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Additional PHP modules/extensions

  • apc - Used for caching. Check in /opt/psa/admin/conf/php.ini and php -m . There should also be extension="" in another php.ini file too. For CentOS.
  • libgd2 - Guide if GD Library is too old (due to bundled version with PHP5)
  • php5-curl
  • php5-mcrypt - File Encryption tool, Windows guide. If you get the error Connection reset by peer: mod_fcgid: error reading data from FastCGI server after installing this, do:
cp -f /usr/local/psa/suexec/psa-suexec /usr/sbin/suexec ; chown root:apache /usr/sbin/suexec ; chmod 4510 /usr/sbin/suexec

For CentOS, do this and then do:

yum install -y mcrypt.x86_64 libmcrypt.x86_64 libmcrypt-devel.x86_64 php-mcrypt.x86_64
  • Zend Optimizer , to check it's installed run php -i | grep Zend . See the downloads page here. You may need Guard or Guard Loader for higher versions of PHP. Check your current PHP version by doing php -v . To install it on a Plesk server see the following threads: 1 and 2

Check if module is installed

On Unix systems do:

php -i | grep modulename

command line ZIP via exec()

phpinfo.php should show disable_functions is set to no value if disable_functions is blank in all php.ini files.

Alternatively you may need to use suPHP.

cPanel PHP Configuration

You can change how PHP is configured. As root, simply execute: /usr/local/cpanel/bin/rebuild_phpconf --help

Downgrade PHP 5.3 to 5.2

CentOS 6

(A) (B) (C)

Ubuntu 10.04

(A) (B) (C) (D)

Gathering PHP Information - PHP Info Page

Create a phpinfo.php inside /var/www/vhosts/ to gather server information, loaded configuration file and PHP values using the below code and then go to


The local file will not be picked up as it reads it from the php.ini file so set the domain PHP support to Fast CGI Application and once set in that configuration file (cgi/php.ini) it will be the Master value. If the domain is set to be an Apache module edit the apache2/php.ini file.

Refresh the file in your browser when you have changed a value/variable.

Basic PHP page

<title>PHP Test</title>
<?php echo '<p>Hello World</p>'; ?>

Error Reporting/Logging

In /etc/php.ini go to ~ line 518 and see next to error_reporting and it's options:

Set to the value E_ALL | E_STRICT instead of E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE potentially.


Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
Header( "Location:" );

If you have a Plesk server with version 11 on it, the web server EngineX uses the masks REMOTE_ADDR variable (which you should use instead of REMOTE_HOST which is for host names). Disable your .htaccess and create a PHP script with:

$real_ip = $_SERVER["HTTP_X_REAL_IP"];

echo "IP: " .$ip;
echo "Real IP: " .$real_ip;


What you will see is that IP reports as the IP of the server whereas the second line returns the real remote IP of the user connecting to the site. You should try changing the REMOTE_HOST to HTTP:HTTP_X_REAL_IP

failed to open stream: Too many open files

To fix this try and set the ulimit in the Apache configuration, otherwise it will get overridden by the default value.

ulimit -n
ulimit -Sn
ulimit -Hn

To set do:

ulimit -n value

Further information: 1, 2


Clearing the cache

mod_fcgid: HTTP request length exceeds MaxRequestLen

If you get the following error in a Plesk server in /var/www/vhosts/

mod_fcgid: HTTP request length 131388 (so far) exceeds MaxRequestLen (131072)

It normally means you need to edit /etc/httpd/conf.d/fcgid.conf and in between the <IfModule> and </IfModule> tags place:

FcgidMaxRequestLen 134217728



yum install php-pear.noarch

With Plesk you will need to do the following:

vim /etc/php.ini

Add in/edit:


And then in Plesk's PHP settings for the domain change the include_path to /var/www/vhosts/

/etc/init.d/httpd restart

Ubuntu (one of these):

apt-get install php-pear
apt-get install psa-pear


Windows location if using Plesk: C:\Program Files (x86)\Parallels\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5/php.ini

safe_mode and open_basedir (set to off) can be changed within these php.ini files:

vim /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
vim /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini
vim /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

Turning off magic_quotes_gpc
magic_quotes_gpc (deprecated in PHP 5.3)

Then add the below entry inside vhost.conf under the var/www/vhosts/ directory excluding what you do not need:

<Directory  /var/www/vhosts/DOMAIN.COM/httpdocs>
        php_admin_flag engine on
        php_admin_flag safe_mode off //turns safe mode off
        php_admin_value open_basedir //set none to turn off //the following to turn on /var/www/vhosts/DOMAIN.COM/ 

You can also edit this file /opt/psa/admin/conf/php.ini (Ubuntu) or /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini (CentOS) and add/edit safe_mode = Off open_basedir = none (or Off) and run:

/usr/local/psa/admin/bin/httpdmng --reconfigure-all
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

The above command creates an include file in the same directory.


