HippyVM Sounds Interesting, But Only If It Would Work Right
Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 8 September 2015 at 11:16 AM EDT. 8 Comments
HippyVM is an open-source project that's striving for 100% compatibility with Zend PHP while being more than seven times faster than stock PHP and more than twice as fast as Facebook's HHVM.

Following this weekend's PHP 7.0 benchmarking article, HippyVM was pointed out in the forums as a PHP interpreter that's supposedly faster than PHP and even the highly-optimized Facebook HHVM.

HippyVM comes down to being a PHP implementation using PyPy with RPython. This implementation for now is limited to Linux x86_64 support while eventually they plan to support other hardware architectures and operating systems.

Being curious about HippyVM, I followed the steps on their GitHub with building PyPy/RPython and then building hippyvm from Git. For the command-line drive Phoronix Test Suite, it began running but quickly crashed.

One of the earliest steps to the Phoronix Test Suite client process is checking an array of PHP modules that are required/recommended to see if they exist or not, and if they don't to print them out to the screen... During this very simple process that runs fine going back to at least PHP 5.2 as well as HHVM and even the older HipHop Compiler, HippyVM bailed out and didn't even print the output correctly but were blank lines. Thus that's as far as I got and wasn't able to benchmark HippyVM.

I'll certainly give HippyVM a shot at a later date when the issue(s) are hopefully resolved with it. Those wanting to learn more about this project can visit HippyVM.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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