Blog di Bernardino (Dino) Ciuffetti

03 Set 12 apache2 + mod_fastcgi + php 5.3 + PHP-FPM

This is a very quick guide to get your feet wet with PHP 5.3 + PHP-FPM fastcgi support and apache webserver.
The PHP-FPM is basically a fastcgi compliant pool of PHP processes spawned on the system, ready to quickly accept connections, for example via TCP. It’s generally used to greatly improove PHP scalability, security and performance.

Start by installing apache, no matter if it’s a binary installation or if it’s compiled from source code (I assume this step is already done).

Once you have a valid apache installation, you need to compile the mod_fastcgi module.
NOTE: don’t use mod_fcgid or any other fastcgi provider but mod_fastcgi: it’s proved to be stable and to work well with PHP-FPM.

To install mod_fastcgi you have to:

  1. download mod_fastcgi:
  2. untar the package, then compile the apache module with: /your_apache_path/bin/apxs -o -c *.c
  3. install the module with: /your_apache_path/bin/apxs -i -a -n fastcgi .libs/

Now, compile PHP with the fpm support, or install a already compiled PHP binary package.

Here I’ll cover how to compile it from source.

Start by downloading the latest php 5.3 version from

When you have done, untar the PHP source package and enter into the extracted php-5.3.x directory.
Now create a file called and put this stuff inside it:

./configure  \
–prefix=/usr/local/php53 \
–with-libdir=lib64 \
–enable-pcntl \
–enable-mbstring=shared \
–enable-mbregex \
–with-gd=shared \
–enable-bcmath=shared \
–with-xmlrpc=shared \
–with-mysql=shared,/usr \
–with-mysqli=shared,/usr/bin/mysql_config \
–enable-dom=shared \
–enable-soap=shared \
–with-xsl=shared,/usr \
–enable-xmlreader=shared –enable-xmlwriter=shared \
–with-pdo-mysql=shared,/usr \
–enable-json=shared \
–enable-zip=shared \
–with-readline \
–with-jpeg-dir=/usr \
–with-png-dir=/usr \
–with-pear \
–with-ldap=shared \
–enable-fpm \
–with-fpm-user=apache \

Your mileage may vary here, so please double check row by row if you need to modify something. The FPM part are the last 3 lines.

NOTE: you cannot compile PHP as FPM and SAPI at the same time.

Now, make the file executable with: chmod 755
and run the executable with: ./

Wait that the configure script is done. If no errors are encountered you can proceed with make and make install as usual.
Remember to create the php.ini configuration file if you need it.
You should now end up with a fresh PHP installation into /usr/local/php53 (or any other path you given to the prefix configure attribute).

Ok, now it’s time to configure the php-fpm (change /usr/local/php53 with your path if it’s different):

cd /usr/local/php53/etc
cp php-fpm.conf.default php-fpm.conf
vi php-fpm.conf

You generally don’t need to modify anything here, but if you want you can touch something.
Now start the php-fpm process pool by running this command by the root user: /usr/local/php53/sbin/php-fpm

If anything gone ok you should have some process up and running, something like this:

25976 ?        Ss     0:00 php-fpm: master process (/usr/local/php53/etc/php-fpm.conf)
4945 ?        S      0:00  \_ php-fpm: pool www
4946 ?        S      0:00  \_ php-fpm: pool www
4947 ?        S      0:00  \_ php-fpm: pool www

If you didn’t modify the php-fpm.conf, the process pool listen for fastcgi requests to TCP

It’s time to configure a apache virtualhost with PHP support using this brand new fpm.

Edit the httpd.conf apache configuration file (or another included file where you store the virtualhost) and append this stuff (I assume that apache is installed into /opt/apache2):

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot “/opt/apache2/htdocs”
ServerName “”
ErrorLog “logs/your_servername-error_log”
CustomLog “logs/your_servername-access_log” common

FastCgiExternalServer /opt/apache2/htdocs/php5.sock -host
AddHandler php5-fcgi .php
Action php5-fcgi /tmp/php5.sock
Alias /tmp /opt/apache2/htdocs

<Directory “/opt/apache2/htdocs”>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order deny,allow
Allow from all

Any file whose name ends for “.php” into your document root should now be associated to the PHP fastcgi handler and the requests should be routed to the php-fpm process pool. Each php-fpm process is reused according to the php-fpm.conf configuration file.

Restart apache and enjoy (any comment are welcome).

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