access to your IBM I to read your PHP files or your configuration files with database username and password. You should make sure *PUBLIC has no data authorities on all files under web root directory using the CHGAUT command recursively.

2. Set the Primary Group on the webroot (/www/zendsvr/htdocs) to a group with QTMHHTTP in it


Remember that each new object under a parent directory inherits the *PUBLIC authority, primary group authority and the owner authority of the parent. So you’ll want to set the primary group to NOGROUP and give it Read access. Make sure QTMHHTTP is a user of this group. This is the user that PHP is using to access the files and is typically called APACHE or NOBODY in linux systems.

3. Give access to a development team group profile so your web developers have write access to create new files and directories and read access to view the files on the server.  Unfortunately you’ll always have to re-run CHGAUT for WEBCODERS as when someone uploads a file they become the owner.  You may want to consider a daily job that automatically runs this or have your developers share the login information for WEBCODERS and always upload with that profile. 


4. Give write permissions to directories that QTMHHTTP needs write access.  If your PHP is saving a file or creating a file to the IFS it will need write permissions to that directory. 

CHGAUT OBJ('/www/zendsvr/writeable/uploads') USER(QTMHHTTP) DTAAUT(*RWX) OBJAUT(*NONE) SUBTREE(*NO)

Below are some shell functions you can use if you have bash or bourne shell

5. (Optional) Set the umask to set the default permissions given to new files created by a program (like FTP, SFTP, SSH).  In the example below the first 0 means give user rwx, 2 means give group rx, and 7 means give other nothing.

umask 027

For SFTP you’d modify sshd_config to load a shell .profile that would then run the umask.  (replace * with the version number of openssh you’re using or find it by running find)

find / | grep sshd_config
vi /QOpenSys/QIBM/UserData/SC1/OpenSSH/openssh-*.*p*/etc/sshd_config
# set ibmpaseforishell to your favorite shell (in this case bash)
#set the umask in our .profile so it will always load by using this command to append 
umask 022 to the end of the file (.profile).
echo "umask 022" >> ~/.profile

#shout out to @aaronbartell for informing me of umask

Experiment using Authorization List: 

Now I looked into using Authorization lists but they don’t inherit from the parent directory IF you’re using the mkdir command API (different from ibm i command line mkdir alias).  That would be the best case scenario since then new objects would get the WEBDEVAUTL authorization list inherited and your development team would be in that list and everyone on your team could create new files and directories and everyone else could modify them later.  Below are the commands to create a AUTL, but remember it will only work if your NOT using the mkdir command

CRTAUTL AUTL(WEBDEVAUTL) TEXT(‘Auth List for Web Developers’)

More info on Mkdir not inheriting from the parent directory here: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/forums/html/topic?id=77777777-0000-0000-0000-000014510624 .  Hopefully IBM will one day have mkdir have the same functionality as CRTDIR CL command.  Another good read about the IFS: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/iseries/v5r1/ic2924/books/c415300522.htm


Safely Uninstalling Zend Core for i5 OS version 2.6.0 or less, without messing up Zend Server

Now that Zend Server for IBM i is running on our systems we’ve decided to clean up Zend Core and uninstall it.  To uninstall it there is 3 steps to follow:

1. Remove Zend Platform (Required to upgrade Zend Core)

2. Update Zend Core to a version of 2.6.1 or greater using an installer file and not a Zend Core Components update.

3. Remove Zend Core


– The installer file can be obtain only from Zend support.

