Set up PHP

Here you will install multiple versions of PHP and configure them to run in FPM mode.

1 Install

On latest Ubuntu (20.04 in the time of writing), only the latest PHP version (PHP 7.4 in the time of writing) is available in the default repository. For older versions we need to use the ondrej/php PPA repository.

To add this repository, execute on the command line:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then, install imagemagick:

sudo apt install imagemagick

Then, to install PHP 8.2, 8.1, 8.0, 7.4, 7.3, 7.2, 7.1 and 5.6 execute on the command line:

sudo apt install php8.2 php8.2-fpm php8.2-imagick php8.2-gd php8.2-curl php8.2-opcache php8.2-mbstring php8.2-xsl php8.2-intl php8.2-sqlite3 php8.2-zip php8.2-mysql php8.2-bcmath
sudo apt install php8.1 php8.1-fpm php8.1-imagick php8.1-gd php8.1-curl php8.1-opcache php8.1-mbstring php8.1-xsl php8.1-intl php8.1-sqlite3 php8.1-zip php8.1-mysql php8.1-bcmath
sudo apt install php8.0 php8.0-fpm php8.0-imagick php8.0-gd php8.0-curl php8.0-opcache php8.0-mbstring php8.0-xsl php8.0-intl php8.0-sqlite3 php8.0-zip php8.0-mysql php8.0-bcmath
sudo apt install php7.4 php7.4-fpm php7.4-imagick php7.4-gd php7.4-curl php7.4-opcache php7.4-mbstring php7.4-xsl php7.4-intl php7.4-sqlite3 php7.4-zip php7.4-mysql php7.4-bcmath
sudo apt install php7.3 php7.3-fpm php7.3-imagick php7.3-gd php7.3-curl php7.3-opcache php7.3-mbstring php7.3-xsl php7.3-intl php7.3-sqlite3 php7.3-zip php7.3-mysql php7.3-bcmath
sudo apt install php7.2 php7.2-fpm php7.2-imagick php7.2-gd php7.2-curl php7.2-opcache php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xsl php7.2-intl php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-zip php7.2-mysql php7.2-bcmath
sudo apt install php7.1 php7.1-fpm php7.1-imagick php7.1-gd php7.1-curl php7.1-opcache php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xsl php7.1-intl php7.1-sqlite3 php7.1-zip php7.1-mysql php7.1-bcmath
sudo apt install php5.6 php5.6-fpm php5.6-imagick php5.6-gd php5.6-curl php5.6-opcache php5.6-mbstring php5.6-xsl php5.6-intl php5.6-sqlite3 php5.6-zip php5.6-mysql php5.6-bcmath

Now you can select desired default PHP version with:

sudo update-alternatives --config php

2 Configure

2.1 Configure PHP-FPM pool definitions

For each PHP version edit PHP-FPM pool definition files (documented further below) and update it with the following configuration options:

user = brale
group = staff
listen = /var/run/php74-fpm.sock
listen.owner = brale = staff
pm = ondemand
pm.max_children = 6
pm.process_idle_timeout = 15m
pm.max_requests = 128
pm.status_path = /status
ping.path = /ping
ping.response = "pong"

Make sure to use your own user and group instead of brale and staff, and name the socket file corresponding to the PHP version. By default you will have www-data as user and group. Put your own user and group there (by default same as user). Use configuration already existing in the file and do not create duplicate entries.

Note: Configuration files use ; character as a comment, so make sure you remove it as needed.

PHP-FPM resource consumption

Main PHP-FPM manager process takes up a small amount of memory, but spawned workers can take up to few hundred megabytes, depending on the application that was executed. To see how many worker processes are active and how much memory they use you can check the list of processes (ps or pstree on the command line), or open the PHP-FPM status page for the specific PHP version, for example https://home.php73/status?full&html.

Find PHP-FPM pool definitions for your PHP versions in following files


Update these pool definition files as described above.

Note: don’t forget to use sudo as these are editable only by the root user.

3 Configure PHP

For each PHP version find its configuration file (documented further below) and update it with the following configuration options:

date.timezone = Europe/Zagreb
session.gc_maxlifetime = 86400
memory_limit = 256M

Don’t forget to modify error log path to your user’s home directory, and set the correct PHP version depending on the ini file you’re modifying.

Note: Configuration files use ; character as a comment, so make sure you remove it as needed.

Find the configuration for your PHP versions in the following files:


Update these configuration files as described above.

4 Start PHP-FPM services

You can now start PHP services.

sudo systemctl start php8.2-fpm
sudo systemctl start php8.1-fpm
sudo systemctl start php8.0-fpm
sudo systemctl start php7.4-fpm
sudo systemctl start php7.3-fpm
sudo systemctl start php7.2-fpm
sudo systemctl start php7.1-fpm
sudo systemctl start php5.6-fpm

Except start, you can also use commands such as: * status - to see if PHP-FPM service is running * stop - to stop the PHP-FPM service * restart - to restart the PHP-FPM service (does stop then start)

Remember to restart the FPM server after changing the configuration.

Note: by default all PHP-FPM services are set-up to automatically start after a reboot. To check if a service is enabled to automatically start on boot use:

sudo systemctl is-enabled php7.4-fpm

And then you can enable it with:

sudo systemctl enable php7.4-fpm

Or disable with:

sudo systemctl disable php7.4-fpm

6 Install PHP extensions

Installed PHP will come with built-in extension, but if your project requires additional extensions, these have to be installed separately.

Simply install the PHP extension you need, for example:

sudo apt install php5.6-mysql

Note: Some extensions do not have a PHP version in their name, eg.

sudo apt install php-memcached

7 Install PHP CS Fixer

In order for code to be in line with both, general PHP coding standards and company coding standards, PHP CS Fixer is required on most of the projects.

Follow globally installation instructions on official installation instructions page.