There are two different ways to install PHP4 on a Virtual Private Server. The best way is to install the mod_php4 Apache Module. It can also be installed as a CGI to which PHP4 files are redirected by your web server.


To install the PHP4 CGI, connect to your Virtual Private Server via SSH prompt, as root and do the following.

  1. Install the PHP4 CGI by running the following command:

    % vinstall php4-cgi

    When you run the vinstall command, you will be given the option to select which extensions you want to use. In order to not waste memory on your Virtual Private Server, we recommend that you only select extensions you will actually be using. If you find you need to add or remove extensions at a later time, you can manually edit the php.ini file, or use the vinstall command to change the active extensions.

    NOTE: Any version prior to PHP4.2.2 has a known security vulnerability which can compromise your Virtual Private Server. If you are using a version of PHP prior to 4.2.2, we strongly encourage you to upgrade to the most recent version.

  2. Due to Security Issues the PHP4 CGI is installed at ~/usr/local/bin/php. Do the following to link the PHP4 CGI into your ~/www/cgi-bin directory.
    % cd ~/www/cgi-bin
    % ln ../../../bin/php.cgi php
  3. Make the following additions and modifications to your web server configuration file (~/www/conf/httpd.conf).

    1. Modify the DirectoryIndex line so that PHP4 files will be included as directory indices.

      DirectoryIndex index.php index.php4 index.php3 index.cgi index.html index.htm
    2. Add the following lines so that all files with .php, .php3, .php4, and .phtml extensions will be redirected to the PHP4 CGI executable.

      Action     php4-script /cgi-bin/php
      AddHandler php4-script .php .php3 .php4 .phtml
    3. Restart your Web Server by running the restart_apache command.

  4. To test your PHP installation, try creating the following ~/www/htdocs/test.php4 document and viewing it in your web browser.


    The phpinfo() function reports the version number, as well as the features that are compiled into PHP.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771