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If I want PHP and other scripts to run as their own user when accessed from a web browser, is this the right way to configure apache?

./configure --enable-so --enable-deflate --enable-expires --enable-headers --enable-rewrite --with-included-apr --with-included-apr-util --enable-suexec --with-suexec-userdir=public_html --with-suexec-caller=httpd

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Take a look at suphp. This might be better suited to what you want to do (especially for PHP). And yes, you would be better off installing the packages from your distribution.

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SuPHP as I've read tends to be way slower then when using SuEXEc with FastCGI. –  Tiffany Walker Apr 27 '12 at 14:26
    
It may be slower, but if that really matters depends on the number of requests you will have. Also note that suEXEC/FastCGI requires lots of RAM since you will have one PHP process per user running whereas with suphp PHP will be started on-demand. –  Oliver Apr 27 '12 at 14:46
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Are you trying to build apache from source? You don't need to do so. It will be enough to install it using the package manager of your distro. Then, you can install, enable, ans configure mod suexec.

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Yes, I'm trying to build from source. It just feels like I have more control since I control flags and control over version I use and do not have to wait for it to be push to repos. –  Tiffany Walker Apr 27 '12 at 14:26
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