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I am currently working on a PHP front-end that joins together a series of applications running on separate servers; many of these applications generate files that I need access to, but these files (for various reasons) reside on their parent servers.

If I, from the command line, issue a bit of script such as:


I will get the full contents of that directory, proving that there's no problem programmatically with PHP reading the contents of a UNC share. However, if I try to execute the same script from the web server, I get an empty array -- more specifically, if I use more explicitly functions designed to "open" a directory like it was a file, I get access errors.

I believe this to be a permissions issue, but I am not a server/network administrator type, so I'm not sure what I need to do to correct this and get my script running, and the links I've checked out have not been a terrible amount of help, perhaps due to my background, or lack thereof as far as IIS is concerned, coupled with the fact that we are not actually using .NET for this.

Relevant Stats: Windows Server 2008 Standard SP2 IIS 7.0 PHP 5.2.9

I will be connecting to two types of servers: a few other nearly-identical Server 2008 machines, and a machine running embedded XP.

Links that have not been particularly helpful but maybe I am just misreading:

If you want to support PHP scripts through Internet Information Server (IIS), you can following this tutorial. This tutorial assumes that your PHP engine is installed at: C:Program Filesphp-5.2.0-Win32. This tutorial assumes that your IIS is configured to server Web documents from C:inetpubwwwroot.

1. Make sure that your IIS is running correctly.

2. Make sure that your PHP engine is installed correctly by reviewing our Verifying PHP Intallation tutorial.

3. Make sure that the php.ini configuration file and PHPRC environment variable are created correctly by reviewing our Creating PHP Configuration File tutorial.

4. Edit and save C:Program Filesphp-5.2.0-Win32php.ini with "notepad" to set the following values:

doc_root = "C:inetpubwwwroot"
cgi.force_redirect = 0

5. To configure IIS to support PHP scripts, click Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services. The Internet Information Services window shows up.

6. Open Local Computer > Web Sites in the folder tree structure. Right mouse click on Default Web Site and select Properties. The properties dialog box shos up.

7. Click the Directory Security tab, select "Scripts only" for the Execute Permissions option.

8. Click the Configuration... button. The Applicatin Configuration dialog box shows up.

9. Click the Add button, enter .php for the Extension field.

10. Use the Browse button to set "C:Program Filesphp-5.2.0-Win32php-cgi.ini" for the Executable field. Do not type in this value manually. It may not work because of the space character in the path name.

11. Click OK to save the new entry. And review the settings as shown in this picture: IIS PHP Script Settings

12. Click OK buttons to close all dialog boxes.

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Your PHP application runs using a service account, and this is the user account whose credentials are used to access the network resources. The default for IIS is to use a local account of the web server for this, and that account doesn't have permissions to access network resources (because it's a local account).

You should configure the IIS application pool for your web site to run using a domain user account, and then give that user account the appropriate permissions on the network share.

If you don't have an Active Directory domain, or those two servers aren't member of it, things get a little more tricky, but it can be done anyway by creating two user accounts with the same usernames and passwords on both servers.

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As you guessed this is a permissions problem... the user that the IIS worker process is running as is a local account on the machine (most likely IUSER_<MACHINENAME>), and that user isn't authenticated (nor does the acocunt even exist!) on the other machines you're trying to browse via UNC

Just as a test, you can go into IIS manager and change what the IIS service is running as for that website... I'm using terminology from Server 2003/IIS 6 though because I don't have a Server 2008 box handy right now. If you poke around in the IIS 7 manager you should be able to find where you can set the user that the worker process runs as.

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