Installation on Unix systems

Table of Contents

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 web server. 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
  • A web server
  • Any module specific components (such as GD, PDF libs, etc.)

When building directly from Git sources or after custom modifications you might also need:

  • autoconf: 2.13+ (for PHP < 5.4.0), 2.59+ (for PHP >= 5.4.0)
  • automake: 1.4+
  • libtool: 1.4.x+ (except 1.4.2)
  • re2c: Version 0.13.4 or newer
  • flex: Version 2.5.4 (for PHP <= 5.2)
  • bison: Version 1.28 (preferred), 1.35, or 1.75

The initial PHP setup and configuration process is controlled by the use of the command line 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.


HP-UX 11.X PA-RISC installation with oracle (oci8). You need to install the HP-UX patch PHSS_22514 patch (updated, otherwise you will get errors with dlopen() and dlclose() not found during the apache integration stage.
2001-05-17 13:43:54
Users compiling under some versions of Solaris/SunOS may encounter the following error.
   symbol ap_block_alarms: referenced symbol not found

To address this problem, add the following additional flag to the Apache build configure line:

So, adding this to the original instructions, you'd configure your Apache build like so:
   ./configure --prefix=/www --enable-module=so --enable-rule=SHARED_CORE

2003-02-04 07:16:03
The configure directives --with-apxs2 and --with-apxs2filter are not compatible one with other, even though the configure script will not complain about that. Each one affect the way Apache will call the php parser: If you choose the first one, you must use the traditional include:

AddType application/x-httpd-php php

at httpd.conf, to call the parser. If you use the --with-apxs2filter, the include will be:

<Files *.php>
        SetOutputFilter PHP
        SetInputFilter  PHP

, and php will be called as a filter to .php files.

If you use both together, you will get compilation errors (duplicate symbols while linking libphp4).
2003-12-30 22:36:28
When using Red Hat Fedora, beware of Security Enhanced Linux, SELinux. 

Quoted from Red Hat: "The security goal is to make sure that Apache HTTP is only reading the static Web content, and not doing anything else such as writing to the content, connecting to database sockets, reading user home directories, etc."

These limitations include, among many other things, using mkdir to create directories, using fopen to access files, using fopen or get_headers to read URLs, or using exec to run external applications that happen to use sockets (or maybe access some files, but which will run fine when executed from the command line as Unix user apache or httpd -- such as HylaFAX "faxstat" as invoked from nweb2fax recvq.php and sendq.php).

See /var/log/messages for any denials due to the SELinux policy. To disable it:

- System, Administration, Security Level and Firewall
- open the SELinux tab
- click the Transition tree
- check Disable SELinux protection for Apache HTTP
- execute /etc/init.d/httpd restart

See also and
2006-07-12 15:29:51
I am new to linux/apache/php (coming from server 2003/IIS/Asp.Net), so i was stumped as to why php/apache could only use static content. Also, it couldn't access some documents that you created somewhere else, and then dragged into the HTML directory.

After some research, i found the problem was the SELinux context of the files. It took me forever to find the Proper command to use to change that, as all the examples on the net were out dated using old commands:
# chcon "user_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t" /var/www/html -Rc

This will change the SELinux context of all the documents under the /var/www/html directory (which is the web directory under Fedora), to allow the httpd process to access them, and the '-Rc' flag will make the changes Recursive, and will output it's progress for each file that it sucessfully changes.
2006-11-13 02:49:36
For all multi-core processors (not just Sun as noted above) you need to add --enable-shared-core to the apache config
2007-09-13 07:05:30
Further down in the links it talks about using the fPIC option in the compiler to fix the SElinux error.  I messed around with it and adding --with-pic to the configure will also allow the module to load.  I have not done more testing with it but apache at least starts.  If you have already compiled you will need to do a make clean before recompiling.
2007-10-17 13:19:00
If you install PHP as an Apache module, you can consider the following. Instead of adding:

application/x-httpd-php    php
application/x-httpd-php-source    phps

into Apache mime.types, you can add: 

AddType application/x-httpd-php    .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source    .phps

into Apache httpd.conf, OR you can add: 

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php    .php
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-source    .phps

into Apache httpd.conf. The last one is the preferred way of configuration, but it does not work in previous Apache versions.
2007-10-27 07:06:33
Be careful when compiling on system used with apache2 worker MPM (inl. apache-itk). It will be always compiled with ZTS implicitly when you are using --with-apxs2 and no matter how --enable-maintainer-zts configure option is set
2011-03-18 08:50:18

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