Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Configuring PHP

I'm now trying to get PHP working on Pericles.

The first thing I should point out, is that I started by doing a vanilla LAMP install from the Ubuntu Server disc. This means I already had Apache2 and PHP5 installed "out of the package", but they aren't configured adequately for my needs.

I dropped a simple file in /var/www that would echo the output of phpinfo() so that I could compare it with my existing WAMP server's setup.

If you don't have Apache working yet...

You can use php5-cli (install this with Synaptic) as an alternative to view the phpinfo() at a shell prompt:

<?php echo phpinfo(); ?>
(Press CTRL+D)

A plain text rendering of phpinfo() will appear, which you can scroll back to view in your console buffer.

Here are the major differences that I need to adjust:

magic_quotes_gpc needs to be turned off. It's a stupid thing, blast them for making it default to on. post_max_size and upload_max_filesize need to be increased, because I have people uploading large megapixel images through http forms. 2M doesn't quite cut it any more these days. The gd module needs to be enabled. The zip module, or a substitute for it, needs to be enabled (I use this to automatically unpack files uploaded to a designated FTP account for daily processing.) I notice a few other differences, but I think they're minor. If I run into problems with them later, I'll follow up with details on how to fix them.

I discovered that by installing the php5-gd package with Synaptic, and then restarting Apache I gained gd2 support. That was easy. To restart Apache:
sudo apache2 -k graceful

This does a graceful restart (it won't force any connections to close that are still opened). I realize this is a new box, so there won't be any connections hanging open anyway, but it is good to get into this habit early on.

I reloaded the phpinfo() test file, and there is now a section for gd which says version: 2.0 or higher, and everything looks enabled (freetype, t1lib, gif, jpg, png, wbmp)

I think the zip module I was using was part of pecl. I know pecl is similar to pear, and now that I think about it, I know I'll need pear support too, so if it hasn't already been done, php5-cli and php-pear should now be installed with Synaptic. The reason we need to install php5-cli is because pear is a command-line utility, and requires the command-line version of PHP in order to run. Don't worry: php5-cli and libapache2-mod-php5 peacefully coexist. I opened a shell, typed pear, and there it is!

On a whim, I typed pecl, and it also runs. It looks like pear and pecl come as a pair (no pun intended).

Back to Synaptic, we need to install php5-dev because we will need a tool called phpize in order to complete the next step. php5-dev has several dependencies that it will automatically install.

Now, the magic command:
sudo pecl install zip

When its finished, it will say: You should add "" to php.ini
cd /etc/php5/apache2
sudo editor php.ini

Do what it says. Add the line at the very end of the file, because that's where the automatically added extensions (mysql, mysqli, gd) ended up. You may want to also add the same line into the /etc/php5/cli/php.ini so that you have zip support when you use php for shell scripting.

Save your changes and:
sudo apache2 -k graceful

If you look at the phpinfo() output again, you'll now see the zip section near the bottom. This is
really easy.

While we're editing these two ini files, lets search for and change the following lines to these new values:

memory_limit = 16M
post_max_size = 16M
magic_quotes_gpc = Off
upload_max_filesize = 10M

Remember to set these for both /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini and /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

Another tool I sometimes use (if I need to programatically submit a post):
sudo pear install HTTP_Request

Well, I think that's everything I use. Restart apache2 one last time and see if it all works.

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