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Apache 2.x on Unix systems

This section contains notes and hints specific to Apache 2.x installs of PHP on Unix systems.


We do not recommend using a threaded MPM in production with Apache 2. Use the prefork MPM, which is the default MPM with Apache 2.0 and 2.2. For information on why, read the related FAQ entry on using Apache2 with a threaded MPM

The » Apache Documentation is the most authoritative source of information on the Apache 2.x server. More information about installation options for Apache may be found there.

The most recent version of Apache HTTP Server may be obtained from » Apache download site, and a fitting PHP version from the above mentioned places. This quick guide covers only the basics to get started with Apache 2.x and PHP. For more information read the » Apache Documentation. The version numbers have been omitted here, to ensure the instructions are not incorrect. In the examples below, 'NN' should be replaced with the specific version of Apache being used.

There are currently two versions of Apache 2.x - there's 2.0 and 2.2. While there are various reasons for choosing each, 2.2 is the current latest version, and the one that is recommended, if that option is available to you. However, the instructions here will work for either 2.0 or 2.2.

  1. Obtain the Apache HTTP server from the location listed above, and unpack it:

    gzip -d httpd-2_x_NN.tar.gz
    tar -xf httpd-2_x_NN.tar
  2. Likewise, obtain and unpack the PHP source:

    gunzip php-NN.tar.gz
    tar -xf php-NN.tar
  3. Build and install Apache. Consult the Apache install documentation for more details on building Apache.

    cd httpd-2_x_NN
    ./configure --enable-so
    make install
  4. Now you have Apache 2.x.NN available under /usr/local/apache2, configured with loadable module support and the standard MPM prefork. To test the installation use your normal procedure for starting the Apache server, e.g.:

    /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl start
    and stop the server to go on with the configuration for PHP:
    /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl stop

  5. Now, configure and build PHP. This is where you customize PHP with various options, like which extensions will be enabled. Run ./configure --help for a list of available options. In our example we'll do a simple configure with Apache 2 and MySQL support.

    If you built Apache from source, as described above, the below example will match your path for apxs, but if you installed Apache some other way, you'll need to adjust the path to apxs accordingly. Note that some distros may rename apxs to apxs2.

    cd ../php-NN
    ./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-mysql
    make install

    If you decide to change your configure options after installation, you'll need to re-run the configure, make, and make install 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.

  6. Setup your php.ini

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

    You may edit your .ini file to set PHP options. If you prefer having php.ini in another location, use --with-config-file-path=/some/path in step 5.

    If you instead choose php.ini-production, be certain to read the list of changes within, as they affect how PHP behaves.

  7. 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 7:

    LoadModule php7_module modules/

    For PHP 5:

    LoadModule php5_module modules/
  8. Tell Apache to parse certain extensions as PHP. For example, let's have Apache parse .php files as PHP. Instead of only using the Apache AddType directive, we want to avoid potentially dangerous uploads and created files such as exploit.php.jpg from being executed as PHP. Using this example, you could have any extension(s) parse as PHP by simply adding them. We'll add .php to demonstrate.

    <FilesMatch \.php$>
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

    Or, if we wanted to allow .php, .php2, .php3, .php4, .php5, .php6, and .phtml files to be executed as PHP, but nothing else, we'd use this:

    <FilesMatch "\.ph(p[2-6]?|tml)$">
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

    And to allow .phps files to be handled by the php source filter, and displayed as syntax-highlighted source code, use this:

    <FilesMatch "\.phps$">
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php-source

    mod_rewrite may be used To allow any arbitrary .php file to be displayed as syntax-highlighted source code, without having to rename or copy it to a .phps file:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule (.*\.php)s$ $1 [H=application/x-httpd-php-source]

    The php source filter should not be enabled on production systems, where it may expose confidential or otherwise sensitive information embedded in source code.

  9. Use your normal procedure for starting the Apache server, e.g.:

    /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl start


    service httpd restart

Following the steps above you will have a running Apache2 web server with support for PHP as a SAPI module. Of course there are many more configuration options available Apache and PHP. For more information type ./configure --help in the corresponding source tree.

