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How to install Apache and PHP in cpanel server via easyapache, The perfect cpanel setup

Cpanel easyapache is a simple and easy software, that bundled with the industry leader hosting control panel software, Cpanel. It have an easy interface to do apache and php installation. You can chose any of the favourite apache modules and php module. This is a standard documentation, that will help you to setup a perfect cpanel server without worrying about it.

Cpanel support multiple php versions and php handlers. The php handlers are the handlers connected to the apache web server, so that you can run php scripts in your server using the apache web server. There are different type of handlers available in cpanel. Some of them are cgi, fcgi, suphp, DSO, Lsapi , etc,. To know more about handlers please read it from the cpanel documentation

This article is to setup apache with php as SUPHP handler. So to run suphp, the maximum allowed file permissions are 644 and directory permissions are 755. So if you any the php scripts have 777 permission , you will surely see a 500 internal server error.

Before proceeding with apache and php installation or upgrade in production server with websites, please note the following. If you are a tech and working on help desk, you may need to run the following commands and add a proper note. This will help you to trouble shoot, if any error happen.

    • 1) Find the default php version

You can go to WHM >> Software >> MultiPHP Manager and see which is the system default php version. Or simply run the following command and add it as note.

[root@server ~]# php -v
PHP 7.0.33 (cli) (built: May 30 2019 20:54:26) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2017 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Zend Technologies
    with the ionCube PHP Loader (enabled) + Intrusion Protection from ioncube24.com (unconfigured) v10.3.2, Copyright (c) 2002-2018, by ionCube Ltd.
    with Zend OPcache v7.0.33, Copyright (c) 1999-2017, by Zend Technologies

Here this server is running php 7.0. So after completing easyapache, the default php version must be 7.0

    • 2) What are the php versions currently installed and what are the handlers.

As I said cpanel support multiple php versions. So check all the php versions and handlers using the following command and make a note for it.

[root@server ~]# /usr/local/cpanel/bin/rebuild_phpconf --current
DEFAULT PHP: ea-php70
ea-php56 SAPI: suphp
ea-php70 SAPI: suphp
ea-php71 SAPI: suphp
ea-php72 SAPI: suphp

This server have php56, php70 , php71 and php72 . All are using suphp as handlers. So we need to make sure after the installation this configuration must stay. Also don’t remove any of the php versions from the above list. In future if you need to add php73 , then simply add it without removing the existing versions.

    • 3) Update cpanel before easyapache.

It is always better to do an upcp before doing easyapache in whm. So that you will get the latest packages. To update the cpanel simply run the following script.

[root@server ~]# /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/upcp
    • 4) Start Easyapache 4 from whm

Now login to the whm via port 2087 as root user and go to Software >> EasyApache 4 . There you can see different profiles. It is always better to chose “Currently Installed Packages” and proceed to “Customize”.

    • 5) Apache MPM Choice

This is the next step. Select the apache MPM. It is always good to select the mod_mpm_worker It works well with suphp . So we select that and click next.

    • 6) Apache Modules

This is an important step. You should chose the following apache modules. We are going to setup suphp as suexec server.

mod_bw
mod_bwlimited 
mod_cgid
mod_cpanel
mod_deflate
mod_expires 
mod_fcgid 
mod_headers
mod_http2 
mod_mpm_worker
mod_proxy 
mod_proxy_fcgi
mod_proxy_http
mod_security2
mod_ssl 
mod_suexec
mod_suphp 
    • After selecting the above modules, go to next step
    • 7) PHP versions

In this section, you can select all the php versions you need. Please remember to enable all the previously enabled php versions. In this server we have php56, php70, php71 and php72. We select all this version. Then we are going to add one more version that is php73 . Select the versions and click next ./p>

    • 8) PHP Extensions

This step is a big long list of php modules. You need to enable the following modules in all of the php versions for a better working. I am using 73 as a php version string here . You need to chose all these modules from php56,php70,etc,.

php73-build      
php73-libc-client
php73-pear
php73-php-bcmath
php73-php-bz2 
php73-php-calendar
php73-php-cli 
php73-php-common
php73-php-curl
php73-php-devel
php73-php-enchant
php73-php-exif
php73-php-fileinfo
php73-php-fpm
php73-php-ftp 
php73-php-gd 
php73-php-gettext
php73-php-iconv
php73-php-imap
php73-php-intl
php73-php-ioncube10  , Chose the latest available ioncube encoder.
php73-php-litespeed
php73-php-mbstring
php73-php-mysqlnd
php73-php-opcache
php73-php-pdo
php73-php-posix
php73-php-pspell
php73-php-soap
php73-php-sockets
php73-php-tidy
php73-php-xml
php73-php-xmlrpc
php73-php-zip
php73-runtime

So you can see I selected a lot of php modules, why ? If you chose these modules, 99% of your php CMS or frameworks works fine in a shared cpanel server without any issues. As the modules are dynamically compiled extensions, this doesn’t increase any php resources usages. So scripts like wordpress, joomla, majento , yii2 frameworks, Larawel etc,. works fine without any issues. So after selecting the options go to next.

    • 9) Ruby Via Passenger

This is ruby on rails module installation with mod_passenger. We really don’t need to enable any of this options. You only enable this , if you have any clients using ROR in you cpanel server. So simply go to next step without selecting any options from this menu.

    • 10) Additional Packages

This is the tomcat and NodeJS package selection in cpanel. We really don’t need to enable this options, unless you have a special client with custom requirements. Normally in shared hosting server. these features won’t be required. So we don’t enable any options in this menu, go to next.

    • 11) Review

This is a final review section. You can see all of your selected packages. So smply verify it and click provision.

It will take some time to do the provision. After finishing it check the server php configuration using the following command.

[root@server ~]# /usr/local/cpanel/bin/rebuild_phpconf --current
DEFAULT PHP: ea-php70
ea-php56 SAPI: suphp
ea-php70 SAPI: suphp
ea-php71 SAPI: suphp
ea-php72 SAPI: suphp
ea-php73 SAPI: suphp

You now see , we have php73 enabled as suphp in the server. With default php as php70.

You may also need to monitor the apache error logs to see if there any issues with any domains.

 [root@server ~]# tailf /var/log/apache2/error_log 

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