Advice needed - how did I get into this mess?

Bill Moran wmoran at
Fri Feb 16 13:43:25 UTC 2007

In response to Roy Plant <plantr at>:
> The last time I dabbled with Unix was 20 years ago - so I'm old and more than
> a little rusty. A while ago I decided FreeBSD 5.4 + Apache2 + PHP 5 +
> PostgreSQL + MySQL was a decent way to set up a development server. So I put
> all this on a dual Xeon platform - spent ages configuring and getting things
> working together but eventually succeeded.
> I then purchased Zend Studio and loaded that on a Windoze XP workstation and
> loaded Zend Platform on the server so I could achieve remote de-bugging of
> the PHP web pages. 
> All was well in the world until the hard disk on the server decided to
> retire. So two weeks ago I replaced the HDD and decided it was time to upate
> everything to the latest versions - FreeBSD 6.2, PHP 5.2.1, Apache 2.2 
> -isn't it suprising how quickly one forgets the configuration changes made
> in order to get it all talking? So after two weeks everything is up and
> running - last thing to load is the PHP development side - i.e. Zend
> Platform.
> I see from their web site that Platform V3 is released, but not for FreeBSD
> - so I downloaded V2.2.3 and tried to install.
> After lots of frustration I then discovered that this version of Platform
> does not support PHP 5.2.1 ("Aaaaggghhh")
> I guess the easiest solution is to downgrade the PHP install to 5.1 - so
> here's the questions
> 1) How do I downgrade to PHP 5.1?

The easiest way I know if is to cvsup your ports tree to the day just
before php 5.2 was imported and reinstall.  We had to do this because there
are some things in our application that don't work in 5.2, and we need to
deploy new servers with 5.1 until we can properly test our stuff against

You can use freshports to find the date when 5.2 was imported, then use
a cvsup config that updates to the day (or even a few hours) before that.

> 2) How do I keep the rest of my ports up to date without updating PHP 5?

I don't have an easy answer for that.  Internally, we NFS mount all our
ports trees.  What I did was create a second NFS mount with a ports tree
frozen at 5.1, then we can switch the mountpoint back and forth depending
on whether we need to work with PHP-related port or other ports.  You
could achieve the same thing with symlinks.

PHP 5.2 is a debacle in my opinion.  I hope they get some of the problems
with it fixed soon.

Bill Moran
Collaborative Fusion Inc.

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