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FreeBSD Configure Apache PHP with mod_fastcgi Module

Q. How do I configure and Install Apache web server with PHP5 and mod_fastcgi to get faster PHP access under FreeBSD server?

A.mod_fastcgi is a cgi-module for Apache web server.

FastCGI is a language independent, scalable, open extension to CGI that provides high performance without the limitations of server specific APIs.

Red Hat Linux / CentOS Linux specific mod_fastcgi tutorial is here.

FreeBSD Install Apache Web server

Install apache using FreeBSD ports collection:
# cd /usr/ports/www/apache22
# make install clean
# echo 'apache22_enable="YES"' >> /etc/rc.conf

FreeBSD Install PHP5

Make sure php-cgi binary exists and it is compiled with fastcgi support:
# /usr/local/bin/php-cgi -v
Output

PHP 5.2.6 with Suhosin-Patch 0.9.6.2 (cgi-fcgi) (built: Sep 10 2008 19:07:02)
Copyright (c) 1997-2008 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2008 Zend Technologies
    with XCache v1.2.2, Copyright (c) 2005-2007, by mOo

If you do not see word cgi-fcgi, recompile php with fastcgi support by visiting /usr/ports/lang/php5:
# cd /usr/ports/lang/php5
# make config
# make install clean

Fig.01 Enable FastCGI support by selecting FastCGI option

Fig.01 Enable FastCGI support by selecting FastCGI option


Make sure you install php-gd, php-mysql and other extensions, enter:
# cd /usr/ports/lang/php5-extensions/
# make install clean

Fig.02: Configure FreeBSD PHP5 extensions

Fig.02: Configure FreeBSD PHP5 extensions

Configure FreeBSD Apache mod_fastcgi

Install mod_fastcgi, enter:
# cd /usr/ports/www/mod_fastcgi
# make install clean

Open /usr/local/etc/apache22/httpd.conf file, enter:
# vi /usr/local/etc/apache22/httpd.conf
Make sure following line exists:

LoadModule fastcgi_module     libexec/apache22/mod_fastcgi.so

Create virtual hosting configurations

Your sample setup:

  • Apache share IP address: 74.86.49.131
  • Domain name: theos.in
  • DocumentRoot Directory: /websites/home/theos.in/http
  • Log Directory: /websites/home/theos.in/logs
  • PHP cgi-bin Directory: /websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin/

Create directory structure as above:
# mkdir -p /websites/home/theos.in/{http,https,logs,cgi-bin,images,private,stats}
# chown -R theosftpuser:theosftpgroup /websites/home/theos.in/

Replace username, groupname and directories as per your setup.

Append following configuration directives to httpd.conf virtual hosting section:

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@theos.in
        DocumentRoot "/websites/home/theos.in/http"
        ServerName theos.in
        ServerAlias www.theos.in
        ErrorLog "/websites/home/theos.in/logs/error.log"
        CustomLog "/websites/home/theos.in/logs/access.log" common
        ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "/websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin/"
 
	<Directory "/websites/home/theos.in/http">
		Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
		AllowOverride AuthConfig FileInfo
		AddHandler php5-fastcgi .php
		Action php5-fastcgi /cgi-bin/php.cgi
		Order allow,deny
		Allow from all
	</Directory>
 
	<Directory "/websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin">
		AllowOverride None
		Options None
		Order allow,deny
		Allow from all
	</Directory>
 
</VirtualHost>
 

Save and close the file.

Create php.cgi script

Create a shell script as follows (/websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin/php.cgi):

#!/bin/sh
# Shell Script To Run PHP5 using mod_fastcgi under Apache 2.x
# Tested under FreeBSD 6.x and 7.x
### Set PATH ###
PHP_CGI=/usr/local/bin/php-cgi
PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN=4
PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS=1000
### no editing below ###
export PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN
export PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS
exec $PHP_CGI

Copy above shell script to /websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin/ as php.cgi. Set permissions:
# chmod +x /websites/home/theos.in/cgi-bin/php.cgi

Restart Apache

Type the following command to restart Apache:
# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/apache22 restart

Test your setup

Place following code at /websites/home/theos.in/http/test.php:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Optional: Open port 80 using FreeBSD PF firewall

Add following PF firewall rule to /etc/pf.conf file:

pass in on $ext_if proto tcp from any to 74.86.49.131 port 80 flags S/SA synproxy state

Close and save the file. Reload pf firewall:
# /etc/rc.d/pf restart

Further configuration:

I also recommend installing xcache opcode php cacher and MySQL database server to host dynamic web sites.

Once installed you can upload open source scripts / software such as wordpress, phpBB and others at /websites/home/theos.in/http directory.

Further readings:

  • Apache documentation
  • man pages: ports, make, httpd.conf
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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Raj October 8, 2008, 4:13 pm

    Excellent guide.

    Can you provide info for RHEL / CentOS Linux?

  • Brad March 25, 2009, 12:32 am

    THIS IS A NIGHTMARE INSTALL ON FREEBSD

    Don’t even try it.
    You will get stuck on Firebird.
    I hate this flippn bird!
    Kill this bird!
    can’t do the install as root because of the bird.
    Can’t do t without this flippn bird.
    KILL FIREBIRD!

  • SoniXAnT May 24, 2009, 6:53 pm

    Great guide!!!!

  • Borg June 11, 2009, 7:52 am

    /usr/ports/www/mod_fcgid (great port :) )

  • Godnet September 22, 2010, 3:18 pm

    hi! Can you provide a guide install apache with suphp on freebsd?
    Thanks!

  • Silvio February 22, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Hello,

    i search a way how can use fastcgi with php-fpm. Is same like spawn-cgi only with php-fpm. With lighttpd is running good, only apache want not really run.

    Has someone a idea here?

    Silvio

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