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PHP4 Installation Overview

Page 13 — Some Final Thoughts

Installing PHP with Apache on either non-Windows or Windows platforms has gotten increasingly easier as more and more people take up development, report bugs, and generally contribute to the growth of PHP. The Windows installation takes less than half an hour and the non-Windows installation is also quite speedy (but it depends on the speed of your machine, since you're actually building something).

Whichever platform you use, swapping out functionality is a breeze. You either find a *.dll, stick it in your extension directory and enable it in php.ini (Windows), or you "make clean" and run a new configuration in the non-Windows world. And the phpinfo() function is there to tell you what really is or isn't installed.

Also there to help you along the way are thousands of PHP users, willing to help you with your installation problems. The mailing list is, and to subscribe, send a message to For a list of all of your support options, including mailing lists in languages other than English, visit the Support page.

Some things to remember before issuing a cry for help:

  • Have you checked the PHP FAQ?
  • Have you made some logical attempts to fix the problem, i.e., locating lost libraries and running ldconfig, checking that you restarted Apache after making changes, you don't have a hidden file extension of .txt on your scripts, etc.?
  • Do you know what you have installed, i.e., the module version or the CGI version?
  • Do you know your system information, i.e., Red Hat 6.2, Windows NT, as well as the Web server and PHP versions?

The most important one of these to check that you've done is the "logical attempt to fix the problem," since a lot of the installation problems are pilot error -- mistyped configuration commands, typos in httpd.conf, etc. Once, in the middle of the night after a lot of coffee and penguin mints, I was installing Apache and PHP4 on my lowest-common-denominator machine (Thinkpad 755CD, 90Mhz, Slackware 4.0) just to see if it could handle it without dying. My build kept failing on MySQL support. I'd been through the basic build about a million times, so I couldn't figure out what the deal was, until I got my bleary eyes to focus and saw that "myswl" and "mysql" are in fact, NOT the same things ... that same night I was also misspelling "httpd" -- two "Ts", not two "Ps"! So, check for things like that. The software's great, just sometimes the pilot needs a smack in the head.

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