Technical FAQ
PHP Manual
CSS2 Manual
HTML Manual
JS Guide
JS Reference
PhpDock Manual
Nu-Coder Manual
PhpExpress Manual
PHP Joomla
Learn PHP
<General Installation ConsiderationsApache 2.0 on Unix systems>
Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006

Chapter 4. Installation on Unix systems

This section will guide you through the general configuration and installation of PHP on Unix systems. Be sure to investigate any sections specific to your platform or web server before you begin the process.

As our manual outlines in the General Installation Considerations section, we are mainly dealing with web centric setups of PHP in this section, although we will cover setting up PHP for command line usage as well.

There are several ways to install PHP for the Unix platform, either with a compile and configure process, or through various pre-packaged methods. This documentation is mainly focused around the process of compiling and configuring PHP. Many Unix like systems have some sort of package installation system. This can assist in setting up a standard configuration, but if you need to have a different set of features (such as a secure server, or a different database driver), you may need to build PHP and/or your webserver. If you are unfamiliar with building and compiling your own software, it is worth checking to see whether somebody has already built a packaged version of PHP with the features you need.

Prerequisite knowledge and software for compiling:

  • Basic Unix skills (being able to operate "make" and a C compiler)

  • An ANSI C compiler

  • flex: Version 2.5.4

  • bison: Version 1.28 (preferred), 1.35, or 1.75

  • A web server

  • Any module specific components (such as gd, pdf libs, etc.)

The initial PHP setup and configuration process is controlled by the use of the commandline options of the configure script. You could get a list of all available options along with short explanations running ./configure --help. Our manual documents the different options separately. You will find the core options in the appendix, while the different extension specific options are descibed on the reference pages.

When PHP is configured, you are ready to build the module and/or executables. The command make should take care of this. If it fails and you can't figure out why, see the Problems section.

Apache 1.3.x on Unix systems

This section contains notes and hints specific to Apache installs of PHP on Unix platforms. We also have instructions and notes for Apache 2 on a separate page.

You can select arguments to add to the configure on line 10 below from the list of core configure options and from extension specific options described at the respective places in the manual. The version numbers have been omitted here, to ensure the instructions are not incorrect. You will need to replace the 'xxx' here with the correct values from your files.

Example 4-1. Installation Instructions (Apache Shared Module Version) for PHP

1.  gunzip apache_xxx.tar.gz
2.  tar -xvf apache_xxx.tar
3.  gunzip php-xxx.tar.gz
4.  tar -xvf php-xxx.tar
5.  cd apache_xxx
6.  ./configure --prefix=/www --enable-module=so
7.  make
8.  make install
9.  cd ../php-xxx

10. Now, configure your PHP.  This is where you customize your PHP
    with various options, like which extensions will be enabled.  Do a
    ./configure --help for a list of available options.  In our example
    we'll do a simple configure with Apache 1 and MySQL support.  Your
    path to apxs may differ from our example.

      ./configure --with-mysql --with-apxs=/www/bin/apxs

11. make
12. make install

    If you decide to change your configure options after installation,
    you only need to repeat the last three steps. You only need to 
    restart apache for the new module to take effect. A recompile of
    Apache is not needed.
    Note that unless told otherwise, 'make install' will also install PEAR,
    various PHP tools such as phpize, install the PHP CLI, and more.

13. Setup your php.ini file:

      cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

    You may edit your .ini file to set PHP options.  If you prefer your
    php.ini in another location, use --with-config-file-path=/some/path in
    step 10. 
    If you instead choose php.ini-recommended, be certain to read the list
    of changes within, as they affect how PHP behaves.

14. Edit your httpd.conf to load the PHP module.  The path on the right hand
    side of the LoadModule statement must point to the path of the PHP
    module on your system.  The make install from above may have already
    added this for you, but be sure to check.
    For PHP 4:
      LoadModule php4_module libexec/libphp4.so

    For PHP 5:
      LoadModule php5_module libexec/libphp5.so
15. And in the AddModule section of httpd.conf, somewhere under the
    ClearModuleList, add this:
    For PHP 4:
      AddModule mod_php4.c
    For PHP 5:
      AddModule mod_php5.c

16. Tell Apache to parse certain extensions as PHP.  For example,
    let's have Apache parse the .php extension as PHP.  You could
    have any extension(s) parse as PHP by simply adding more, with
    each separated by a space.  We'll add .phtml to demonstrate.

      AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .phtml

    It's also common to setup the .phps extension to show highlighted PHP
    source, this can be done with:
      AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

17. Use your normal procedure for starting the Apache server. (You must
    stop and restart the server, not just cause the server to reload by
    using a HUP or USR1 signal.)

Alternatively, to install PHP as a static object:

Example 4-2. Installation Instructions (Static Module Installation for Apache) for PHP

1.  gunzip -c apache_1.3.x.tar.gz | tar xf -
2.  cd apache_1.3.x
3.  ./configure
4.  cd ..

5.  gunzip -c php-5.x.y.tar.gz | tar xf -
6.  cd php-5.x.y
7.  ./configure --with-mysql --with-apache=../apache_1.3.x
8.  make
9.  make install

10. cd ../apache_1.3.x

11. ./configure --prefix=/www --activate-module=src/modules/php5/libphp5.a
    (The above line is correct! Yes, we know libphp5.a does not exist at this
    stage. It isn't supposed to. It will be created.)

12. make
    (you should now have an httpd binary which you can copy to your Apache bin dir if
    it is your first install then you need to "make install" as well)

13. cd ../php-5.x.y
14. cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

15. You can edit /usr/local/lib/php.ini file to set PHP options.
    Edit your httpd.conf or srm.conf file and add:
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php

Note: Replace php-5 by php-4 and php5 by php4 in PHP 4.

Depending on your Apache install and Unix variant, there are many possible ways to stop and restart the server. Below are some typical lines used in restarting the server, for different apache/unix installations. You should replace /path/to/ with the path to these applications on your systems.

Example 4-3. Example commands for restarting Apache

1. Several Linux and SysV variants:
/etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd restart

2. Using apachectl scripts:
/path/to/apachectl stop
/path/to/apachectl start

3. httpdctl and httpsdctl (Using OpenSSL), similar to apachectl:
/path/to/httpsdctl stop
/path/to/httpsdctl start

4. Using mod_ssl, or another SSL server, you may want to manually
stop and start:
/path/to/apachectl stop
/path/to/apachectl startssl

The locations of the apachectl and http(s)dctl binaries often vary. If your system has locate or whereis or which commands, these can assist you in finding your server control programs.

Different examples of compiling PHP for apache are as follows:

./configure --with-apxs --with-pgsql

This will create a libphp5.so (or libphp4.so in PHP 4) shared library that is loaded into Apache using a LoadModule line in Apache's httpd.conf file. The PostgreSQL support is embedded into this library.

./configure --with-apxs --with-pgsql=shared

This will create a libphp4.so shared library for Apache, but it will also create a pgsql.so shared library that is loaded into PHP either by using the extension directive in php.ini file or by loading it explicitly in a script using the dl() function.

./configure --with-apache=/path/to/apache_source --with-pgsql

This will create a libmodphp5.a library, a mod_php5.c and some accompanying files and copy this into the src/modules/php5 directory in the Apache source tree. Then you compile Apache using --activate-module=src/modules/php5/libphp5.a and the Apache build system will create libphp5.a and link it statically into the httpd binary (replace php5 by php4 in PHP 4). The PostgreSQL support is included directly into this httpd binary, so the final result here is a single httpd binary that includes all of Apache and all of PHP.

./configure --with-apache=/path/to/apache_source --with-pgsql=shared

Same as before, except instead of including PostgreSQL support directly into the final httpd you will get a pgsql.so shared library that you can load into PHP from either the php.ini file or directly using dl().

When choosing to build PHP in different ways, you should consider the advantages and drawbacks of each method. Building as a shared object will mean that you can compile apache separately, and don't have to recompile everything as you add to, or change, PHP. Building PHP into apache (static method) means that PHP will load and run faster. For more information, see the Apache webpage on DSO support.

Note: Apache's default httpd.conf currently ships with a section that looks like this:

User nobody
Group "#-1"

Unless you change that to "Group nogroup" or something like that ("Group daemon" is also very common) PHP will not be able to open files.

Note: Make sure you specify the installed version of apxs when using --with-apxs=/path/to/apxs. You must NOT use the apxs version that is in the apache sources but the one that is actually installed on your system.

<General Installation ConsiderationsApache 2.0 on Unix systems>
Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006