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PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. It is an interpreted script language commonly used for dynamic pages generation on webservers. It is generally installed side by side with the Apache web server, and MySQL or PostgreSQL as database management system.


Installing PHP

PHP is available from the port-tree ...

# cd /usr/ports/lang/php5

... and the packages ...

# pkg_add -r php5

Using PHP

There are two ways to use PHP :

  • With apache: configure apache to use php to process .php files requested by the user.
  • As a command interpreter: php can process scripts, or instructions typed at the commandline.

PHP for dynamic websites

All the steps of Apache configuration are explained after PHP installation. You have to add these two lines in httpd.conf:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

You will probably also want to add index.php as a possible directory index:

DirectoryIndex index.html index.php

You have to restart Apache to have your changes effective. For example, if you use Apache 2:

/usr/local/etc/rc.d/ restart

Now, you can try your installation by creating a file test.php in the /usr/local/www/data directory:


Request test.php using your web browser, and if all is well it will show you your PHP configuration.

Scripts in PHP

If you have compiled PHP with the commandline interface, you can write scripts in PHP that can be used from the shell. This is very useful for quick and dirty hacks; especially if you want your output to be HTML. Put the PHP code in a file like this :

 # phpscript
 <html> <title>Defined Constants</title> <body>

 <h1><? echo "Hello from PHP " .phpversion() ?></h1>
 <pre><? print_r(get_defined_constants()) ?></pre>


Make the file executable:

% chmod +x phpscript

Then, you can run it from the command line.

% ./phpscript | lynx -stdin

In this case, we've piped to lynx, so that we can browse the nicely formatted result.

                                              Defined Constants (p1 of 154)

                             Hello from PHP 5.1.4

    [E_ERROR] => 1
    [E_WARNING] => 2
    [E_PARSE] => 4
    [E_NOTICE] => 8
 -- press space for more, use arrow keys to move, '?' for help, 'q' to quit.

Or, we could have executed the command directly from the command line:

% php -r 'echo "Hello from PHP ". phpversion() . "\n"; print_r(get_defined_constants());'
Hello from PHP 5.1.4 

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