gRPC

RoadRunner gRPC plugin enables PHP applications to communicate with gRPC clients.

It consists of two main parts:

  1. protoc-plugin protoc-gen-php-grpc: This is a plugin for the protoc compiler that generates PHP code from a gRPC service definition file (.proto). It generates PHP classes that correspond to the service definition and message types. These classes provide an interface for handling incoming gRPC requests and sending responses back to the client.

  2. gRPC server: This is a server that starts PHP workers and listens for incoming gRPC requests. It receives requests from gRPC clients, proxies them to the PHP workers, and sends the responses back to the client. The server is responsible for managing the lifecycle of the PHP workers and ensuring that they are available to handle requests.

Protoc-plugin

The first step is to define a .proto file that describes the gRPC service and messages that your PHP application will handle.

In our documentation, we will use the following example of a .proto file that is stored in the <app>/proto directory:

proto/pinger.proto
syntax = "proto3";

option php_namespace = "GRPC\\Pinger";
option php_metadata_namespace = "GRPC\\GPBMetadata";

package pinger;

service Pinger {
  rpc ping (PingRequest) returns (PingResponse) {}
}

message PingRequest {
  string url = 1;
}

message PingResponse {
  int32 status_code = 1;
}

It defines a simple gRPC service called Pinger that takes a URL as input and returns the HTTP status code for that URL.

The php_namespace and php_metadata_namespace options allow you to specify the namespaces to use in the generated DTO and Service interface.

Generating PHP code

After defining the proto file, you need to generate the PHP files using the protoc compiler and the protoc-gen-php-grpc plugin. You can install the plugin binary using Composer or download a pre-built binary from the GitHub releases page.

The simplest way to get the latest version of protoc-gen-php-grpc plugin is to download one of the pre-built release binaries on the GitHub releases page.

Just download the appropriate archive from the release page and extract it into your desired application directory.

Once the plugin is installed, you can use the protoc command to compile the proto file into PHP files.

Here's an example command:

protoc --plugin=protoc-gen-php-grpc \
       --php_out=./generated \
       --php-grpc_out=./generated \
       proto/pinger.proto

Make sure that the generated directory exists and is writable.

After running the command, you can find the generated DTO and PingerInterface files in the <app>/generated/GRPC/Pinger directory.

We recommend also registering the GRPC namespace in the composer.json file:

composer.json
{
  "autoload": {
    "psr-4": {
      ...
      "GRPC\\": "generated/GRPC"
    }
  }
}

By doing this, you can easily use the generated PHP classes in your application.

Using BUF plugin

You can also use the BUF plugin to generate PHP code from the .proto file.

PHP Client

The RoadRunner gRPC plugin comes with a convenient PHP package that simplifies the process of integrating the plugin with your PHP application.

Installation

You can install the package via Composer using the following command:

composer require spiral/roadrunner-grpc

Implement Service

Next, you will need to create a PHP class that implements the Pinger service defined in the .proto file. This class should implement the GRPC/Pinger/PingerInterface.

Here's an example:

pinger.php
use Spiral\RoadRunner\GRPC;
use GRPC\Pinger\PingerInterface;
use GRPC\Pinger\PingRequest;
use GRPC\Pinger\PingResponse;

final class Pinger implements PingerInterface
{
    public function __construct(
        private readonly HttpClientInterface $httpClient
    ) {
    }
    
    public function ping(GRPC\ContextInterface $ctx, PingRequest $in): PingResponse
    {
        $statusCode = $this->httpClient->get($in->getUrl())->getStatusCode();
    
        return new PingResponse([
            'status_code' => $statusCode
        ]);
    }
}

Usage

To use the Pinger service, you can create a PHP worker that registers the service with the gRPC server.

Here's an example of how to do this:

grpc-worker.php
use GRPC\Pinger\PingerInterface;
use Spiral\RoadRunner\GRPC\Server;
use Spiral\RoadRunner\Worker;

require __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$server = new Server(null, [
    'debug' => false, // optional (default: false)
]);

$server->registerService(PingerInterface::class, new Pinger(new HttpClient()));

$server->serve(Worker::create());

After creating the worker, you need to configure RoadRunner to register the proto/pinger.proto service.

Here's an example configuration:

.rr.yaml
version: "3"

server:
  command: "php grpc-worker.php"

grpc:
  listen: "tcp://127.0.0.1:9001"

  proto:
    - "proto/pinger.proto"

You can define command to start server in the server.command section:. It will be used to start PHP workers for all registered plugins, such as grpc, http, jobs, etc.

You can define multiple proto files in the proto section.

After configuring the server, you can start it using the following command:

./rr serve

This will start the gRPC server and make the Pinger service available for remote clients to call. You can use any gRPC client library in any language that supports gRPC to call the ping method.