Apache may be built multithreaded by selecting the worker MPM, rather than the standard prefork MPM, when Apache is built. This is done by adding the following option to the argument passed to ./configure, in step 3 above:


This should not be undertaken without being aware of the consequences of this decision, and having at least a fair understanding of the implications. The Apache documentation regarding » MPM-Modules discusses MPMs in a great deal more detail.


The Apache MultiViews FAQ discusses using multiviews with PHP.


To build a multithreaded version of Apache, the target system must support threads. In this case, PHP should also be built with experimental Zend Thread Safety (ZTS). Under this configuration, not all extensions will be available. The recommended setup is to build Apache with the default prefork MPM-Module.

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User Contributed Notes 15 notes

nmmm at nmmm dot nu
7 years ago
When I upgrade to apache 2.2, this:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php5
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php42
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php4
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php3
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php .phtm
AddType application/x-httpd-php .phtml
AddType application/x-httpd-php .asp

...does not worked for me, so I did this:

<FilesMatch "\.(php*|phtm|phtml|asp|aspx)$">
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

Another interesting point with Apache 2.2 is following.
Let suppose we installed PHP as module. But for some directory, we need to use PHP as CGI (probably because of custom configuration). This can be done using:

<FilesMatch "\.(php*|phtm|phtml|asp|aspx)$">
SetHandler none

AddType application/x-httpd-php-custom .php
Action  application/x-httpd-php-custom  /cgi-bin/php-huge

Note type must be different than "application/x-httpd-php" and also you need to deactivate the handler on sertain extention. You can do mixed configuration:

<FilesMatch "\.(php)$">
SetHandler none

AddType application/x-httpd-php-custom .php
Action  application/x-httpd-php-custom  /cgi-bin/php-huge

in such case files like *.php5 and so on will be parsed via module, but *.php will go to php-huge executable.
7 years ago
I have successfully installed Apache 2.2.11 and PHP 5.2.8 under Red Hat 9.0 on a Pentium 166 with 32 MB of RAM.

While I used RH9, the worst possible case, these notes are probably good for RH-based distributions too (Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora, CentOS...)

If you want to install MySQL, it needs to be installed before PHP because PHP requires some libraries be available.

One think important when picking up a binary distribution of MySQL is to download all four packages: MySQL-server, MySQL-devel, MySQL-client and MySQL-shared. Note: The MySQL was bundled with PHP 4 but is not anymore in PHP 5.

Then you need to install Apache before PHP, because again PHP needs some libraries be available. I installed Apache 2 from source, using the very last version available, which is 2.2.11.

I installed PHP 5.2.8 from source. Here, I had a number of problems, but none which I could not resolve easily, some of them with a little help from different forums I found through Google.

Rembember: When it says you need a package named xyz and you notice there is also one named xyz-devel, grab it.

Most of the packages I got from:
A similar page exists for other versions of Red Hat
This site has an updated version of some of the packages. Make sure to use only the one labeled for you version (in my case, Red Hat 9.0) or it will not likely work.

You already have glibc and glibc-common installed, but you need to get glibc-devel and glibc-kernheaders. Make sure to match glibc's version (rpm -q glibc). Note: When it says kernel-header is a required dependency, that's glibc-kernheader (not kernel-source). You will also need binutils (no need to match the version), and gcc and cpp (version must match).

You need zlib-devel (zlib is probably already installed, match the version you have).

If you install the GD extension, the actual library is already bundled with PHP 5 (use that one, they have done some changes in there, so don't upgrade), but you will need to install libpng and libpng-devel (match version, or disable in configure if you don't want) and libjpeg (no -devel with that one).

You will also need libxml2. Now there were a problem, because PHP requires libxml2 be 2.6 or greater, but Red Hat only supplied 2.5.4-1 for RH9 (if you have a more recent distro, you might be more lucky). After looking for a while, I decided to grab the source code for the most recent distribution at the official website ( and compiled.

