Hardware and Software Requirements PHP

One great advantage of Open Source software is that it provides the opportunity for adaptation to new environments. This is true of PHP. Although originally intended as a module for the Apache Web server, PHP has since embraced the ISAPI standard, which allows it to work equally well with Microsoft's Internet Information Server. With regard to hardware requirements, wehave personally witnessed PHP running on 100-MHz Pentium machines running Slackware Linux and Windows NT, respectively. Performance was fine for use as a personal development environment. A site expected to receive thousands of requests a day would need faster hardware, of course. Although more resources are needed when comparing a PHP-powered site to a flat HTML site, the requirements are not dramatically different. Despite my example, you are not limited to Intel hardware. PHP works equally well on PowerPC and Sparc CPUs.

When choosing an operating system, you have the general choice between Windows and a UNIX-like OS. PHP will run on Windows 95 and 98, although these operating systems aren't suited for high-traffic Web servers. It will also run on Windows NT and its successor, Windows 2000. For UNIX operating systems, PHP works well with Linux and Solaris, as well as others. If you have chosen a PPC-based system, such as a Macintosh, you may choose LinuxPPC, a version of Linux. You may pursue the commercial WebTen Web server that runs in the Macintosh OS. Chad Cunningham has contributed patches for compiling PHP in Apple's OS X. In 1999 Brian Havard added support for IBM's OS/2.

PHP still works best with the Apache Web server. But it now works very well with IIS. It also compiles as a module for the fhttpd Web server. You can make PHP work with almost any Web server using the CGI version, but I don't recommend this setup for production Web sites. If you are using UNIX, we recommend compiling PHP as an Apache module. If you are using Windows NT, pursue IIS.


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