2

I want to both keep the latest PHP provided with Ubuntu and to have a specific PHP version installed somewhere. Is it doable? Can I just compile the PHP in some folder and then somewhere in Apache configs (I mean the apache provided with Ubuntu) switch between PHP dirs when needed.

4

Yes, you can. Fisrt compile & install new php, and then define your new php as a cgi module to apache. open apache config file and add this lines

<Directory /your/desired/directory/>
        AddHandler my-php-script .php
        Action my-php-script /path/to/your/php_executable
</Directory>

or you may system wide define new extension

AddHandler my-php-script .myphp
Action my-php-script /path/to/your/php_executable

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