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download – Streaming a large file using PHP

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have a 200MB file that I want to give to a user via download. However, since we want the user to only download this file once, we are doing this:

echo file_get_contents('http://some.secret.location.com/secretfolder/the_file.tar.gz');

to force a download. However, this means that the whole file has to be loaded in memory, which usually doesn’t work. How can we stream this file to them, at some kb per chunk?

How to&Answers:

Try something like this (source http://teddy.fr/2007/11/28/how-serve-big-files-through-php/):

<?php
define('CHUNK_SIZE', 1024*1024); // Size (in bytes) of tiles chunk

// Read a file and display its content chunk by chunk
function readfile_chunked($filename, $retbytes = TRUE) {
    $buffer = '';
    $cnt    = 0;
    $handle = fopen($filename, 'rb');

    if ($handle === false) {
        return false;
    }

    while (!feof($handle)) {
        $buffer = fread($handle, CHUNK_SIZE);
        echo $buffer;
        ob_flush();
        flush();

        if ($retbytes) {
            $cnt += strlen($buffer);
        }
    }

    $status = fclose($handle);

    if ($retbytes && $status) {
        return $cnt; // return num. bytes delivered like readfile() does.
    }

    return $status;
}

// Here goes your code for checking that the user is logged in
// ...
// ...

if ($logged_in) {
    $filename = 'path/to/your/file';
    $mimetype = 'mime/type';
    header('Content-Type: '.$mimetype );
    readfile_chunked($filename);

} else {
    echo 'Tabatha says you haven\'t paid.';
}
?>

Answer:

Use fpassthru(). As the name suggests, it doesn’t read the entire file into memory prior to sending it, rather it outputs it straight to the client.

Modified from the example in the manual:

<?php

// the file you want to send
$path = "path/to/file";

// the file name of the download, change this if needed
$public_name = basename($path);

// get the file's mime type to send the correct content type header
$finfo = finfo_open(FILEINFO_MIME_TYPE);
$mime_type = finfo_file($finfo, $path);

// send the headers
header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=$public_name;");
header("Content-Type: $mime_type");
header('Content-Length: ' . filesize($path));

// stream the file
$fp = fopen($path, 'rb');
fpassthru($fp);
exit;

If you would rather stream the content directly to the browser rather than a download (and if the content type is supported by the browser, such as video, audio, pdf etc) then remove the Content-Disposition header.

Answer:

Take a look at the example from the manual page of fsockopen():

$fp = fsockopen("www.example.com", 80, $errno, $errstr, 30);
if (!$fp) {
    echo "$errstr ($errno)<br />\n";
} else {
    $out = "GET / HTTP/1.1\r\n";
    $out .= "Host: www.example.com\r\n";
    $out .= "Connection: Close\r\n\r\n";
    fwrite($fp, $out);
    while (!feof($fp)) {
        echo fgets($fp, 128);
    }
    fclose($fp);
}

This will connect to www.example.com, send a request then get and echo the response in 128 byte chunks. You may want to make it more than 128 bytes.

Answer:

I found this method in http://codesamplez.com/programming/php-html5-video-streaming-tutorial

And it works very well for me

   <?php

class VideoStream
{
    private $path = "";
    private $stream = "";
    private $buffer = 102400;
    private $start  = -1;
    private $end    = -1;
    private $size   = 0;

    function __construct($filePath) 
    {
        $this->path = $filePath;
    }

    /**
     * Open stream
     */
    private function open()
    {
        if (!($this->stream = fopen($this->path, 'rb'))) {
            die('Could not open stream for reading');
        }

    }

    /**
     * Set proper header to serve the video content
     */
    private function setHeader()
    {
        ob_get_clean();
        header("Content-Type: video/mp4");
        header("Cache-Control: max-age=2592000, public");
        header("Expires: ".gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s', time()+2592000) . ' GMT');
        header("Last-Modified: ".gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s', @filemtime($this->path)) . ' GMT' );
        $this->start = 0;
        $this->size  = filesize($this->path);
        $this->end   = $this->size - 1;
        header("Accept-Ranges: 0-".$this->end);

        if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_RANGE'])) {

            $c_start = $this->start;
            $c_end = $this->end;

            list(, $range) = explode('=', $_SERVER['HTTP_RANGE'], 2);
            if (strpos($range, ',') !== false) {
                header('HTTP/1.1 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable');
                header("Content-Range: bytes $this->start-$this->end/$this->size");
                exit;
            }
            if ($range == '-') {
                $c_start = $this->size - substr($range, 1);
            }else{
                $range = explode('-', $range);
                $c_start = $range[0];

                $c_end = (isset($range[1]) && is_numeric($range[1])) ? $range[1] : $c_end;
            }
            $c_end = ($c_end > $this->end) ? $this->end : $c_end;
            if ($c_start > $c_end || $c_start > $this->size - 1 || $c_end >= $this->size) {
                header('HTTP/1.1 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable');
                header("Content-Range: bytes $this->start-$this->end/$this->size");
                exit;
            }
            $this->start = $c_start;
            $this->end = $c_end;
            $length = $this->end - $this->start + 1;
            fseek($this->stream, $this->start);
            header('HTTP/1.1 206 Partial Content');
            header("Content-Length: ".$length);
            header("Content-Range: bytes $this->start-$this->end/".$this->size);
        }
        else
        {
            header("Content-Length: ".$this->size);
        }  

    }

    /**
     * close curretly opened stream
     */
    private function end()
    {
        fclose($this->stream);
        exit;
    }

    /**
     * perform the streaming of calculated range
     */
    private function stream()
    {
        $i = $this->start;
        set_time_limit(0);
        while(!feof($this->stream) && $i <= $this->end) {
            $bytesToRead = $this->buffer;
            if(($i+$bytesToRead) > $this->end) {
                $bytesToRead = $this->end - $i + 1;
            }
            $data = fread($this->stream, $bytesToRead);
            echo $data;
            flush();
            $i += $bytesToRead;
        }
    }

    /**
     * Start streaming video content
     */
    function start()
    {
        $this->open();
        $this->setHeader();
        $this->stream();
        $this->end();
    }
}

To use this class, you will have to write simple code like as below:

$stream = new VideoStream($filePath);
$stream->start();

Answer:

I ran into this problem as well using readfile() to force a download. The memory problem lies not within readfile, rather with ouput buffering.

Just make sure you switch off output buffering before readfile, and the problem should be fixed.

if (ob_get_level()) ob_end_clean();
readfile($yourfile);

Works for files with a size much larger than the allocated memory limit.