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High Performance PHP Router.

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Pux is a high performance PHP router.

Pux is 48.5x faster than symfony router in static route dispatching, 31x faster in regular expression dispatching. (with pux extension installed)

(Benchmark code and details here

Pux tries not to consume computation time to build all routes dynamically (like Symfony/Routing, although the RouteCompiler of Symfony/Routing caches the compiled patterns, but there are still a lot of function call and class loading from your application code. however, function calls are pretty slow in PHP).

Build Status

Why It's Faster

Why It's Here

Most of us use a lot of machines to run our applications, however, it uses too much energy and too many resources.

By using Pux, you can also decrease your expense of servers on cloud.

Also we believe that running softwares on slower machines should be easy as possible.

Some people thinks routing is not the bottleneck, the truth is this project does not claim routing is the bottleneck.

Actually the bottleneck is always different in different applications, if you have a lot of heavy db requests, then your bottleneck is your db; if you have a lot of complex computation, then the bottleneck should be your algorithm.

You might start wondering since the bottleneck is not routing, why do we implement route dispatcher in C extension? The answer is simple, if you put a pure PHP routing component with some empty callbacks and use apache benchmark tool to see how many requests you can handle per second, you will find out the routing component consumes a lot of computation time and the request number will decrease quite a few. (and it does nothing, all it does is ... just routing!)

So Pux tries to reduce the overheads of loading PHP classes and the runtime method/function calls, and you can run your application faster without the overheads.


Routing Path Format

/post/:id                  => matches /post/33
/post/:id(/:title)         => matches /post/33, /post/33/post%20title
/post/:id(\.:format)       => matches /post/33, /post/33.json .. /post/33.xml


You can install Pux with composer by defining the following requirement in your composer.json:

    "require": {
        "corneltek/pux": "~1.3"

Install Extension

To install pux extension to boost the performance:

git clone
cd Pux/ext
make && make install

Or you can configure the optimization flag to gain more when running configure command.:

CFLAGS="-O3" ./configure

Then setup your php.ini config to load pux extension:


The routing usage is dead simple:

require 'vendor/autoload.php'; // use PCRE patterns you need Pux\PatternCompiler class.
use Pux\Executor;

class ProductController {
    public function listAction() {
        return 'product list';
    public function itemAction($id) { 
        return "product $id";
$mux = new Pux\Mux;
$mux->add('/product', ['ProductController','listAction']);
$mux->add('/product/:id', ['ProductController','itemAction'] , [
    'require' => [ 'id' => '\d+', ],
    'default' => [ 'id' => '1', ]
$route = $mux->dispatch('/product/1');


Basic Example

require 'vendor/autoload.php';
use Pux\Mux;
use Pux\Executor;
$mux = new Mux;
$mux->get('/get', ['HelloController','helloAction']);
$mux->post('/post', ['HelloController','helloAction']);
$mux->put('/put', ['HelloController','helloAction']);
$route = $mux->dispatch( $_SERVER['PATH_INFO'] );
echo Executor::execute($route);

Through Compiled Mux

Define your routing definition in routes.php:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';
use Pux\Mux;
$mux = new Mux;
$mux->get('/get', ['HelloController','helloAction']);
return $mux;

Run pux command to compile your routing definition:

curl -O
chmod +x pux
pux compile -o mux.php routes.php

Load the mux object from your application code:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';
$mux = require 'mux.php';
$route = $mux->dispatch( $_SERVER['PATH_INFO'] );
echo Executor::execute($route);

Please note that if you need PCRE pattern support for route, you must load Pux/PatternCompiler.php before you use.


Mux is where you define your routes, and you can mount multiple mux to a parent one.

$mainMux = new Mux;
$mainMux->expand = true;

$pageMux = new Mux;
$pageMux->add('/page1', [ 'PageController', 'page1' ]);
$pageMux->add('/page2', [ 'PageController', 'page2' ]);

$mainMux->mount('/sub', $pageMux);

foreach( ['/sub/page1', '/sub/page2'] as $p ) {
    $r = $mainMux->dispatch($p);
    ok($r, "Matched route for $p");

The expand option means whether to expand/merge submux routes to the parent mux.

When expand is enabled, it improves dispatch performance when you have a lot of sub mux to dispatch.

Sorting routes

You need to sort routes when not using compiled routes, it's because pux sorts longer path to front:

$pageMux = new Mux;
$pageMux->add('/', [ 'PageController', 'page1' ]);
$pageMux->add('/pa', [ 'PageController', 'page1' ]);
$pageMux->add('/page', [ 'PageController', 'page1' ]);

This sorts routes to:


So pux first compares /page, /pa, than /.

Different String Comparison Strategies

When expand is enabled, the pattern comparison strategy for strings will match the full string.

When expand is disabled, the pattern comparison strategy for strings will match the prefix.


Although Pux\Mux is already fast, you can still add APCDispatcher to boost the performance, which is to avoid re-lookup route.

This is pretty useful when you have a lot of PCRE routes.

use Pux\Dispatcher\APCDispatcher;
$dispatcher = new APCDispatcher($mux, array(
    'namespace' => 'app_',
    'expiry' => ...,
$route = $dispatcher->dispatch('/request/uri');

Persistent Dispatcher

Rather than reload the mux object from php file everytime (or load from APC), there still a lot of overhead.