<Directory  /var/www/vhosts/DOMAIN.COM/httpdocs>
        php_admin_flag safe_mode off

Safe mode and line errors
Disable Safe Mode on Plesk 10 for Webfusion


<Directory /var/www/vhosts/DOMAIN.COM/httpdocs>
        php_admin_value open_basedir none 

Turning off for subdomains

Subdomains do not have conf folders by default, so it can be set in /var/www/vhosts/domain/subdomains/conf/vhost.conf as /var/www/vhosts/domain/subdomain , locally in a .htaccess file or globally on the server in php.ini if it is running as Apache.


Within the three php.ini files if you search for /timezone you will need to un-comment the values for timezone, latitude and longitude and enter only the timezone within "quotes". The most common request if for the following values:

; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
date.timezone = "Europe/London"

date.default_latitude = 51.500181

date.default_longitude = 0.12619

Values for the world

You may need to add it to the domain specific PHP file in /var/www/vhosts/ or /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini

Fail to download/export SQL Database (memory_limit)

When trying to download a copy of SQL database with Error 6 (net::ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) or unable to "find" a file this may be due to the setting memory_limit in the Plesk php.ini file.

1. Open your Plesk php.ini (placed at /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini)
2. Find memory_limit and change to: memory_limit = 128M/x2/4/8 for example
3. Stop and start psa services

/etc/init.d/psa stopall
/etc/init.d/psa startall
/etc/init.d/sw-cp-server restart

Exporting large database in phpMyAdmin or see here
PHP Upload Files Failure/Increasing memory values

Fatal error: Call to undefined function curl_init()

If you are using Plesk and the curl.dll (not the actual file name) extension is enabled in php.ini check the wordpress applications in the site for a different PHP config to the main site. Reset the settings for the site and they may go back into sync.


Set max_execution_time in php.ini. By default this is 60 seconds on most servers.

Also see this.

If you get:

mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Notice: session_start(): ps_files_cleanup_dir: opendir(/var/lib/php/session) failed: Permission denied (13) in /var/www/vhosts/ on line X, referer:

Set php.ini to have this:

session.save_path = "/tmp"

Include file

PHP Warning: Module

If you get something like the below message when doing php -v :

PHP Warning: Module 'json' already loaded in Unknown on line 0
PHP Warning: Module 'mbstring' already loaded in Unknown on line 0

The modules have likely been defined twice in the server configuration by adding them manually to the PHP.ini file which is unnecessary. Remove the extra config which should get rid of the warning.

PHP Configuration in Plesk

The user:group of website files depends on what the PHP Support for a site is set as.

If it is set as Fast CGI Application, the user:group for everything below the Document Root (normally httpdocs) is ftpuser:psacln (with psaserv owning httpdocs).

If it is set as Apache Module, you want www-data:www-data

The PHP Support can be set in:

 ← Hosting Services - Domains > Open in Control Panel for your domain
↓  Hosting Services - Subscriptions > Manage Hosting/Open in Control Panel for your domain
↓  ↓
↓  ↓
Websites & Domains tab > click your domain > under Web Scripting and Statistics change PHP Support from Apache Module to Fast CGI Application

Plain text:

- ← Hosting Services - Domains > Open in Control Panel for your domain
↓ - Hosting Services - Subscriptions > Manage Hosting/Open in Control Panel for your domain
↓ ↓
Websites & Domains tab > click your domain > under Web Scripting and Statistics change PHP Support from Apache Module to Fast CGI Application

PHP Configuration in WHM

Use Software > EasyApache (Apache Update)

Apache: Mod FCGID
PHP: Fastcgi

For Magento the following requirements are needed:

  • simplexml
  • mcrypt
  • hash
  • GD
  • DOM
  • iconv
  • SOAP (if Webservices API is to be used)

The web based version of EasyApache is notoriously temperamental, it may freeze on you. This is usually due to the memory load on the server. By using an SSH console, you can complete the process in a much more efficient manner.


to launch the process. Follow the instructions on screen, remembering that it can sometimes take a while to build an entirely new version of php, and good luck.

Complete these instructions to set up all the required extensions, however when it came to one payment gateway, you may still need to set up curl and curlssl – two libraries needed for POSTing data securely over HTTP and SSL. Remember to activate these at the time you do your original build, as it’ll save a great deal of hassle later on.

