FastCGI Extension 1.5 for IIS 6.0 and IIS 5.1 – RC

Today IIS team has released the FastCGI Extension 1.5 for IIS 6.0 and IIS 5.1 – Release Candidate. This version is based on FastCGI Extension 1.0 and it adds several important improvements and features. The release is believed to have a quality level suitable for production deployments.

Install the Release Candidate of FastCGI Extension 1.5 for IIS 6.0 and IIS 5.1

Install FastCGI 1.5 RC with Web Platform Installer

or, download:

Upgrade from FastCGI Extension 1.0 and 1.5 Beta releases

If you already have installed FastCGI Extension v1.0 or FastCGI Extesnion v1.5 Beta, then the installation package will upgrade it to version 1.5 – RC. All the related IIS configuration and settings in fcgiext.ini file will be preserved during upgrade. Note that during upgrade from v1.0 the comments in fcgiext.ini will not be updated and will not mention new configuration settings. However the new settings can still be used after upgrade.

New Features

The FastCGI Extension 1.5 includes these new features:

  • Monitor changes to a file. The extension can be configured to listen for file change notifications on a specific file and when that file changes, the extension will recycle FastCGI processes for the process pool. This feature can be used to recycle PHP processes when changes to php.ini file occur.
  • Real-time tuning of MaxInstances setting. This MaxInstances setting dictates the maximum number of FastCGI processes which can be launched for each application pool. If it is set to 0 then FastCGI extension will automatically adjust the number of instances up or down every few seconds based on the system load and number of requests waiting in the queue. 
  • STDERR stream handling. There are several options of how the extension can handle text sent by FastCGI application on STDERR. The extension can send the error data as a failure response to the HTTP client or it can ignore the error and send whatever was received on STDOUT as a response with 200 status code.
  • Sending a termination signal to FastCGI processes. The extension can be configured to send a termination signal to FastCGI process before terminating it. This enables FastCGI processes to do a clean shutdown before getting killed.
  • _FCGI_X_PIPE_ environment variable. This variable is set by FastCGI extension and it contains the name of the named pipe that is used for communication between the extension and FastCGI process.
  • Relaxed enforcement of response headers syntax. The FastCGI extension has less strict enforcements for the correctness of the response headers.

Changes since Beta release

The following changes and bug fixes has been made to the extension since the beta release:

  • The fix for a bug in how the semicolons are handled when reading configuration settings from fcgiconfig.ini file. Now, if you need to specify a semicolon inside of a configuration setting you can escape it with “/” (forward slash) symbol. This bug was reported on FastCGI forum.
  • If the SignalBeforeTerminateSeconds setting is more than 0, then FastCGI extension does not lock the file, specified in MonitorChangesTo setting, while processing the change notification and recycling the FastCGI processes.

More information

Refer to the following resources for more information

Also, be sure to visit the FastCGI Handler forum on IIS.NET if you have run into any problems when using the extension or have questions or suggestions.

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