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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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:
For PHP 5:
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:
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
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
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.)
(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
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:
2. Using apachectl scripts:
3. httpdctl and httpsdctl (Using OpenSSL), similar to apachectl:
4. Using mod_ssl, or another SSL server, you may want to manually
stop and start:
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
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.
Apache's default httpd.conf currently ships with a section that looks
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.
Make sure you specify the installed version of apxs when using
You must NOT use the apxs version that is in the apache sources but the one
that is actually installed on your system.