Pux provides a persistent way to dispatch your route and keep the routes array in the persistent memory:

$r = pux_persistent_dispatch('hello', 'hello_mux.php', '/hello');

Please note that the hello_mux.php must be a compiled mux PHP file. The pux_persistent_dispatch is only available in extension.


Pux provides a simple fast controller in C extension, you can mount your controller methods to paths automatically:

class ProductController extends \Pux\Controller
    // translate to path ""
    public function indexAction() { }

    // translate to path "/add"
    public function addAction() { }

    // translate to path "/del"
    public function delAction() { }

$mux = new Pux\Mux;
$mux->mount( '/product' , $controller->expand() );

$mux->dispatch('/product');       // ProductController->indexAction
$mux->dispatch('/product/add');   // ProductController->addAction
$mux->dispatch('/product/del');   // ProductController->delAction


In your route definition file hello_routes.php, you simply return the Mux object at the end of file:

// load your composer autoload if it's needed
// require '../vendor/autoload.php';
use Pux\Mux;
use Pux\Executor;
$mux = new Mux;
$mux->get('/hello', ['HelloController','helloAction']);
return $mux;

Pux provides a command-line tool for you to compile your route definitions.

pux compile -o hello_mux.php hello_routes.php

In your application, you may load the compiled mux (router) through only one line:

$mux = require "hello_mux.php";
$route = $mux->dispatch('/hello');

This can be very very fast if you have pux extension installed.

Dispatching Strategy

There are two route dispatching strategies in Pux while Symfony/Routing only provides PCRE pattern matching:

  1. Plain string comparison.
  2. PCRE pattern comparison.

You've already knew that PCRE pattern matching is slower than plain string comparison, although PHP PCRE caches the compiled patterns.

The plain string comparison is designed for static routing paths, it improves the performance while you have a lot of simple routes.

The PCRE pattern comparison is used when you have some dynamic routing paths, for example, you can put some place holders in your routing path, and pass these path arguments to your controller later.

Pux sorts and compiles your routes to single cache file, it also uses longest matching so it sorts patterns by pattern length in descending order before compiling the routes to cache.

Pux uses indexed array as the data structure for storing route information so it's faster.


Testing with route dispatch only. (no controller)



Dispatch Speed

With one static route:

Running pux extension (dispatch) - . 97487.768426386/s
Running symfony/routing (dispatch) - . 2456.3512428418/s

                                Rate   Mem pux extension (dispatch) symfony/routing (dispatch)
  pux extension (dispatch)  97.49K/s    0B                       --                        -2%
symfony/routing (dispatch)   2.46K/s  524K                    3968%                         --

================================== Bar Chart ==================================

    pux extension (dispatch)  97.49K/s | ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████  |
  symfony/routing (dispatch)   2.46K/s | █                                                             |

============================== System Information ==============================

PHP Version: 5.5.6
CPU Brand String: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3427U CPU @ 1.80GHz

With XDebug Extension.

With one pcre route:

Running pux extension (dispatch) - . 68264.888935184/s
Running symfony/routing (dispatch) - . 2245.5539220463/s

                                Rate   Mem pux extension (dispatch) symfony/routing (dispatch)
  pux extension (dispatch)  68.26K/s    3M                       --                        -3%
symfony/routing (dispatch)   2.25K/s  786K                    3040%                         --

================================== Bar Chart ==================================

    pux extension (dispatch)  68.26K/s | ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████  |
  symfony/routing (dispatch)   2.25K/s | █                                                             |

============================== System Information ==============================

PHP Version: 5.5.6
CPU Brand String: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3427U CPU @ 1.80GHz

Compare to other PHP routers (test code: ):

Runing php array - . 138796.45654569/s
Runing pux - . 124982.98519026/s
Runing klein - . 1801.5070399717/s
Runing ham - . 13566.734991391/s
Runing aura - . 39657.986477172/s
Runing symfony/routing - . 1934.2415677861/s

                     Rate   Mem php array pux aura ham symfony/routing klein
      php array  138.8K/s    0B        ---90% -28% -9%             -1%   -1%
            pux 124.98K/s    0B      111%  -- -31%-10%             -1%   -1%
           aura  39.66K/s    0B      349%315%   ---34%             -4%   -4%
            ham  13.57K/s    0B     1023%921% 292%  --            -14%  -13%
symfony/routing   1.93K/s  786K     7175%6461%2050%701%              --  -93%
          klein    1.8K/s  262K     7704%6937%2201%753%            107%    --

================================== Bar Chart ==================================

        php array  138.8K/s | ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████  |
              pux 124.98K/s | ██████████████████████████████████████████████████████        |
             aura  39.66K/s | █████████████████                                             |
              ham  13.57K/s | █████                                                         |
  symfony/routing   1.93K/s |                                                               |
            klein    1.8K/s |                                                               |

============================== System Information ==============================

PHP Version: 5.5.6
CPU Brand String: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3427U CPU @ 1.80GHz

With XDebug Extension.

Through Apache

Please see benchmark details here: