Old version of this entry, My PHP Workstation for old Fedora and RHEL / CentOS 7 is still available.

Operating system: Fedora 35 Workstation x86_64 (but the examples also work on RHEL, Alma Linux, Rocky Linux, CentOS Stream version 8 or 9)

3rd party repositories: rpmfusion (to listen music while I work) and of course remi

# dnf install http://rpms.remirepo.net/fedora/remi-release-35.rpm
# dnf config-manager --set-enabled remi

For RHEL, Alma, Rocky or CentOS, instead, read the Configuration Wizard instructions.

 

Installation of the PHP versions

I use the Software Collections which allow to install multiple versions, in parallel, without affecting the base system, PHP version 5.6 to 8.1 are available in my repository (7.4 to 8.1 for Fedora ≥ 36 and EL 9), so:

# dnf install php php-php-fpm php-mbstring php-mysqlnd ...
# dnf install php81 php81-php-fpm php81-php-mbstring php81-php-mysqlnd ...
# dnf install php80 php80-php-fpm php80-php-mbstring php80-php-mysqlnd ...
# dnd install php74 php74-php-fpm php74-php-mbstring php74-php-mysqlnd ...

 

Web environment configuration

 

PHP FastCGI Process Manager

I don't use mod_php for a long time, as it only allows a single version, but FPM, which is now used by default on Fedora and EL ≥ 8.

I'm not running a production server, but a development workstation, so, to reduce the load, I change the FPM pool configuration to use the "ondemand" mode. Each version uses a specific socket file.

Example, for PHP 7.4, in the  /etc/opt/remi/php74/php-fpm.d/www.conf file:

listen = /var/opt/remi/php74/run/php-fpm/www.sock
pm = ondemand

And I enable the service:

# systemctl enable --now php74-php-fpm

And apply the same for each version.

Apache

I create a virtual host for each PHP version.

In the /etc/hosts file, IP aliases declaration:

127.0.0.1 php74scl php80scl php81scl

I create a configuration file, with alias to the git repositories in which I'm used to work, and the virtual hosts: /etc/httpd/conf.d/remi.conf

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName localhost
        <FilesMatch \.php$>
            SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php-fpm/www.sock|fcgi://localhost"
        </FilesMatch>
    </VirtualHost>

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName php74scl
        <FilesMatch \.php$>
            SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/opt/remi/php74/run/php-fpm/www.sock|fcgi://php74scl"
        </FilesMatch>
    </VirtualHost>

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName php80scl
        <FilesMatch \.php$>
            SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/opt/remi/php80/run/php-fpm/www.sock|fcgi://php80scl"
        </FilesMatch>
    </VirtualHost>

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName php81scl
        <FilesMatch \.php$>
            SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/opt/remi/php81/run/php-fpm/www.sock|fcgi://php81scl"
        </FilesMatch>
    </VirtualHost>

And then, I can use the http://php74scl/, http://php80scl/ and http://php81scl/ addresses in my browser. Each host serves the same pages, but with the selected version. All hosts work simultaneously.

 

Command line

To switch from one version to another, I simply select the desired version using the environment modules:

$ module load php81
$ ...
$ module unload php81

Working on PHP code

Of course, I use the development tools available in the repository which are designed to work with the available PHP version.

# dnf install composer phpunit8 phpunit9 phpcompatinfo phpcs ...

For example :

$ git clone https://github.com/vendor/project.git
$ cd project
$ composer install
$ module load php80
$ vendor/bin/phpunit --verbose
$ module load php81
$ vendor/bin/phpunit --verbose
$ ...

Working on PHP extensions

Of course, the development packages need to be installed:

# dnf install php74-php-devel php80-php-devel php81-php-devel

For example :

$ cd /work/GIT/uopz
$ module load php81
$ phpize
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make test

 

Conclusion

I think this configuration, which seems simple, is the ideal solution for a developer who needs various PHP versions but want  to be focused on his work, and take benefits of the large set of available packages in a quite full featured distribution, with benefits of available Software Collections in my repository.

I could also have used Docker... but this solution seems more simple, indeed, I sometime use Docker for PHP 5.3.