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I am currently running CentOS v 4.8 and it has PHP version 4.3.9 installed on it. I want to update to the latest PHP version, 5.2 or above, however, I'm not sure how to go about doing this.

I read that doing a yum update php might cause issues with the existing php installation?

I read somewhere that there are external repositories that help doing this as well. Are there any reocmmendations?

The server is live, so I don't want to ruin it by an update. Any precautions to keep in mind? I intend to backup the mySQL database and all the files as well. Anything else I should keep in mind?

I read a post on this site by coops, recommending atomic repos, is this recommended in my situation?

wget -q -O - | sh
yum update php
service httpd restart

Is these the right steps to install the Remi repo? I'm using Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS) :

su -
cd /etc/yum.repos.d
yum --enablerepo=remi update php-\*

Output after running yum list php

Error: Bad repository file ///etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Testing.repo, no repo stanzas.
Setting up repositories
Reading repository metadata in from local files
Installed Packages
php.i386                              installed

I had to install the atomic repo. Since I was getting the following error with REMI:

warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 00f97f56
Public key for php-pgsql-5.3.3-1.el4.remi.i386.rpm is not installed
Retrieving GPG key from

GPG key retrieval failed: [Errno 4] IOError: <urlopen error (101, 'Network is unreachable')>
share|improve this question
The precaution is don't do this on a live server, period. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 12 '10 at 20:12
Well, is there a safer alternative? What could go wrong at the most? Additionally, I've read that I can rollback the version in the event that there is an issue .. – confused Nov 12 '10 at 20:19
The safer alternative is to do it on one of your testing machines first, and then test until you feel confident. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 12 '10 at 20:24

RHEL4 (what CentOS 4 is derived from) has reached the end production phase and will be end of life in January 2014. More information can be found on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page. I suggest you put your effort into upgrading to CentOS 6 rather than spending time and energy on a distribution which soon become unsupported.

Barring that what Eddie suggested is going to be your next best choice, installing php from source. However there may be additional dependency issues making the whole process a potential mess.

I recommend you upgrade to RHEL6 or CentOS6. Yes this upgrade will take time, but it may end up taking less time than getting php 5 to run without issue on CentOS 4.

share|improve this answer

My suggestion is download php sources and compile them.
Do any kind of upgrade (by repo, by sources) on a production server without experiences it's a suicide. In addition, PHP 4.x and 5.x are quite two different worlds so the most of your problems not on the system side but in the application runtime (I mean that, for example, the server is ok, configured and upgrade but all the php application are broken and not working).

Please save yourself from hell, let you help in this process by someone expert.

share|improve this answer

Ok look, yea we get it ... don't do this on a live server but eventually the OP has to do this. So here's an answer for you. Backup the important stuff (i.e. config files, data, etc...). Find a yum repository and run the upgrade for PHP. I would then disable the repo once you take care of PHP, assuming you don't want to upgrade any other packages.

I like Remi's REPO

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the reply. Can you please have a look at my edit? I didn't wnat to post code in the comment ... – confused Nov 12 '10 at 21:24
looks fine to me. – luckytaxi Nov 12 '10 at 21:28
Another thing, if I did a yum update php. The latest php version it would go to is 4.3.9 right? – confused Nov 12 '10 at 22:18
I was able to finally do the upgrade without any errors. But when I do a 'php -v', it shows my older version itself. I did an apache restart and still it gives me the older version, here's the message: Starting httpd: [Fri Nov 12 18:11:46 2010] [warn] module php5_module is already loaded, skipping – confused Nov 12 '10 at 22:46
run yum list php and tell me what you see. You may need to update the "php-cli" package. Did you manually enter the php5_model into httpd.conf? I believe the installation may have done so for you. Regardless, it's a warning and can be ignored for now. What does phpinfo() show? – luckytaxi Nov 13 '10 at 12:35
yum --enablerepo=centosplus install php

wont that give you a php 5.something??

you could also consider installing Zend's PHP.. Which is well maintained. :D

For what it is worth.. Compiling your own PHP is extremely easy and fast..

Forget about confusing repo's and mismatched packages.. This could be very easy or break your system..

Leave the package management to the experts who manage the OS...

share|improve this answer
And compiling is made for someone who has no OS experience? Come on, yum is so freaking easy, compiling is a hassle if you ask me. I avoid it if I can but there are times when I want the latest and the greatest and I cant find a repo. PHP is NOT one of them, there are plenty of REPO out there to use. – luckytaxi Nov 15 '10 at 3:51
This is not windows ??? Php repo's offered for Centos are generally terrible, take into account everything outside centosplus/epel/zend. Sorry.. but using "another" repo is just bad news IMHO.. You vote me down for offering a valid solution??? your not much of a sportmans :P – Arenstar Nov 15 '10 at 6:46
Did we solve your problems???? – Arenstar Nov 17 '10 at 15:46
Grab a repo from a respected person/org not someone you don't know. So i take it you wouldn't use Dag's repo either right? – luckytaxi Nov 17 '10 at 17:02
When working with high performance systems, unless its a standalone binary.. No - you should not use a "guys" repo.. If he makes a mistake, then your "yum update" breaks everything... If you wanna run a webserver at home or develop, then fine.. its absolutely ok.. I was previously running a system at 99.999% uptime a year, Remi's php acted a little out than the zend or the centos binaries.. It broke the whole application.. My point is, be careful what you install.. – Arenstar Nov 17 '10 at 18:17

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