Shared Hosting Support for PHP 5.3

Just letting everybody know that as of tonight, we now have servers running in most of our POPs that are capable of running PHP 5.3. If it’s possible on your server, you will see the option in the RackCorp portal to select:


It takes about 1-2 minutes for your site to do a changeover between versions. If it doesn’t come up, select 5.2 to put things back to how they were, and drop a ticket in to see if we can debug it for you.

We’ve also taken this upgrade to try and get our servers all running the same version of our web manager. By doing so, a lot of you should now find that you can control several more php.ini options for your accounts, and that you also have access to PHP 4.4.9. If you’re unusure of any options, just run with the defaults as they’re pretty safe.

Overall, just remember that PHP 5.3 is not entirely compatible with PHP 5.2. Check out this link for sure:

Some things we came across just in the RackCorp portal:
Depreciated functions:

# ereg() (use preg_match() instead)
# ereg_replace() (use preg_replace() instead)
# eregi() (use preg_match() with the ‘i’ modifier instead)
# eregi_replace() (use preg_replace() with the ‘i’ modifier instead)
# split() (use preg_split() instead)
# spliti() (use preg_split() with the ‘i’ modifier instead)
# session_register() (use the $_SESSION superglobal instead)
# session_unregister() (use the $_SESSION superglobal instead)
# session_is_registered() (use the $_SESSION superglobal instead)
# set_socket_blocking() (use stream_set_blocking() instead)
# mysql_db_query() (use mysql_select_db() and mysql_query() instead)
# mysql_escape_string() (use mysql_real_escape_string() instead)

Also, for the few of you out there that use it (like us!) Ming has been moved out to PECL.

Otherwise, we’ll let you know how we go with our migration over the next few months. We’re particularly interested in any SOAP changes as things seem to silently have crept in during PHP 5.2.X revisions that although minor changes left us with big headaches (timezones in datetime fields – ARGH!)… To be continued…. 🙂

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FPM Migration from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3

Some installation/configuration notes we came up with whle integrating PHP 5.3 into our standard deployment system:

Compile options
PHP 5.3 has FPM inbuilt now, so there’s no longer any need to apply diffs to the source, but you DO still have to specify “–enable-fpm”.  All other FPM parameters have been depreciated now (except the run as user/group ones – but we use chrootuid anyway).  That’s all that’s required for compilation.

Things have changed significantly here, from an XML format into an ini format.  Here’s a typical fpm.ini that we’re using:

pid = /var/log/
error_log = /var/log/php-fpm.log
log_level = notice

emergency_restart_threshold = 10
emergency_restart_interval = 1m
process_control_timeout = 5s
daemonize = yes

;this is the IP/port to listen for fastcgi requests on
listen =
listen.backlog = 1024
listen.allowed_clients =
; not sure if we need to specify user/group here, but it’s indicated it is required, but if we chrootuid php so it’s already running as another use, it seems to be ignored
user = nobody
group = nobody

; This stuff actually works in PHP 5.3 – and works well!!
pm = dynamic
pm.max_children = 3
pm.start_servers = 1
pm.min_spare_servers = 1
pm.max_spare_servers = 1
pm.max_requests = 500

request_terminate_timeout = 40s
request_slowlog_timeout = 300s
slowlog = /var/log/php-fpm.log.slow
rlimit_files = 2048

rlimit_core = 0
catch_workers_output = no


Things have changed here slightly too, we used to run:

bin/php-cgi –fpm

and php would load up the compile-time default configuration file.

With 5.3, please note that the binary to run has changed and moved – it’s in the sbin directory and is called php-fpm. We also have to pass in the fpm configuration ini file as a parameter (as there wasn’t a compile time option for this anymore):

sbin/php-fpm –fpm-config=/conf/php-fpm.ini


And that’s it. We’ve also tested out the dynamic process spawning as this was of most interest to us as on shared servers RAM is like gold! Seems to work well – it seems to guage the necessity for additional processes by whether it has to wait for a request to be served. It seems to drop off unused processes after 10 seconds or so – couldn’t find anything about this so I guess it’s just some magical internal algorithm, but from my tests it looks to work and work well.

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