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I want to install PHP7 and on Centos you can only do that by installing extra repositories. I see a variety of them (remi, ius, webtatic), and the comments on forums are both pro and contra.

I am not asking for personal opinions, but I am interested in what are the professional reasons to chose one over another - criteria that I should take into account and possible pitfalls that I should avoid.

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Notice than the most "official" solution to install recent versions of various software on Red Hat / CentOS are Software Collections.

Red Hat Software Collections version 2.3 provides both php 5.6 and 7.0, and are maintained by Red Hat, and available for CentOS users in centos-scl repository, maintained by the SCLo SIG.

An interesting solution comparison: Running newer applications on CentOS

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For php just go with the remi repo. It is actively maintained and it's maintainer works for RH. You can even install it as a Software Collection.

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  • All the ones that I've mentioned are maintained, I want to understand what makes them different. I am not interested in maintaining version 5 or other parallel versions. If I understand correctly you recommend Remi because he works at RH, but I see lots of people complaining about the quality of Remi repositories. – Elzo Valugi Jan 2 '17 at 14:14
  • There isn't really any science here, just my experience. For me it goes like this, Official repos->EPEL->Wild West. I've never has an issue with Remi repos, other people's milage may vary. The main problem is if you have too many repos then things get messy. This can be see here on SF, the number of people who get into dependency hell because they have something installed from xyzzy repo that conflicts with an update from plugh repo or worse still an official repo. – user9517 Jan 2 '17 at 14:23
  • About "remi" repository, this is the repository where things happen first. It is used as upstream for Fedora, Then RHEL, CentOS and RHSCL. Other 3rd party repositories are just pulling sources from there (ex PHP 7.1 was available there since June, in Fedora since November...). Please also compare list of available extensions, e.g. blog.remirepo.net/pages/PECL-extensions-RPM-status – Remi Collet Jan 2 '17 at 17:54
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    @ElzoValugi I have yet to see a "complaint" about remi's repos that wasn't actually caused by another repo, or the users themselves. – Michael Hampton Jan 2 '17 at 18:33
  • @MichaelHampton That is a common misconception. The reason users have problems when they mix repos with Remi's repos has less to do with the other repos, and more to do with the fact that Remi doesn't play nice with other third party repositories. He aggressively obsoletes packages from other repos, when a simple conflict would be sufficient. He even obsoletes packages from the base distribution, and you don't know when he will add another obsoleting package, so good luck leaving his repo enabled. – carlwgeorge Feb 13 '17 at 2:39
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I am one of the IUS core developers. On multiple occasions, users have given me feedback that the reason they use IUS is that it is sponsored by Rackspace and maintained by multiple Rackspace engineers. The other repos mentioned in the original question (Remi and Webtatic) are maintained by individuals. The bus factor for individual side projects is not optimal, regardless of employer.

RHSCL is the official Red Hat solution, however it has several disadvantages as compared to to IUS.

  • less frequent updates
  • usually a shorter life cycle
  • arguably more confusing usage
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  • We've used IUS on our CentOS and RHEL VMs for probably close to 5 years now and it's been a great experience. Packages are more up to date than what you get from the RHEL channels, clear naming conventions which decreases confusion with server maintenance and no concern about the maintainers (aka wild west). I used REMI for a couple years but I did run in to difficult dependency issues at times and confusing naming conventions. – user12345 Jan 28 at 19:50

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