Hope my post is useful to someone. Please, share your experience when compiling/installing for your particular platform and setup. Remember how hard it's been for you the very first time. I confess, my very first server installation took me nearly a week and I was glad others helped me.
10 years ago
PHP 5.1.4 INSTALLATION on Solaris 9 (Sparc)

Solaris9 Packages Installed:

Verify required package installation:
root# pkginfo SUNWbtool SUNWsprot SUNWtoo SUNWhea SUNWarc \
SUNWlibm SUNWlibms SUNWdfbh SUNWxglh SUNWcg6h

Uninstall Default Apache Packages:
root# /etc/init.d/apache stop
root# pkginfo |grep Apache
root# pkgrm SUNWaclg SUNWapchd SUNWapchr SUNWapchu

Create installation Directory:
root# mkdir /phpdata/

Download Required Packages from Sunfreeware:

Install libiconv-1.8 and gcc3.3.2 packages
root# pkgadd -d ./libiconv-1.8-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./gcc-3.3.2-sol9-sparc-local

set LD_LIBRARY_PATH, CC and PATH variables
root# LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:/usr/local/lib/sparcv9/:\
root# CC=gcc
root# PATH=$PATH:/usr/ucb:/usr/local/bin/

Install apr-1.2.2 and aprutil-1.2.2 packages

root# gzcat apr-1.2.2.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd apr-1.2.2
root# ./configure
root# make
root# make install
root# cd ..

root# gzcat aprutil-1.2.2.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd apr-util-1.2.2/
root# ./configure --with-apr=/usr/local/apr/
root# make
root# make install

Install gawk-3.1.4, expat-1.95.5, db-4.2.52.NC,
gdbm-1.8.3, libgcc-3.3 and libxml2-2.6.16 packages
root# cd ..
root# pkgadd -d ./gawk-3.1.4-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./expat-1.95.5-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./db-4.2.52.NC-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./gdbm-1.8.3-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./libgcc-3.3-sol9-sparc-local
root# pkgadd -d ./libxml2-2.6.16-sol9-sparc-local

Install GNU make package
root# gzcat make-3.81.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd make-3.81
root# ./configure
root# make
root# make install
root# cd ..

Install mysql-standard-5.0.22 package
Search for user mysql
root# grep mysql /etc/passwd
root# grep mysql /etc/group

If not found create user and group mysql
root# groupadd mysql
root# useradd -G mysql mysql
root# pkgadd -d ./mysql-standard-5.0.22-solaris9-sparc.pkg.gz

Install openssl-0.9.7g package
root# gzcat openssl-0.9.7g.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd openssl-0.9.7g
root# ./config shared
root# make
root# make install
root# cd ..

Install Apache2 package
root# gzcat httpd-2.2.0.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd httpd-2.2.0
root# ./configure --enable-so
root# /usr/local/bin/make
root# /usr/local/bin/make install
root# cd ..

Install php-5.1.4 package
root# gzcat php-5.1.4.tar.gz |tar xvf -
root# cd php-5.1.4
root# ./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs\
--with-ldap --with-mysql=/opt/mysql/mysql/
root# /usr/local/bin/make
root# /usr/local/bin/make install
root# cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

Edit httpd.conf to load the PHP module
and to parse certain extensions as PHP
root# vi /usr/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf
LoadModule php5_module modules/
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .phtml

Start Apache
root# /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl start

Add environmental variables below HTTPD
root# vi /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl

Create Apache Startup Script
chris@gerlt -dot- net
10 years ago
Install issues on Redhat, specifically RHEL4 with php4 already installed: 

I discovered that there was an issue caused by redhat loading php4 in another file seperate from the httpd.conf file!  This took me hours to discover.  Make sure you know if the apache config file (httpd.conf) is loading configurations from a directory (or another file(s)) as well.  If so, look in there for any php module loading which could conflict with the new module you are compiling/installing.
praveen dot k at masconit dot com
12 years ago
Hi too had same problem with multiview like when i execute http://huey/admin/test.php it used to compile but when i use http://huey/admin/test it wouldnt recognise it as php file... i worked it out with the addhandler method and AddType in different line and setting multiview for directive

"multiviews Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews"

the directives u can set it to root directory so now when u type pn test it will search in precendence for test.php, test.html if any .....

its working for me with apache2.0.47 and php 4.3.9 on solaris

Dan Scott (dan dot scott at acm dot org)
12 years ago
Building PHP 5.x with Apache2 on SuSE Professional 9.1/9.2

SuSE uses a rather fragmented set of Apache configuration files stored in /etc/apache2/. When you configure PHP 5.x with:

