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I am a web developer and I am looking to start my next (Rather huge) project using a PHP framework called Laravel, which requires at a minimum PHP 5.4. Currently, on my company's web server we run Centos 6, along with PHP 5.3.3.

I know that it is indeed possible to install PHP 5.4+ on my Centos 6 system using third party repositories (For example: https://webtatic.com/packages/php54/) however I am looking for advice on the implications of doing this.

Since 5.3.3 is the most up to date package available in the normal repositories, I was wondering if there was a reason 5.4+ has not yet been added. Perhaps there is some kind of instability with 5.4+ and Centos 6? If I decide to install 5.4+ on my server, is there a chance anything could break?

If I had to roll back to 5.3.3, the application I build in Laravel will be essentially useless, so I just want to know all the ins and outs before I decide to either upgrade to 5.4 and use Laravel or change my approach to the application i.e. go for another framework.

Just looking for some advice before making the decision.

Thanks.

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This is pretty much answered in their FAQ. This is a policy decision, not a technical/compatibility one (http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/General#head-472ce8446ebcfc82ca1800f775ba0e629ac835c7):

  1. Where can I get the latest version of XyZ.rpm for CentOS? I cannot find it anywhere.

CentOS is an Enterprise-class operating system and as such is more about stability and long-term support than cutting edge. Major package versions are retained throughout the life cycle of the product. This is generally what Enterprise wants and affords developers a stable base on which to develop without fear that bespoke applications will break every time something gets upgraded to the latest and greatest, but ultimately buggy version or the API changes breaking backwards compatibility.

So no, you will generally NOT find the very latest versions of various packages included in an Enterprise-class operating system such as CentOS. It's a feature not a deficiency.

This is the reason you will never get PHP 5.4.x on CentOS 5.x from base.

If I decide to install 5.4+ on my server, is there a chance anything could break?

Of course, there is always a risk, especially when using cutting edge versions.
But in reality if you use a good 3rd party repo (I personally like ius) then it's usually OK.

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