Last week I had a question here about suexec / suphp but I tried to accomplish too much. I'm going to narrow the scope a bit and try again.

I'd like to configure a LAMP server to host multiple clients. I'd like it to seem (from the client's viewpoint) just like any other shared hosting environment. Web sites in their home directory, no need to muck around with file ownerships to get pages served, etc. It would seem that a configuration that involves suexec and suphp is the way to go(?)

I'm specifically looking for a current/modern guide on how to accomplish this (I'll be using CentOS if it matters) and I'm afraid I need more than a link to Apache docs. Are there any good How-To's out there? The few I've found have been pretty out of date, but it is quite possible my search was weak.


I'd say you should check out 3 main lightweight servers. Each work using php-fastcgi (or something similar) and all have their pros and cons.

  • www.cherokee-project.com
    • www.cherokee-project.com/doc/cookbook_php.html
    • www.cherokee-project.com/doc/cookbook_wordpress.html
    • www.cherokee-project.com/doc/cookbook.html
  • nginx.org
    • wiki.nginx.org/NginxConfiguration
  • www.lighttpd.net (as suggested by apenwarr)
    • redmine.lighttpd.net/wiki/1/TutorialLighttpdAndPHP

Nowadays the way to go isn't apache and suexec at all. Try using lighttpd and php-fastcgi; this gives you excellent process isolation and performance: php is always running, and each user gets their own, but they don't bloat the memory of the web server itself.


  • 1
    Intriguing. Will my usual LAMP apps work in that world? (WordPress, for example) – Chris_K May 5 '10 at 3:14
  • Yup, it's still normal PHP. – apenwarr May 5 '10 at 17:50
  • Sorry, I should've been a bit more explicit -- WordPress relies on apache's mod_rewrite for "pretty" URLs. That's what I'm more concerned with. But heck, I guess I should just give it a shot. – Chris_K May 5 '10 at 18:27

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