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I'm trying to set up a development environment for a legacy system that runs CentOS 4.8, PHP 4.3.9, and MySQL 4.1.22. I'm matching OS and software versions to keep the development server as close to the production server as possible.

When I fire up PHPMyAdmin's setup script (version, of course) the installation errors out and I see these errors in my error log:

[client] PHP Warning:  session_start(): open(/var/lib/php/session/sess_b5b90f86bd3dcfad315ff24cb7483a79, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in /home/www/intranet/phpmyadmin/libraries/ on line 87
[client] PHP Warning:  Unknown(): open(/var/lib/php/session/sess_b5b90f86bd3dcfad315ff24cb7483a79, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in Unknown on line 0
[client] PHP Warning:  Unknown(): Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/var/lib/php/session) in Unknown on line 0

I've done some searching on ServerFault and on teh Googles and I see that a common reason for this error is that the session.save_path isn't writable by the www user. I also found where in /etc/php.ini this URL is set: session.save_path. My session.save_path is set to:

session.save_path = /var/lib/php/session

I've since changed the owner and the group of /var/lib/php/session and still have the same error. Here's the result of ls -la for /var/lib/php

[root@localhost php]# ls -la
total 24
drwxrwxr-x   3 www  www  4096 Oct 23 20:21 .
drwxr-xr-x  17 root root 4096 Oct 23 20:31 ..
drwxrwx---   2 www  www  4096 Jun  1  2009 session

...But I'm still getting the same error. Is there another possibility for why I'm getting this error?

share|improve this question
I should mention that Apache is running as root on the dev server, just as it does on the production server....So permissions shouldn't matter anyway. – Andrew Nov 6 '12 at 19:10

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