Configure PHP in CentOS Linux

PHP is the one of the most prolific web languages in use today. Installing a LAMP Stack on CentOS is something every system administrator will need to perform, most likely sooner than later.

A traditional LAMP Stack consists of (L)inux (A)pache (M)ySQL (P)HP.

There are three main components to a LAMP Stack on CentOS −

  • Web Server
  • Web Development Platform / Language
  • Database Server

Note − The term LAMP Stack can also include the following technologies: PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Perl, Python, Ruby, NGINX Webserver.

For this tutorial, we will stick with the traditional LAMP Stack of CentOS GNU Linux: Apache web server, MySQL Database Server, and PHP.

We will actually be using MariaDB. MySQL configuration files, databases and tables are transparent to MariaDB. MariaDB is now included in the standard CentOS repository instead of MySQL. This is due to the limitations of licensing and open-source compliance, since Oracle has taken over the development of MySQL.

The first thing we need to do is install Apache.

[root@CentOS]# yum install httpd
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
| 3.6 kB  00:00:00
| 3.4 kB  00:00:00
| 3.4 kB  00:00:00
| 121 kB  00:00:00
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* base:
* extras:
* updates:
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package httpd.x86_64 0:2.4.6-45.el7.centos will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: httpd-tools = 2.4.6-45.el7.centos for package:
--> Processing Dependency: /etc/mime.types for package: httpd-2.4.645.el7.centos.x86_64
--> Running transaction check
---> Package httpd-tools.x86_64 0:2.4.6-45.el7.centos will be installed
---> Package mailcap.noarch 0:2.1.41-2.el7 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
httpd.x86_64 0:2.4.6-45.el7.centos

Dependency Installed:
httpd-tools.x86_64 0:2.4.6-45.el7.centos
mailcap.noarch 0:2.1.41-2.el7


Let's configure httpd service.

[root@CentOS]# systemctl start httpd && systemctl enable httpd

Now, let's make sure the web-server is accessible through firewalld.

bash-3.2# nmap -sS -p 1-1024 -T 5  -sV 
Starting Nmap 7.30 ( ) at 2017-01-28 02:00 MST 
Nmap scan report for centos.shared ( 
Host is up (0.00054s latency). 
Not shown: 1022 filtered ports 
22/tcp open  ssh     OpenSSH 6.6.1 (protocol 2.0) 
80/tcp open  http    Apache httpd 2.4.6 ((CentOS))

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at . 
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 10.82 seconds bash-3.2#

As you can see by the nmap service probe, Apache webserver is listening and responding to requests on the CentOS host.

Install MySQL Database Server

[root@CentOS rdc]# yum install mariadb-server.x86_64 && yum install mariadb-
devel.x86_64 && mariadb.x86_64 && mariadb-libs.x86_64

We are installing the following repository packages for MariaDB −


The main MariaDB Server daemon package.


Files need to compile from the source with MySQL/MariaDB compatibility.


MariaDB client utilities for administering MariaDB Server from the command line.


Common libraries for MariaDB that could be needed for other applications compiled with MySQL/MariaDB support.

Now, let's start and enable the MariaDB Service.

[root@CentOS]# systemctl start mariadb 
[root@CentOS]# systemctl enable  mariadb

Note − Unlike Apache, we will not enable connections to MariaDB through our host-based firewall (firewalld). When using a database server, it's considered best security practice to only allow local socket connections, unless the remote socket access is specifically needed.

Let's make sure the MariaDB Server is accepting connections.

[root@CentOS#] netstat -lnt 
Active Internet connections (only servers) 
Proto     Recv-Q     Send-Q     Local Address        Foreign Address      State       
tcp            0          0*            LISTEN      
tcp            0          0*            LISTEN      
tcp            0          0*            LISTEN      
tcp            0          0 *            LISTEN      
tcp            0          0*            LISTEN      
tcp            0          0*            LISTEN 
[root@CentOS rdc]#

As we can see, MariaDB is listening on port 3306 tcp. We will leave our host-based firewall (firewalld) blocking incoming connections to port 3306.

Install and Configure PHP

[root@CentOS#]  yum install php.x86_64 && php-common.x86_64 && php-mysql.x86_64 
&& php-mysqlnd.x86_64 && php-pdo.x86_64 && php-soap.x86_64 && php-xml.x86_64

I'd recommend installing the following php packages for common compatibility −

  • php-common.x86_64
  • php-mysql.x86_64
  • php-mysqlnd.x86_64
  • php-pdo.x86_64
  • php-soap.x86_64
  • php-xml.x86_64
[root@CentOS]# yum install -y php-common.x86_64 php-mysql.x86_64 php-
mysqlnd.x86_64 php-pdo.x86_64 php-soap.x86_64 php-xml.x86_64

This is our simple php file located in the Apache webroot of /var/www/html/

[root@CentOS]# cat /var/www/html/index.php  
      <title>PHP Test Page</title> 
      PHP Install 
         echo "We are now running PHP on GNU Centos Linux!<br />" 


Let's change the owning group of our page to the system user our http daemon is running under.

[root@CentOS]# chgrp httpd /var/www/html/index.php && chmod g+rx /var/www/html/index.php

When requested manually via ncat.

bash-3.2# ncat 80 
   GET / index.php 
   HTTP/1.1 200 OK 
   Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 12:06:02 GMT 
   Server: Apache/2.4.6 (CentOS) PHP/5.4.16 
   X-Powered-By: PHP/5.4.16 
   Content-Length: 137 
   Connection: close 
   Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
      <title>PHP Test Page</title> 
      PHP Install 
      We are now running PHP on GNU Centos Linux!<br />


PHP and LAMP are very popular web-programming technologies. LAMP installation and configuration is sure to come up on your list of needs as a CentOS Administrator. Easy to use CentOS packages have taken a lot of work from compiling Apache, MySQL, and PHP from the source code.

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