Site Restoration

#33547 Kickstart stalls starting Extraction

Posted in ‘Site restoration’
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Environment Information

PHP version
CMS Type
CMS Version
Backup Tool Version
Kickstart version


I have used Akeeba and Kickstart many times in the past to copy a website to a development server to make updates and changes.  With Akeeba 7.0 and php 7.x, I found Kickstart freezing during step 5. Extracting.  There is an error log file and the error recorded states:

[18-Aug-2020 10:59:39 UTC] PHP Warning:  PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library 'ixed.7.1.lin' (tried: /opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ixed.7.1.lin (/opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ixed.7.1.lin: undefined symbol: _zval_ptr_dtor), /opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ (/opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory)) in Unknown on line 0
[18-Aug-2020 11:00:05 UTC] PHP Warning:  PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library 'ixed.7.1.lin' (tried: /opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ixed.7.1.lin (/opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ixed.7.1.lin: undefined symbol: _zval_ptr_dtor), /opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ (/opt/php71/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory)) in Unknown on line 0
[18-Aug-2020 06:00:05 America/Chicago] PHP Fatal error:  Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function json_decode() in /home2/calivate/
Stack trace:
#0 /home2/calivate/ kickstart_application_web()
thrown in /home2/calivate/ on line 15270


I did rename the kickstart.php to start-core.php.  I spoke to the host about loading the dynamic library and json_decode, and they said my php was loading correctly and no errors.


Thank you,


Akeeba Staff

Your host – or, at least, the person you talked to – is either lying or they don't know how servers work. PHP complains very clearly that json_decode does not exist. There are precisely two reasons why this can happen:

  • PHP is compiled without the JSON extension built-in and its configuration is not loading it at all.
  • Your host has explicitly disabled json_decode (and probably json_encode) in their php.ini using the disable_functions directive.

In either case, the root cause is fundamental PHP configuration which can be trivially checked by looking at the contents of the phpinfo() output. This is something that every host and developer knows about. It's elementary.

The extensions failing to load are not important in our case but they do show that the host didn't pay attention to their PHP configuration. They are trying to load the wrong version of a PHP extension. This tells me that the host copied over the configuration from an older PHP version without paying attention which would explain why they never noticed their PHP configuration is broken.

Anyway, Akeeba Backup, Akeeba Kickstart and ANGIE (the restoration script in Akeeba Backup archives) require the json_encode and json_decode PHP functions to be available. So this needs to be fixed on the host's side.

I honestly think you just got a person on your host who doesn't know what they are talking about. You need to escalate this issue with your host and talk to someone over there who understands at least the very basics of how servers work. If they do not have access to the PHP configuration they can escalate your ticket further to a systems engineer.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

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