Yes, you can have PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 installed and running simultaneously on the same server. This can be beneficial when you have legacy applications that require PHP 5.6 while also wanting to take advantage of the performance and features of PHP 7 for newer projects.
Setting Up Multiple PHP Versions
To set up multiple PHP versions on your server, you can use tools like FastCGI Process Manager (FPM) and Apache’s mod_proxy_fcgi. These tools allow you to run different PHP versions concurrently and switch between them based on the directory or domain.
Using FastCGI Process Manager (FPM)
You can install PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 FPM packages on your server. Once installed, you can configure them to listen on different ports or Unix sockets. For example, PHP 5.6 FPM can listen on port 9000, while PHP 7 FPM can listen on port 9001. You can then configure your web server (e.g., Nginx or Apache) to use the respective PHP version based on the location or domain.
Using Apache’s mod_proxy_fcgi
If you’re using Apache, you can utilize mod_proxy_fcgi to achieve a similar setup. You would configure Apache to proxy requests to different PHP-FPM instances based on the directory or virtual host, effectively allowing you to run PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 concurrently.
Managing PHP Versions
Once you have multiple PHP versions set up, it’s essential to have a way to manage which version is used for each project or website. There are several ways to achieve this, including using .htaccess directives, server configuration files, or custom scripts that switch PHP versions based on the project’s requirements.
Considerations and Best Practices
While running multiple PHP versions is possible, it’s crucial to consider the maintenance and security implications. Both PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 have reached end-of-life, meaning they no longer receive security updates. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to upgrade to supported PHP versions (PHP 7.2 or higher) for ongoing security and performance benefits.
In conclusion, running PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 concurrently is feasible and can be advantageous for transitioning between legacy and modern applications. However, it’s important to prioritize the migration to supported PHP versions for long-term stability and security. Proper management and consideration of best practices are essential when maintaining multiple PHP versions on a server.