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Multiple PHP versions set-up

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 7 November 2011.
Planet PHP

Multiple PHP versions set-up

London, UK Monday, November 7th 2011, 09:11 GMT

For many of my projects (both hobby and commercial) I need to support many different PHP configurations. Not only just different PHP versions, but also debug builds, ZTS builds and 32-bit builds. In order to be able to test and build extensions against all those different PHP configurations I have adopted a simple method that I'm sharing with you here.

The major part of it is that I use a different installation prefix for every configuration of PHP that I make. Right now, ls /usr/local/php shows:

5.1dev 5.3.2 5.3.8dev 5.3dev-32bit 5.3dev-zts 5.4dev trunk 5.2dev 5.3.7 5.3dev 5.3dev-nodebug 5.4.0beta1 5.4dev-zts

There are two types of PHP installs that I make: "dev" versions from SVN branches, and "release" versions build from SVN tags. From the list above you see I have the SVN versions of 5.1, 5.2, 5.3.8, 5.3 (in various forms) and 5.4 (both normal, and ZTS).

I have a script to compile PHP which whatever combination I want: version, debug (default) or non-debug, normal (default) or ZTS; and 64-bit (default) or 32-bit. The configure options are nicely hardcoded :-)

The scripts accept arguments in a specific order:

version ["debug"|"nodebug" [, "no-zts"|"zts" [, ""|"32bit" ] ] ]

For a simple 5.3dev build I run:

./build 5.3dev

This compiles PHP 5.3 from SVN, in debug mode, without ZTS and for the 64-bit architecture. Something more exotic variants could be:

./build 5.3.8 debug zts ./build 5.4dev nodebug no-zts 32bit

Each invocation of the script will configure and build PHP, and then install into /usr/local/php/{{variant}}.

The script also has a hard coded location where the PHP sources are. In my case, that's a sparse checkout into /home/derick/dev/php/php-src.

With the help of a small .bashrc snippet:

function pe () { version=$1 shift if [ "$#" == "0" ]; then export PATH=/usr/local/php/${version}/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin else PATH=/usr/local/php/${version}/bin:$PATH $@ fi }

I can now easily switch between PHP versions by typing on the shell:

pe 5.3dev

or:

pe 5.4dev-zts

And each version will have a totally separated environment for me to install PEAR packages and PECL extensions in, and do my own extension development. Of course, each separated environment also comes with its own php.ini file (in /usr/local/php/{{variant}}/lib/php.ini).

This set-up makes my life a whole lot easier, and I hope it is useful for you as well. Thanks for listening!