Introduction to PHP

PHP is the PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. Primarily used in dynamic web sites, it allows for programming code to be directly embedded into the HTML markup. It is also useful as a general purpose scripting language.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: f8e821c23e4da0cd52710181532cb853

  • Download size: 12 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 525 MB (with documentation)

  • Estimated build time: 1.6 SBU (with parallelism=4; add 1.7 SBU for tests)

Additional Downloads

PHP Dependencies


Optional System Utilities and Libraries

Aspell-, enchant-2.6.7, libxslt-1.1.39, an MTA (that provides a sendmail command), pcre2-10.42, AppArmor, Dmalloc, Net-SNMP, oniguruma, OSSP mm, re2c, and XMLRPC-EPI

Optional Graphics Utilities and Libraries

FreeType-2.13.2, libexif-0.6.24, libjpeg-turbo-3.0.1, libpng-1.6.42, libtiff-4.6.0, libwebp-1.3.2, a graphical environment, FDF Toolkit, GD, and t1lib

Optional Web Utilities

cURL-8.6.0, tidy-html5-5.8.0, Caudium, Hyperwave, Roxen WebServer, and WDDX

Optional Data Management Utilities and Libraries

libiodbc-3.52.15, lmdb-0.9.31, MariaDB-10.11.7 or MySQL, OpenLDAP-2.6.7, PostgreSQL-16.2, SQLite-3.45.1, unixODBC-2.3.12, Berkeley DB (deprecated) Adabas, Birdstep, cdb, DBMaker, Empress, FrontBase, IBM DB2, Mini SQL, Monetra, and QDBM

PHP also provides support for many commercial database tools such as Oracle, SAP and ODBC Router.

Optional Security/Encryption Utilities and Libraries

Cyrus SASL-2.1.28, MIT Kerberos V5-1.21.2, libmcrypt, and mhash

Editor Notes:

Installation of PHP

You can use PHP for server-side scripting, command-line scripting or client-side GUI applications. This book provides instructions for setting up PHP for server-side scripting as it is the most common form.



PHP has many more configure options that will enable support for various things. You can use ./configure --help to see a full list of the available options. Also, use of the PHP web site is highly recommended, as their online docs are very good. An example of a configure command that utilizes many of the most common dependencies can be found at

If, for whatever reason, you don't have libxml2-2.12.5 installed, you need to add --disable-libxml to the configure command in the instructions below. Note that this will prevent the pear command from being built.

Install PHP by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr                \
            --sysconfdir=/etc            \
            --localstatedir=/var         \
            --datadir=/usr/share/php     \
            --mandir=/usr/share/man      \
            --enable-fpm                 \
            --without-pear               \
            --with-fpm-user=apache       \
            --with-fpm-group=apache      \
            --with-fpm-systemd           \
            --with-config-file-path=/etc \
            --with-zlib                  \
            --enable-bcmath              \
            --with-bz2                   \
            --enable-calendar            \
            --enable-dba=shared          \
            --with-gdbm                  \
            --with-gmp                   \
            --enable-ftp                 \
            --with-gettext               \
            --enable-mbstring            \
            --disable-mbregex            \
            --with-readline              &&

To test the results, issue: make test. Several tests (out of over 18000) may fail, in which case you are asked whether you want to send the report to the PHP developers. If you want to automate the test, you may prefix the command with yes "n" | .

Now, as the root user:

make install                                     &&
install -v -m644 php.ini-production /etc/php.ini &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/php-8.3.3 &&

The default configuration files for the fastCGI process manager are installed only if they do not already exist on the system. If this is the first installation, they should be renamed, as the root user:

if [ -f /etc/php-fpm.conf.default ]; then
  mv -v /etc/php-fpm.conf{.default,} &&
  mv -v /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf{.default,}

The pre-built HTML documentation is packaged in two forms: a tarball containing many individual files, useful for quick loading into your browser, and one large individual file, which is useful for using the search utility of your browser. If you downloaded either, or both, of the documentation files, issue the following commands as the root user to install them (note these instructions assume English docs, modify the tarball names below if necessary).