Alternatively run: /usr/local/cpanel/bin/rebuild_phpconf

PHP Mail Test

Or the following:

 $to = "[email protected]";
 $subject = "Hi!";
 $body = "Hi,\n\nHow are you?";
 if (mail($to, $subject, $body)) 
 echo("Message successfully sent!");
 echo("Message delivery failed...");

PHP Page downloading

If when you view a .php file it tries to download and you do not want it to, do the following via SSH:

a2enmod php5
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

And if you use Plesk go here and tick PHP Support. a2dismod may be needed as well.

Alternate guides:

You may need to do:

apt-get install php5-cgi libapache2-mod-fcgid libapache2-mod-php5

PHP My Admin

How to access in Plesk

You may need to allow pop-ups.

In Plesk 10 go to either:

  • Server Management - Tools & Settings > Applications & Databases - Database Servers > click Webadmin icon
  • Server Management - Tools & Utilities > Resources - Database Servers > same as above.
  • Server tab, Resources - Database Servers > same as above.

This access for MySQL is server level so you can see all MySQL databases.

For individual domains you go to:

  • Hosting Services - Domains > Open in Control panel > Websites & Domains > Databases > click the database you want to manage then Webadmin icon.
  • Hosting Services - Subscriptions > Manage Hosting > Websites & Domains > Databases > same as above.

The root user cannot access phpMyAdmin

import.php: Missing parameter: import_type

import.php: Missing parameter: import_type

Fixes 1 and 2

1077 Error

When you upload a file into phpMyAdmin and it shows a 1077 error, you are likely uploading the wrong file type. It needs to be as follows:

"File may be compressed (gzip, zip) or uncompressed. A compressed file's name must end in .[format].[compression]. Example:"

If you right click the .sql file and zip it and then try it should work as long as it is below 2GB.

Cannot start session

phpMyAdmin - Error Cannot start session without errors, please check errors given in your PHP and/or webserver log file and configure your PHP installation properly.

  • Make a PHP Info page to see which php.ini it loads
  • Check /var/log/sw-cp-server/error_log , /var/log/apache2/error.log or /var/www/vhosts/
  • Put session.save_handler = files and session.save_path = /tmp in all PHP.ini files and restart Apache.
  • Ensure tmp has root:root user:group . It may try to save session files to /var/lib/php5 and ensure the following folders have the right permissions: /usr/local/psa/tmp + aps /usr/local/psa/admin/sessions + logs + bin/modules
  • find /opt/psa -user admins -print | xargs chown root -- to correct ownership # chmod 4110 /opt/psa/admin/sbin/wrapper -- to set correct permissions of wrapper for Plesk
  • Also:

Or when installing Joomla for example on a Plesk server, you may get:

mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Warning: session_write_close(): open(/var/lib/php/session/sess_adkb8rfaum29um5g8d57i6v5q3, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 676, referer: http://IPaddress/installation/index.php

vim /var/www/vhosts/
session.save_path = /tmp
#session.save_path = "/var/lib/php/session"
/etc/init.d/httpd or /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

This above Joomla Plesk one happens because /var/lib/php/session needs a different user:group and/or permissions.

Export issue

The error normally shown is "can’t find the file at https://xx.xx.xx.xx:8443/domains/databases/phpMyAdmin/export.php"

vim /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini

Find the line containing memory_limit. Increase this to 256M, 512M or 1024M.

/etc/init.d/sw-cp-server restart
/etc/init.d/psa stopall
/etc/init.d/psa startall

Accessing a manual install

If you have installed phpMyAdmin in another location, see these links:

Rare error:

export.php: Missing parameter: whatDocumentation export.php: Missing parameter: export_typeDocumentation

In file <Plesk_dir>\admin\htdocs\domains\databases\phpMyAdmin\libraries\

uncomment line: //@ini_set('session.use_trans_sid', true); to @ini_set('session.use_trans_sid', true);

Restart Plesk.



vim /etc/yum.repos.d/atomic.repo
enabled = 0
yum install php-soap
php -m | grep soap



If you get the following error on your website:

FATAL ERROR: register_globals is disabled in php.ini, please enable it!

Setup a PHP Info page and see which php.ini PHP is loading from. Then go into SSH and edit the Loaded Configuration File by finding the entry using:


Set it to on or off. Then exit the file and run:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Upgrade PHP

Work in progress.

Ubuntu 8.04 to PHP 5.2.8
Ubuntu 8.04 to PHP 5.2.9

CentOS 5.5 to PHP 5.3.3
CentOS 6.2 to PHP 5.4

Version 5.3

CentOS 5
Linux General Windows