How to Install Multiple PHP Version with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 & 16.04



Generally, the hos manager used a separate server for each PHP version application deployment. Which increases the hosting cost. Some of the host managers are using Docker to run multiple PHP version on the single server. Also, most of you are aware of the configuration, I used in this tutorial. But some of the system administrators are not aware of this. This tutorial will help you to install multiple PHP version with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04, 17.10 and 16.04 system without switching PHP versions.
This tutorial describes the installation and configuration of two VirtualHost on Apache with separate PHP versions. First VirtualHost will work with PHP 5.6 and another VirtualHost will run with PHP 7.1. So just go through this tutorial. You can also use more than two PHP versions with Apache as required but this tutorial covers two only.

Apache Installation

Install Apache web server from the official repository. Launch terminal on your system or login with ssh for remote systems. Execute the following commands to install the latest available version of Apache web server.
sudo apt update 
sudo apt install apache2 libapache2-mod-fastcgi

PHP Installation

For the installation of PHP versions, we use the PPA maintained here. Use the below couple of commands to add the PPA to your system.
sudo apt install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
For this tutorial, we are using the PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.2 to configure with Apache web server. To use the multiple PHP versions, we will use PHP FPM and FastCGI. Let’s install the following packages on your system.
apt update
sudo apt install php5.6 php5.6-fpm
sudo apt install php7.2 php7.2-fpm
After installation, php-fpm services will be started automatically. Use the following commands to make sure both services are running.
sudo systemctl status php5.6-fpm
sudo systemctl status php7.2-fpm

Apache Configuration

Now enable few modules required for the configuration of multiple PHP versions with Apache. These modules are necessary to integrate PHP FPM and FastCGI with Apache server.
sudo a2enmod actions fastcgi alias proxy_fcgi
Get ready for the configuration of websites on your Apache server. For the testing purpose, I am configuring two websites to work with two different-2 PHP versions. First, create two directories on your server.
sudo mkdir /var/www/php56
sudo mkdir /var/www/php72
Now, create and index.php containing the phpinfo() function.
echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" > /var/www/php56/index.php
echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" > /var/www/php72/index.php
Let’s start the creation of VirtualHost. Apache keeps all the VirtualHost configuration files under /etc/apache2/sites-available with the extension .conf. Create a file for the first virtual host and edit in your favorite text editor.
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/php56.example.com.conf
Add the following content. Make sure to use correct ServerName and directory path according to your setup. This website is configured to work with PHP 5.6.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName php56.example.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/php56
    <Directory /var/www/php56>
        Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    <FilesMatch \.php$>
        # Apache 2.4.10+ can proxy to unix socket
        SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php5.6-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"
    </FilesMatch>
</VirtualHost>
Similarly, create a second VirtualHost configuration file to work with PHP 7.2. Edit configuration file in text editor:
 
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/php72.example.com.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName php72.example.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/php72
    <Directory /var/www/php72>
        Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    <FilesMatch \.php$>
        SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"
    </FilesMatch>
</VirtualHost>
You both of the websites are configured now. But they are still not active. Apache keeps active sites under /etc/apache2/sites-enabled directory. You can simply create a symbolic link of config files to this directory or use below command to do the same.
sudo a2ensite php56.example.com
sudo a2ensite php72.example.com
After making all the changes restart Apache to reload new settings changes.
sudo systemctl restart apache2
Your setup has been completed now. Go to next step to test your setup.

Test Setup

Open a web browser and visit both of the sites. You will see that php56.example.com shows the version PHP 5.6 and php72.example.com is showing the PHP 7.2 as the configuration.


sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo service apache2 restart

References :

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