$ ./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/sbin/apxs2
$ make

everything builds just fine; but when you issue:
$ su -c "make install"

the unconventional Apache conf file layout confuses the install-sapi section of the Makefile and the process halts with the following error:

apxs:Error: Config file /etc/apache2/httpd2-prefork.conf not found.
make: *** [install-sapi] Error 1

At this point only the PHP SAPI library has been copied into place; the rest of the files (like PEAR scripts, PHP-CLI, etc) have not been installed. But never fear! You can overcome this problem with the following steps:

1. Edit Makefile and change the following line to remove "install-sapi":
install_targets = install-sapi install-cli install-pear install-build install-headers install-programs

2. Issue the make install command again:
$ su -c "make install"

3. Add the PHP module & type instructions to the Apache configuration. As root, create a new file, /etc/apache2/conf.d/php5.conf that contains the following lines:

LoadModule php5_module /usr/lib/apache2/
AddType application/x-httpd-php php

--- And that's it. Everything else is just as the documentation suggests it should be.
svepa at milestone42 dot com
5 years ago
On 64-bit Fedora systems (I'm using Fedora 14), configuring PHP to use the MySQL libraries installed as part of the distribution gives the following error if you follow the default instructions in this manual.

Cannot find libmysqlclient under /usr

Modifying he following invocation of configure as follows:

./configure --with-apxs2=/path/to/apxs --with-libdir=lib64 --with-mysql

should work.

Note the addition of --with-libdir=lib64
This points the configure script to look for 64-bit mysqlclient libraries.
7 years ago
Solution for fedora is yum install mysql-devel. Then set --with-mysql=/usr/include/mysql/
10 years ago
for slackware 10.2 users with apache2, mysql5, and trying to install php5:

when following the directions above, after this step:

./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-mysql

i kept getting this error:
"Unable to find MySql header files...."

the only way i could get php5 with mysql support was to compile MySql5 from source, and not use the binary as the mysql site recommends.

then i was able to ./configure successfully, but for some reason php was configured to compile the CGI version.

so, had to use this ./configure line:

./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql  --disable-cgi

alternatively, you could install php4 which does bundle the MySql client files.
11 years ago
To install mysql and mysqli with PHP5 do the following:

after doing:

./configure --with-mysql=/path/to/mysql_config --with-mysqli=/path/to/mysql_config

do this:

    if you want to use both the old mysql and the new mysqli interface, load the Makefile into your editor and search for the line beginning with EXTRA_LIBS; it includes -lmysqlclient twice; remove the second instance

then you can:

make install

Pleasse note: you must have mysql-dev installed (RPM or source) or you will not have the mysql_config file at all.  The standard, server, and client installations of MySQL do not include it.  I read somewhere that the mysql and mysqli paths must be identical.

Quoted from Michael Kofler at the following link:
felixcca at yahoo dot ca
10 years ago
I've (painfully) discovered that installing PHP5 with "make install" under SuSe 9.2 is NOT a good idea.
This page explains how to install it without breaking everything that's php-related in the Apache2 configuration. Its first purpose, though, is to show how to have php 4 and 5 to cohabit properly.
happyboy at php dot org
11 years ago

during the make process should u receive an error declaring ext/ctype/ctype.lo (or another file) is truncated then you need to 'make clean' prior to a healthy 'make' and 'make install.'

looking into your ext/ directory you may find the offensive file to be 1 byte long.
mihai dot sandu at gtstelecom dot ro
11 years ago
For the SuSE9.2 install of PHP5.
If building on a x64 platform, please set LDFLAGS="-L/usr/lib64" before configure.
As for install, it suffices to go to /etc/apache2 and:
ln -s sysconfig.d/loadmodule.conf httpd2-prefork.conf
and then make install
Sami Fouad
3 years ago
If you're using Ubuntu, all that's really required is two terminal commands. Please see the Installation notes link on the left for Debian/Ubuntu.
11 years ago
Using Apache2 & PHP5 work perfectly fine & safe together.
- all core modules are safe in Zend Engine 2
- third-party-libraries should be avoided
- semaphores and shared memory enables you to ensure yourself that your application/website is thread-safe also with non-thread-safe PHP modules!
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