– Uninstalling an earlier version will remove profiles used by Zend Server for IBM i

Determining your Zend Core Version

To determine what version of Zend Core you’re  running run the following I5 commands:



Page Down until you find 1ZCORE5.  If the describition is Zend Core for IBM i5/OS (2.6.0)  or less you will have to upgrade Zend Core before installing it

Uninstalling Zend Platform

Run the Delete Licensed Program (DLTLICPGM) command on the i5 command line:


Updating Zend Core to 2.6.1+

1. Have Zend Support send Zend Core 2.6.1 by emailing Mike Pavlak or download it here.
A. Note knowledge base article http://kb.zend.com/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=488, “The installer is no longer available on our web site. Please contact Zend Support to get a copy of the installer for Zend Core for i5/OS 2.6.1. ”
2. The windows installers FTP process failed fore me so the SAVF file had to be ftp’d to the i5 and ran
A. Create a savf file on the i5
i. crtsavf savefiles/zcoresavf
B. FTP the file to the i5 from your windows machine
i. Run cmd
ii. cd to directory with file to upload
iii. ftp <servername>
iv. enter username
v. enter password
vi. cd savefiles
vii. binary
viii. put zcoresavf zcoresavf
C. prepare for upgrade
i. rename the directories /usr/local/Zend and /www/zendcore to different names
ii. end Zend Core Subsystem and Apache instance

D. Run restore license program
ii. If error message “Waiting for reply to message on message queue QSYSOPR.” – Sign in with another session and run:
a. dspmsg qsysopr
iii. If your getting directory not registered, rename the directories /usr/local/Zend and /www/zendcore to different names

iv. Rename /usr/local/Zend back in case you were using the Zend Framework

Uninstalling Zend Core 2.6.1 or better

Simply make sure theres no locks and run delete license program:




KB article noting that the installer file is no longer available on the Zend website and the installer must be obtained from Zend Support

Forum on how to uninstall zend core

Delete Zend Platform info

Delete Zend Core info

Zend Core components downlaod (NOTE: this is just to upgrade components and will not make your Zend Core safe to un-install, you need the installer file from Zend Support)

Support for long passwords may break your login page on Zend Server for IBM i

To keep up with security on the IBM i, your company will eventual support long passwords and more characters.  This means people can use symbols and lower case characters which will help increase the difficulty of guessing a password.  The problem you may run into with your PHP script is if you were using the strtoupper() function on your password and your username variable you’ll now have to remove that function because lower case symbols are now valid.   You’ll also warn your users that the login page is now case senstive.

FYI: In V5R1, the i5 added support for long passwords and by default it was set to off.  The QPWDLVL is what you need to change.  You can set the max length of the password using QPWDMAXLEN.   If you are using a custom login page you may need to rewrite it or switch to QSYS/QDSIGNON.  You will have to IPL the system after this change

PHP Remote Debugging on Zend Server for IBM i using xdebug and Netbeans

This is a guide on how to setup xdebug on Zend Server for IBM i to use with any IDE w/ a xdebug client such as Netbeans.

Step 1  Get xdebug.so and put it on the IBM i IFS

Zend Server usually already has the file so just check that its in the


If its not there, you can either compile your own xdebug.so by downloading the source from http://xdebug.org/ or you can just download this xdebug.so file.   Once you have the .so file you upload it to the IFS directory above.  Note on older versions of ZS the location might be:



Step 2 – Setup php.ini file and other config files

You’ll also have to set

output_buffering = Off

in the php.ini.  The default for this is output_buffering=4096.  Make sure the default is commented out.

PHP.ini location: /usr/local/zendphp7/etc/php.ini

Disable Zend Debugger and Zend Optimizer

You’ll have to turn off Zend Debugger and Zend Optimizer as these files will interfere with xdebug.  To turn off this go to /usr/local/zendphp7/etc/conf.d/debugger.ini and comment out

; zend_extension_manager.dir.debugger=/usr/local/zendphp7/lib/debugger

with  a semi colon at the beggining of the line.  In older versions of Zend Server you may have to comment out optimizerplus.ini in the same directory


in the xdebug.ini file in the directory /usr/local/zendphp7/etc/conf.d modify it to look like the xdebug.ini below.