Metrics

RoadRunner has a metrics plugin that provides metrics for the gRPC server, which can be used with Prometheus and a preconfigured Grafana dashboard

mTLS

To enable mTLS use the following configuration:

.rr.yaml
version: "3"

grpc:
  listen: "tcp://127.0.0.1:9001"

  proto:
    - "first.proto"
    - "second.proto"

  tls:
    key: "server-key.pem"
    cert: "server-cert.pem"
    root_ca: "rootCA.pem"
    client_auth_type: request_client_cert

Options for the client_auth_type are:

  • request_client_cert

  • require_any_client_cert

  • verify_client_cert_if_given

  • require_and_verify_client_cert

  • no_client_certs

Full example of Configuration

.rr.yaml
version: "3"

grpc:
  # GRPC address to listen
  #
  # This option is required
  listen: "tcp://127.0.0.1:9001"

  # Proto file to use, multiply files supported [SINCE 2.6]. As of [2023.1.4], wilcards are allowed in the proto field.
  #
  # This option is required
  proto:
    - "*.proto"
    - "first.proto"
    - "second.proto"

  # GRPC TLS configuration
  #
  # This section is optional
  tls:
    # Path to the key file
    #
    # This option is required
    key: ""

    # Path to the certificate
    #
    # This option is required
    cert: ""

    # Path to the CA certificate, defines the set of root certificate authorities that servers use if required to verify a client certificate. Used with the `client_auth_type` option.
    #
    # This option is optional
    root_ca: ""

    # Client auth type.
    #
    # This option is optional. Default value: no_client_certs. Possible values: request_client_cert, require_any_client_cert, verify_client_cert_if_given, require_and_verify_client_cert, no_client_certs
    client_auth_type: no_client_certs

  # Maximum send message size
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: 50 (MB)
  max_send_msg_size: 50

  # Maximum receive message size
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: 50 (MB)
  max_recv_msg_size: 50

  # MaxConnectionIdle is a duration for the amount of time after which an
  #	idle connection would be closed by sending a GoAway. Idleness duration is
  #	defined since the most recent time the number of outstanding RPCs became
  #	zero or the connection establishment.
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: infinity.
  max_connection_idle: 0s

  # MaxConnectionAge is a duration for the maximum amount of time a
  #	connection may exist before it will be closed by sending a GoAway. A
  #	random jitter of +/-10% will be added to MaxConnectionAge to spread out
  #	connection storms.
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: infinity.
  max_connection_age: 0s

  # MaxConnectionAgeGrace is an additive period after MaxConnectionAge after
  #	which the connection will be forcibly closed.
  max_connection_age_grace: 0s8h

  # MaxConnectionAgeGrace is an additive period after MaxConnectionAge after
  #	which the connection will be forcibly closed.
  #
  # This option is optional: Default value: 10
  max_concurrent_streams: 10

  # After a duration of this time if the server doesn't see any activity it
  #	pings the client to see if the transport is still alive.
  #	If set below 1s, a minimum value of 1s will be used instead.
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: 2h
  ping_time: 1s

  # After having pinged for keepalive check, the server waits for a duration
  #	of Timeout and if no activity is seen even after that the connection is
  #	closed.
  #
  # This option is optional. Default value: 20s
  timeout: 200s

  # Usual workers pool configuration
  pool:
    # Debug mode for the pool. In this mode, pool will not pre-allocate the worker. Worker (only 1, num_workers ignored) will be allocated right after the request arrived.
    #
    # Default: false
    debug: false

    # Override server's command
    #
    # Default: empty
    command: "php my-super-app.php"

    # How many worker processes will be started. Zero (or nothing) means the number of logical CPUs.
    #
    # Default: 0
    num_workers: 0

    # Maximal count of worker executions. Zero (or nothing) means no limit.
    #
    # Default: 0
    max_jobs: 0

    # Timeout for worker allocation. Zero means 60s.
    #
    # Default: 60s
    allocate_timeout: 60s

    # Timeout for the reset timeout. Zero means 60s.
    #
    # Default: 60s
    reset_timeout: 60s

    # Timeout for worker destroying before process killing. Zero means 60s.
    #
    # Default: 60s
    destroy_timeout: 60s

OTLP support in the gRPC plugin: [>=2023.3.8]

In the v2023.3.8 we added experimental support for the OTLP protocol in the gRPC plugin. Stable since v2024.1.1. To enable it, you need to activate otel plugin by adding the following lines to the .rr.yaml file:

.rr.yaml
otel: # <- activate otel plugin
  resource:
    service_name: "rr_test_grpc"
    service_version: "1.0.0"
    service_namespace: "RR-gRPC"
    service_instance_id: "UUID-super-long-unique-id"
  insecure: false
  exporter: stderr

Trace keys passed to the PHP workers are:

  1. Traceparent

  2. Uber-Trace-Id

Example:

"Traceparent":["00-2678b910f57fe3320587f4126a390868-6b87f1600005b643-01"],"Uber-Trace-Id":["2678b910f57fe3320587f4126a390868:6b87f1600005b643:0:1"]

More about OTLP plugin you may read here.

Common issues

  1. Registering two services with the same name is not allowed. GRPC server will panic after that.

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