I've been tasked with a project to install PHP 5.2.x so that it has the ZIP extension onto a CentOS server that is already running PHP via cPanel / Easy Apache. Apparently cPanel's version of PHP can't support the ZIP extension natively (can someone confirm whether or not this is true?) and I asked about installing the extension with PECL, and they said from what they could tell, PHP needs to be recompiled (I'm doubtful that this is the case though - and would be surprised if I can't do this with PECL on the existing PHP installation).
I'm real hesitant to manually re-compile PHP on a cPanel system for obvious reasons - making future upgrades that much harder to deal with, and making it difficult to tie cPanel into the manually compiled version of PHP (so that it no longer tries to manage PHP with easyapache).
Furthermore, this organization that has given me this task doesn't have a real system administrator - so obviously it would just complicate things for them as well.
So... I ask the community: Have you ever gotten the ZIP PHP extension to work on a cPanel server? Should I pursue doing this with PECL? If not, is there a way I can install PHP with Yum and then configure cPanel / Apache to work with Yum's version of PHP? Or should I indeed (shudder) attempt to do all of this manually?