Step 3 – Restart Apache

On the i5/as400/iseries type:


Option 5 – Service Management menu

Option 6 – Stop Apache server instances

Option 5 – Start Apache server instances

or do it at https://myibmi:2010/HTTPAdmin

Step 4 – Setup xdebug client in Netbeans

Right click a project and go to project properties.  In sources, set the Web Root to the local files that map to your Web Root on the i5 (/www/zendphp7/htdocs/{myapp}).   In the Run Configuration, set up the Project URL and the index file to point to your starting index.php file.  On the toolbar menu click Tools->Options ->PHP tab-> Debugging sub tab.  At this location you can set the debugger port, session ID, if it should stop at the first line of a file, what URLs were requested and to show the debugger console.


Step 5 – Launch Debugger

You lauch the debugger by pressing CTRL+F5 or by clicking the debug icon.

debug icon netbeans.png

Hopefully if everything was setup right you’ll be able to start the debugger and Netbeans will open your website up in a browser and then connect to xdebug on the server.  The way it works is the client sends the request on port 80 and then the server and the client communicate over port 9000 or the port you selected.  You’ll get all the Variables, Call stack and be able to step through the PHP code and set up Break points through out the file. If your having troubles getting this working let me know.  Running phpinfo() will also give you an idea if you’ve correctly installed xdebug.

Misc. Tips

1. You may have to move the CW wrapper for the old i5 toolkit into your project file.  You can find those files in the /usr/local/zendphp7/share/ToolkitAPI folder on the IFS.

2. You can use xdebug’s wizard that uses your phpinfo and helps you detect and install xdebug – http://xdebug.org/wizard.php

3. If your looking to compile php on the iseries this site might help – http://www.deloli.net/distrib.php

4. Netbeans wiki on how to configure xdebug  – http://wiki.netbeans.org/HowToConfigureXDebug

What phpinfo() will display about xdebug.


Migrating from Zend Core for I to Zend Server for IBM I – My Experience

I’m currently working on migrating from Zend Core 2.6.0 to Zender Server 5.6  for IBM I.  Big thanks to Alan Seiden who has some very helpful blog posts on this topic.  I’d recommend checking out:




Here’s my tip from migrating:

  1. If you were using the I5_* functions for database connections you can continue using AURA equipments toolkit, but I think long term you’d be better off using PHP db2_* functions.  Do not use the Zend Framework’s DB2 class since the db2_bind param doesn’t work.  The ZF team can’t implement it to work correctly right now and probably never will in the future.  I’ve been waiting 3 years now for them to make a change…
  2. Use http://as400:2001/HTTPAdmin to change the apache config for Zend Server and to start/stop the server
  3. You’ll need to trasfer your files from /www/zendcore to /www/zendsrv
  4. Give Permissions to QTMHHTTP.
    Run STRQSH
    cd /www/zendsvr/htdocs
    chmod –R 770
    chown -R qtmhhttp
  5. Modify the http.conf file and compare your old conf file to see if changes need to made
  6. #–Check your system CCSID value ( dspsysval qccsid). if the value is 65535 then add the following two directives to Apache configuration file (/www/zendsvr/conf/httpd.conf) and then Stop and Start Apache:
    DefaultFsCCSID 37
    CGIJobCCSID 37
  7. Edit the php.ini file and add a different session path (edit /usr/local/zendsvr/etc/php.ini)
    session.save_path = “/tmp/ZS”
  8. Change scripts that reference www/zendcore to www/zendsvr
  9.  Recreate any NFS mounts since files might have moved into /www/zendsvr
  10. IF your using Zend Framework you might want to continue using the old version that Zend Core had, so modify your php.ini file include path to include it and not include the new version which is currently 1.11.10
    include_path = “.:/usr/local/Zend/ZendFramework/library:/usr/local/zendsvr/share/pear:/usr/local/ZendSvr/share/ToolkitApi”
Benefits of upgrading from Zend Core:
  1. PERFORMANCE!  I’m seeing scripts running between 18%-400% faster.  One script used to take 40 seconds now only takes 8 seconds.
  2. Only 1 apache configuration to worry about now
  3. Latest PHP