How To Set Up Multiple PHP Versions in Webmin

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What is Webmin?

Webmin is a browser-based graphical interface to help you administrate your Linux server.  Much like cPanel or Plesk, Webmin allows you to set up and manage accounts, Apache, DNS zones, users and configurations.  As these configurations can get somewhat complicated Webmin works to simplify this process. The result is fewer issues during server and domain setup.  Which results in a stable server and a pleasant administration experience. Unlike Plesk or cPanel, Webmin is completely free and open to the public. Unfortunately, here at Liquid Web, we do not offer managed support for Webmin, but we are always willing to assist as much as possible when issues arise.   You can download Webmin from their site. Also, you can find some excellent documentation on this interface.  

Installing Webmin

Before beginning “if you have not already” you will need to install Webmin on your server.  For this article, we will mainly be working with Webmin installed on a Ubuntu VPS server. However, it is very similar to CentOS, therefore, we have included instructions for both operating systems below.
  • First, you will need to access your server SSH. If you are not sure how to SSH into your server, please visit our link on the subject.  
  • Once you are logged into your server SSH, please run the following commands in order or copy and paste the entire syntax.
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb sarge contrib" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webmin.list'wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get install webmin
(echo "[Webmin] name=Webmin Distribution Neutral baseurl= enabled=1 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=" >/etc/yum.repos.d/webmin.repo; yum -y install webmin)  

Accessing Webmin

Webmin is a web-based application.  So once Webmin is installed, you can access Webmin by using a browser of your choice.   Be sure to make sure port 10000 is open on your server as Webmin utilizes this port to function.  We have included steps below to ensure the correct port is open for iptables and firewalld.
iptables-save > /tmp/tabsav vi /tmp/tabsav iptables-restore < /tmp/tabsavYou should be able to use the command above to alter you iptables to look something like what we have included below. # Generated by iptables-save v1.4.7 on Thu Jan 3 00:02:49 2019 *filter :INPUT ACCEPT [0:0] :FORWARD ACCEPT [0:0] :OUTPUT ACCEPT [3044:1198306] -A INPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT -A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT -A INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT -A INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited-A FORWARD -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited COMMIT # Completed on Thu Jan 3 00:02:49 2019
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=10000/tcp --permanent firewall-cmd --reload Once you have made sure port 10000 is open, you should be able to access the Webmin interface by entering in your servers IP address followed by the port number “10000” Example:             <—— should be replaced with your server IP.

webmin login

Installing PHP Versions in Webmin

There is a lot of situations where we may need to use multiple PHP versions.  For example, you may have multiple domains or applications on your server that require an older version of PHP while at the same time you may have newer domains that are configured for newer versions of PHP.   For this article, we will be installing PHP7 and PHP5.6 on Debian. Step 1: First, you will want to SSH into your server and run the following command. apt-get install php7.0-cli php7.0-fpmYou can check the installation after it has completed by running php –v in your terminal. Step 2: Now here is where things tend to get tricky.  By default, Debian only offers a single PHP version in the official repository. So, we will have to add an additional repository for Debian. While adding this repository, it is good practice to enable HTTPS for APT and register the APT key. You can accomplish this by executing the commands we have included below. apt-get install apt-transport-https curl | apt-key add - echo 'deb stretch main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ apt-get update Once the repository is added, we can go ahead and add our second PHP version to the server. apt-get install php5.6-cli php5.6-fpmWe can now check both PHP versions on the server by running these commands. php7.0 -V Output:

php7.0 -V Output:

php5.6 -V Output:

php5.6 -V Output:

Now that we have confirmed both PHP versions are installed you can access their configuration files in the following directories.
  • /etc/php/5.6/cli/php.ini
  • /etc/php/7.0./cli/php.ini
Step 3: To make things easier, later on, we will want to add the location of the configuration files to Webmin.  This can be done from within the Webmin interface.
  1. Log into Webmin
  2. Navigate to Others >> PHP Configuration
  3. Add the PHP configuration file location
  4. Click Save
PHP Configuration You can use this tool to add and edit directives for different PHP versions. For example, you’ll be able to edit PHP’s memory limit, timeout length, extensions and more.  This simply helps consolidate configurations within one interface. From here we can just use a .htaccess file to specify what version of PHP a site should use. Step 4: If you do not have this file already within your document root you can add this file by navigating to /var/www/exampledomain/  and running the following command to indicate which PHP version you are going to use. echo "AddHandler application/x-httpd-php56 .php" >  .htaccess  | chown exampleuser. .htaccess echo "AddHandler application/x-httpd-php70.php" >  .htaccess  | chown exampleuser. .htaccess Step 5: Once you have completed this, you can test to see if your site is running on the desired PHP version.  You can accomplish this by creating a PHP information page. by making a file in your document root, usually in the path of /var/www/html/ You will want to insert the code below and save the file. <? phpinfo(); ?>   After you have created this file, you can view the page by visiting your domain followed by the name of the file you created.  For example, Congratulations you can now use Webmin to accomplish your daily admin tasks!  Take a look at our Cloud VPS servers for 24/7 support and lightning speed servers!
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