For the Single HTML file:

install -v -m644 ../php_manual_en.html.gz \
    /usr/share/doc/php-8.3.3 &&
gunzip -v /usr/share/doc/php-8.3.3/php_manual_en.html.gz

For the Many HTML files tarball:

tar -xvf ../php_manual_en.tar.gz \
    -C /usr/share/doc/php-8.3.3 --no-same-owner

The bundled pear is not installed because of a bug which might pollute the filesystem with several hidden files and directories. If pear is needed, execute the following commands to install it:

php ./go-pear.phar

Command Explanations

--datadir=/usr/share/php: This works around a bug in the build machinery, which installs some data to a wrong location.

--enable-fpm: This parameter allows building the fastCGI Process Manager.

--with-fpm-systemd: This parameter allows the FastCGI Process Manager to integrate with systemd.

--without-pear: This switch disables installation of bundled pear software.

--with-config-file-path=/etc: This parameter makes PHP look for the php.ini configuration file in /etc.

--with-zlib: This parameter adds support for Zlib compression.

--enable-bcmath: Enables bc style precision math functions.

--with-bz2: Adds support for Bzip2 compression functions.

--enable-calendar: This parameter provides support for calendar conversion.

--enable-dba=shared: This parameter enables support for database (dbm-style) abstraction layer functions.

--enable-ftp: This parameter enables FTP functions.

--with-gettext: Enables functions that use Gettext text translation.

--enable-mbstring: This parameter enables multibyte string support.

--with-readline: This parameter enables command line Readline support.

--disable-libxml: This option allows building PHP without libxml2 installed.

--with-apxs2: Instead of building the fastCGI process manager, it is possible to build an apache module. This has some performance penalty for heavy loaded servers, but may be easier to set up. This switch is incompatible with the --enable-fpm and --with-fpm-... switches.

--with-mysqli=shared: This option includes MySQLi support.

--with-mysql-sock=/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock: Location of the MySQL unix socket pointer.

--with-pdo-mysql=shared: This option includes PDO: MySQL support.

--with-tidy=shared: This option includes tidy library support.

Configuring PHP

Config Files

/etc/php.ini, /etc/pear.conf, /etc/php-fpm.conf, and /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Configuration Information

The file used as the default /etc/php.ini configuration file is recommended by the PHP development team. This file modifies the default behavior of PHP. If no /etc/php.ini is used, all configuration settings fall to the defaults. You should review the comments in this file and ensure the changes are acceptable in your particular environment.

The fastCGI process manager uses the configuration file /etc/php-fpm.conf. The default file shipped with PHP includes all the /etc/php-fpm.d/*.conf in turn. There is a shipped /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf file, that contains the parameters related to the interaction with the Apache Web server.

You may have noticed the following from the output of the make install command:

You may want to add: /usr/lib/php to your php.ini include_path

If desired, add the entry using the following command as the root user:

sed -i 's@php/includes"@&\ninclude_path = ".:/usr/lib/php"@' \

To enable fastCGI support in the Apache web server, two LoadModule directives must be added to the httpd.conf file. They are commented out, so just issue the following command as root user:

sed -i -e '/proxy_module/s/^#//'      \
       -e '/proxy_fcgi_module/s/^#//' \

Those modules accept various ProxyPass directives. One possibility is (as the root user):

echo \
'ProxyPassMatch ^/(.*\.php)$ fcgi://$1' >> \

Additionally, it may be useful to add an entry for index.php to the DirectoryIndex directive of the httpd.conf file. Lastly, adding a line to set up the .phps extension to show highlighted PHP source may be desirable:

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

You'll need to restart the Apache web server after making any modifications to the httpd.conf file.

Systemd Unit

To start the php-fpm daemon at boot, install the systemd unit from the blfs-systemd-units-20240205 package by running the following command as the root user:

make install-php-fpm


Installed Programs: phar (symlink), phar.phar, php, php-cgi, php-config, php-fpm, phpdbg, and phpize
Installed Libraries: and in /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20220829
Installed Directories: /etc/php-fpm.d, /usr/{include,lib,share}/php, and /usr/share/doc/php-8.3.3

Short Descriptions


is a command line interface that enables you to parse and execute PHP code


is the PHP Extension and Application Repository (PEAR) package manager. This isn't installed by default


is the fastCGI process manager for PHP


is the interactive PHP debugger