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About PHPBrew

PHPBrew is a tool to help you run multiple versions of PHP on the same operating system. For example, you might have PHP 7 installed by default:

$ php --version
PHP 7.2.10-0ubuntu1 (cli) (built: Sep 13 2018 13:38:55) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.2.10-0ubuntu1, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

but you might need to switch to PHP 5 to work on a legacy project.

Installing PHPBrew

First, you have need to download PHPBrew from GitHub:

mkdir ~/bin
cd ~/bin
curl -L -O
chmod +x phpbrew

Log out and back into your system, then initialize PHPBrew:

phpbrew init

Add this line at the end of your ~/.bashrc file:

[[ -e ~/.phpbrew/bashrc ]] && source ~/.phpbrew/bashrc

Next, you need to update your Bash shell to run the new script as if you had just logged in:

source ~/.phpbrew/bashrc

Install the build dependencies for PHP5. In Ubuntu 17.10, you will need to run these commands:

sudo apt-get install -y php-pear autoconf automake curl libcurl3-openssl-dev build-essential libxslt1-dev re2c libxml2 libxml2-dev bison libbz2-dev libreadline-dev
sudo apt-get install -y libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libpng12-0 libpng12-dev libjpeg-dev libjpeg8-dev libjpeg8  libgd-dev libgd3 libxpm4 libltdl7 libltdl-dev
sudo apt-get install -y libssl-dev openssl
sudo apt-get install -y libgettextpo-dev
sudo apt-get install -y libicu-dev libmhash-dev libmcrypt-dev
sudo apt-get install -y libcurl4-openssl-dev
cd /usr/include
sudo ln -s x86_64-linux-gnu/curl

Now you can build and set up PHP 5.6.35 with the default + DB variants. You may want to add the +fpm variant if you are setting up PHPBrew in a server: php-fpm allows PHP to run on a different user than the webserver, and it can be used to run multiple versions of PHP on the same Apache setup. If it fails, try adding -d before install and run it again to see more information on the issue (you might be missing build dependencies, see prerequisites at top):

phpbrew install --downloader=wget 5.6.35 +default+dbs+fpm

When it's done, you will have your own build of PHP 5.6.35.

Using a non-system PHP with Apache

If you are running Apache, for example, if you are using Homestead as your development environment, then you will need to make some adjustments to use a non-system version of PHP. The +fpm switch we used when installing PHP 5 above, installed the Apache Fast Process Manager, which runs PHP from within the Apache web server.

To use non-system versions of PHP via Apache, please follow the php-fpm howto.

Building with XDebug support

If you need it, you might want to install the XDebug extension. Switch to the new PHP and install the relevant extension:

phpbrew use 5.6.35
phpbrew ext install --downloader=wget php_stream xdebug 2.5.5

Building with other extensions

Similarly, you may need to install other extensions for your particular project. Do this in the same way that xdebug support is installed (see above). For example, to enable support for the mongo database:

phpbrew use 5.6.35
phpbrew ext install --downloader=wget php_stream mongo

IDE support

Be sure to tell your IDE about the version of PHP you are using. For example, the version in this running example will be installed in ~/.phpbrew/php/php-5.6.35. If you have xdebug support installed, make sure you tell your IDE that it is available, so you can use your IDE for step-by-step debugging.

Building with LDAP support

If you need LDAP, you will need some extra packages installed. In Ubuntu, try:

sudo apt-get install libldb-dev libldap2-dev

and then build PHP with:

phpbrew install --downloader=wget 5.6.35 +default+dbs+ldap+fpm

Fixing common problems

Cannot find libpq-fe.h

First you may need to install Postgresql before you install PHPBrew otherwise you may come across an error later in the installation process.

configure: error: Cannot find libpq-fe.h. Please specify correct PostgreSQL installation path

In Ubuntu, either try:

sudo apt-get install postgresql-server-dev-9.5


sudo apt-get install libpq-dev

openssl issues on Ubuntu

If you see an error like this:

Error: Make failed:
The last 5 lines in the log file:
~/.phpbrew/build/php-5.6.35/ext/openssl/openssl.c: In function ‘zif_openssl_decrypt’:

~/.phpbrew/build/php-5.6.35/ext/openssl/openssl.c:5316:17: error: storage size of ‘cipher_ctx’ isn’t known

  EVP_CIPHER_CTX cipher_ctx;


make: *** [Makefile:534: ext/openssl/openssl.lo] Error 1

then your version of OpenSSL may be too new for the version of PHP that you are trying to install. Edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list and add these lines to the end of the file:

deb jessie main
deb-src jessie main

deb jessie/updates main
deb-src jessie/updates main

Then update apt:

sudo apt-get install debian-keyring debian-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update

and install version 1.0 of OpenSSL:

sudo apt-get install openssl1.0
sudo apt-get install libssl1.0-dev
sudo apt-get install libcurl4-gnutls-dev

Note that installing libssl1.0-dev will un-install libcurl, so in the commands above we have installed libcurl4-gnutls-dev instead, which is compatible with the version of OpenSSL that we need.

Now install PHP again:

phpbrew install --downloader=wget 5.6.35 +default+dbs+fpm