PHPUnit aborted fix post

January 17th, 2012

A while back I ran into a problem on a server where PHPUnit kept reporting "aborted" no matter what tests were run. That was a pretty annoying bug. I never did find out what the problem was as I moved onto other problems and chalked that error up to some undiagnosed weirdness on that particular server.

From time to time I would get asked on Twitter if I had ever solved the problem. My answer was always "no, and if you do solve it please let met know how you fixed it." Today, my friends, was the day.

![](/images/phpunit-bug.png %)

Kudos to Damian Katz for coming up with a solution. Without digging deeper into it, I would imagine that you could alter the phpunit.xml file (if you are using one in your setup) to automatically use the -dzend.enable_gc=0 option every time you run a test.

How did he figure it out? He tracked down this bug that seemed to be displaying the exact behaviour that I had reported way back when. It seems odd that garbage collection would cause this problem, but perhaps it was a perfect storm of lots of small tests causing over-active garbage collection which in turn causes the PHP interpreter to abort whatever it is running.

This is another case where I would love someone with knowledge of PHP internals to try and explain why it is happening.