FTP timing out from within application.

I have two Virtualmin gpl servers running our production and development wordpress sites. The production site is on a rackspace cloud server running Debian 6.0. The development site is on a physical server in the office running Debian 5.0. Both are running Virtualmin 3.90 gpl with all of the patches applied.

Wordpress is running a pluggin that makes a zip backup of the site files and database and then downloads it via FTP to a backup server in the office. From the physical Debian 5.0 server the FTP transfer works fine. From the rackspace cloud server the FTP only gets about 20% of the 230 meg zip file before it seems to give up. If I use a tool like FileZilla the transfer will complete.

Is there a way to compare the settings and configuration between these two servers. From the Wordpress side the sites are identical so I’m fairly confident that can be eliminated as the problem. The site has been on a Plesk server and it worked there. I am sure there is a setting buried in an ini file somewhere that is the root of the problem. I’m just not sure where to look.

Bump …

I’ve done more testing, increased RAM and PHP execution time without any luck. It still gives up after about 30 meg. Is there an error log or something that I can look at?


What a head scratcher that was. I knew the problem was with a PHP setting, but finding it was hard. I was looking in webmin / Others / PHP Configuration. Setting memory limits and execution timeouts made no difference that I could tell. Finally, I went to Virtualmin / Server Configuration / Website Options and set the script run time to unlimited, and now the backup FTP works.

What if any are the consequences of leaving PHP script run time to Unlimited?


I’m glad you figured it out!

The issue with that particular setting, is that if an application misbehaves and continues running – it won’t be killed off.

Normally, PHP apps should be finished running fairly quickly… so that setting protects your server from a runaway process.

It sounds like what’s running from within Wordpress is an app for performing backups… would using the Virtualmin backups be another option?

With that, you wouldn’t have to change the PHP timeouts.

Or, alternative, you could try setting a PHP limit, but a really high one – that could be a compromise.