Multiple versions of PHP

Mel fbsd.questions at
Fri Feb 22 13:05:10 UTC 2008

On Friday 22 February 2008 04:25:17 patrick wrote:
> I've got a new problem...

Nope, you've got a shoot yourself in the foot problem.

> While I was able to install PHP 5 into a separate location than PHP 4
> (both from ports),

There's a reason ports use CONFLICTS: the ports are conflicting. I don't know 
why people advise using prefixes on conflicting ports - it's not a good 
thing. Actually, it's a bad thing. A really bad thing.

This is what jails are for.

If the maintainer of the php ports would support having both 4 and 5 
installed, he could do it by renaming the CLI binary to php4 and php5 
respectively and in the process break many other ports depending on the fact 
that the cli is called 'php' and more importantly that the pecl-* ports 
depend on phpize giving them the right information. In short: you'll create a 

Here's what you do:
* Add an IP alias to your network card
* Find some free space on the disk
* read the instructions in jail(8)
* and install php5 (or php4) in the jail.

Now you'll have cleanly seperated php installations and no more prefixing, 
worries about dependencies etc etc. Costs: 400-500M extra diskspace and an 
alias IP, 2-3 hours of work including the build of dependencies. Gains: too 
many to mention.


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