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Upgrading PHP for WordPress v3.2…

:: Monday, July 11th, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

WordPress v3.2 was just released last week and if you didn’t bother to read the Development Blog you probably didn’t get the memo that some of the minimum system requirements for the new version of WordPress have changed. Your system must now support PHP 5.2.4 or better and MySQL 5.0 or better. In other words, older systems that do not get maintained and updated on a somewhat regular basis might have a problem when users of WordPress try to update their blogs to version 3.2! If you’re an end-user running your blog on someone else’s server, you will simply need to contact your server administrator and have them perform the upgrades.  If you’re like me and maintain your own servers, you’ll have to perform the upgrades yourself.

You can find the how-to info online at the php.net Website or by searching your particular system and the module you’re looking to upgrade on Google. For my system, which is a Linux system running CentOS v5.6, it was a fairly easy upgrade, but the trick is that only one version of PHP can be installed and running on the server at a time. PHP 5.1.x will not upgrade automatically to the new version PHP 5.3.6, so you first have to uninstall the old version completely before installing the new version. If you’re running CentOS 5.6 (or Red Hat 5.6 for Linux) there are now PHP 5.3 packages already included in the OS, and ready to be installed. 

Here’s how you can upgrade from an installed version of PHP 5.1.x to PHP 5.3.6 using ‘command line’.

1) First stop the Apache Web Server:

~# service httpd stop

2) Remove the old 5.1.x PHP Packages:

~# yum remove php php-*

~# yum remove php-common

3) Install the new PHP 5.3 packages:

~# yum install php53

~# yum install php53-cli

~# yum install php53-common

~# yum install php53-devel (If you need development support)

~# yum install php53-gd (Needed for a verity of WordPress plugins)

~# yum install php53-mbstring

~# yum install php53-mysql

~# yum install php53-soap

~# yum install php53-xml

~# yum install php53-xmlrpc

~# yum install php53-bcmath

~# yum install php53-snmp

4) Start Apache again:

~# service httpd start

And that’s all there is to it. You need to also check to see what MySQL database version you’re running, but if it’s 5.0 or better you shouldn’t have any problems updating to WordPress 3.2.

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