PHP Asynchronous programming Reading serial port with Event and DIO


DIO streams are currently not recognized by the Event extension. There is no clean way to obtain the file descriptor encapsulated into the DIO resource. But there is a workaround:

  • open stream for the port with fopen();
  • make the stream non-blocking with stream_set_blocking();
  • obtain numeric file descriptor from the stream with EventUtil::getSocketFd();
  • pass the numeric file descriptor to dio_fdopen() (currently undocumented) and get the DIO resource;
  • add an Event with a callback for listening to the read events on the file descriptor;
  • in the callback drain the available data and process it according to the logic of your application.


class Scanner {
  protected $port; // port path, e.g. /dev/pts/5
  protected $fd; // numeric file descriptor
  protected $base; // EventBase
  protected $dio; // dio resource
  protected $e_open; // Event
  protected $e_read; // Event

  public function __construct ($port) {
    $this->port = $port;
    $this->base = new EventBase();

  public function __destruct() {

    if ($this->e_open)
    if ($this->e_read)
    if ($this->dio)

  public function run() {
    $stream = fopen($this->port, 'rb');
    stream_set_blocking($stream, false);

    $this->fd = EventUtil::getSocketFd($stream);
    if ($this->fd < 0) {
      fprintf(STDERR, "Failed attach to port, events: %d\n", $events);

    $this->e_open = new Event($this->base, $this->fd, Event::WRITE, [$this, '_onOpen']);


  public function _onOpen($fd, $events) {

    $this->dio = dio_fdopen($this->fd);
    // Call other dio functions here, e.g.
    dio_tcsetattr($this->dio, [
      'baud' => 9600,
      'bits' => 8,
      'stop'  => 1,
      'parity' => 0

    $this->e_read = new Event($this->base, $this->fd, Event::READ | Event::PERSIST,
      [$this, '_onRead']);

  public function _onRead($fd, $events) {
    while ($data = dio_read($this->dio, 1)) {

// Change the port argument
$scanner = new Scanner('/dev/pts/5');


Run the following command in terminal A:

$ socat -d -d pty,raw,echo=0 pty,raw,echo=0
2016/12/01 18:04:06 socat[16750] N PTY is /dev/pts/5
2016/12/01 18:04:06 socat[16750] N PTY is /dev/pts/8
2016/12/01 18:04:06 socat[16750] N starting data transfer loop with FDs [5,5] and [7,7]

The output may be different. Use the PTYs from the first couple of rows (/dev/pts/5 and /dev/pts/8, in particular).

In terminal B run the above-mentioned script. You may need root privileges:

$ sudo php dio.php

In terminal C send a string to the first PTY:

$ echo test > /dev/pts/8


string(1) "t"
string(1) "e"
string(1) "s"
string(1) "t"
string(1) "