Generally, the host 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 versions on a 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 22.04, 20.04, and 18.04 LTS systems 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 8.1 and another VirtualHost will run with PHP 7.4. 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.
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 the Apache webserver.
sudo apt update sudo apt install apache2 libapache2-mod-fcgid
Now enable a few modules required for the configuration of multiple PHP versions with Apache. These modules are necessary to integrate PHP FPM and FastCGI with the Apache server.
sudo a2enmod actions fcgid alias proxy_fcgi
Installing PHP Versions
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 software-properties-common sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
For this tutorial, we are using PHP 8.1 and PHP 7.4 to configure with the Apache webserver. To use the multiple PHP versions, we will use PHP FPM and FastCGI. Let’s install the following packages on your system.
sudo apt update sudo apt install php8.1 php8.1-fpm sudo apt install php7.4 php7.4-fpm
After installation, php-fpm services will be started automatically. Use the following commands to make sure both services are running.
sudo systemctl status php8.1-fpm sudo systemctl status php7.4-fpm
- You may like: How to Enable/Disable PHP Modules on Ubuntu
Configuring Apache Virtual Hosts
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/php81 sudo mkdir /var/www/php74
Create an index.php file containing the phpinfo() function.
echo "" | sudo tee -a /var/www/php81/index.php echo "" | sudo tee -a /var/www/php74/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/php81.example.com.conf
Add the following content. Make sure to use the correct ServerName and directory path according to your setup. This website is configured to work with PHP 8.1.
Similarly, create a second VirtualHost configuration file to work with PHP 7.4. Edit configuration file in text editor:
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/php74.example.com.conf
Add the following content to file with proper ServerName and DocumentRoot.
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 the below command to do the same.
sudo a2ensite php81.example.com sudo a2ensite php74.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 the next step to test your setup.
Edit /etc/hosts file on your local system and make an entry like below. This will resolve temprory names to localhost IP address.
sudo vim /etc/hosts
Add following entry to end of file
127.0.0.1 php81.example.com 127.0.0.1 php74.example.com
Open a web browser and visit both of the sites. You will see that php81.example.com shows the version PHP 8.1 and php74.example.com is showing the PHP 7.4 as the configuration.
This tutorial helped you to install and configure multiple PHP versions with Apache on the Ubuntu Linux system. That provides you with a cost-effective solution to deploy different PHP version applications on a single web server.