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Installing PHP on Linux

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It can be really helpful to have PHP installed on your home computer. Especially if you're still learning. So today I'm going to walk you through how to do so on a PC with linux.

First things first, you're going to need Apache to be installed already.

1. Download Apache from http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi, this will assume you download the latest version as of this publication, which is 2.4.3. If you use a different one, be sure to change the commands below (since we use the name of the file).

2. Move this to your src folder, at /usr/local/src, and run the following commands, which will un archive the zipped source, in a shell:

cd /usr/local/src
gzip -d httpd-2.4.3.tar.bz2
tar xvf httpd-2.4.3.tar
cd httpd-2.4.3

3. The following command is semi-optional. If you don't mind the default options, which installs it to /usr/local/apache2, you can skip to step 4. If you're interested as to what can be customized, then run this command:

./configure --help

This will give you a list of the options you can change for when it installs.

4. This will install Apache:

./configure --enable-so
make
make install

Note: if you get an error that says something like this: configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH, then you need to install a C compiler. This probably won't happen, but if it does, Google "install gcc on [insert your brand of linux]"

5. Yay! Now you can start up and test Apache:

cd /usr/local/apache2/bin
./apachectl start

Then pointing your browser to http://local-host and it should tell you "It Works!"

Note: if you changed where Apache installed, you should adjust the above cd command accordingly.

Now that you have Apache installed, you can install and test PHP!

Again, this assumes you're downloading a certain file, which is a certain version of PHP. And again, this is the latest stable release as of writing this. That file is named php-5.4.9.tar.bz2

1. Download php-5.4.9.tar.bz2 from www.php.net/downloads.php and again place it in your /usr/local/src then run the following commands:

cd /usr/local/src
bzip2 -d php-5.4.9.tar.bz2
tar xvf php-5.4.9.tar
cd php-5.4.9

2. Again, this step is semi optional as it deals with configuring php before you install it. So, if you want to customize the installation, or see how you can customize it:

./configure --help

3. The next commands actually install PHP, with the default apache install location of /usr/local/apache2:

./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs
make
make install
cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

4. Open the file /usr/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf and add the following text:

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

Then while in that file make sure it has a line that says LoadModule php5_module modules/libphp5.so

5. Now you will want to restart apache and verify that php is installed and woking correctly:

/usr/local/bin/apache2/apachectl restart

No make a file called test.php in your /usr/local/apache2/htdocs folder with the following line in it:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Now point your favorite internet browser at http://local-host/test.php and it should tell you all about your working php installation.

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