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Installs and configures PHP 5.3 and the PEAR package management system. Also includes LWRPs for managing PEAR (and PECL) packages along with PECL channels.



  • Debian, Ubuntu
  • CentOS, Red Hat, Fedora


  • build-essential
  • xml
  • mysql

These cookbooks are only used when building PHP from source.


  • node["php"]["install_method"] = method to install php with, default package.

The file also contains the following attribute types:

  • platform specific locations and settings.
  • source installation settings


This cookbook includes LWRPs for managing:

  • PEAR channels
  • PEAR/PECL packages


PEAR Channels are alternative sources for PEAR packages. This LWRP provides and easy way to manage these channels.


  • :discover: Initialize a channel from its server.
  • :add: Add a channel to the channel list, usually only used to add private channels. Public channels are usually added using the :discover action
  • :update: Update an existing channel
  • :remove: Remove a channel from the List

Attribute Parameters

  • channel_name: name attribute. The name of the channel to discover
  • channel_xml: the channel.xml file of the channel you are adding


# discover the horde channel
php_pear_channel "" do
  action :discover

# download xml then add the symfony channel
remote_file "#{Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]}/symfony-channel.xml" do
  source ""
  mode 0644
php_pear_channel "symfony" do
  channel_xml "#{Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]}/symfony-channel.xml"
  action :add

# update the main pear channel
php_pear_channel '' do
  action :update

# update the main pecl channel
php_pear_channel '' do
  action :update


PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. PECL is a repository for PHP Extensions. PECL contains C extensions for compiling into PHP. As C programs, PECL extensions run more efficiently than PEAR packages. PEARs and PECLs use the same packaging and distribution system. As such this LWRP is clever enough to abstract away the small differences and can be used for managing either. This LWRP also creates the proper module .ini file for each PECL extension at the correct location for each supported platform.


  • :install: Install a pear package - if version is provided, install that specific version
  • :upgrade: Upgrade a pear package - if version is provided, upgrade to that specific version
  • :remove: Remove a pear package
  • :purge: Purge a pear package (this usually entails removing configuration files as well as the package itself). With pear packages this behaves the same as :remove

Attribute Parameters

  • package_name: name attribute. The name of the pear package to install
  • version: the version of the pear package to install/upgrade. If no version is given latest is assumed.
  • preferred_state: PEAR by default installs stable packages only, this allows you to install pear packages in a devel, alpha or beta state
  • directives: extra extension directives (settings) for a pecl. on most platforms these usually get rendered into the extension's .ini file
  • options: Add additional options to the underlying pear package command


# upgrade a pear
php_pear "XML_RPC" do
  action :upgrade

# install a specific version
php_pear "XML_RPC" do
  version "1.5.4"
  action :install

# install the mongodb pecl
php_pear "mongo" do
  action :install

# install apc pecl with directives
php_pear "apc" do
  action :install
  directives(:shm_size => 128, :enable_cli => 1)

# install the beta version of Horde_Url 
# from the horde channel
hc = php_pear_channel "" do
  action :discover
php_pear "Horde_Url" do
  preferred_state "beta"
  channel hc.channel_name
  action :install

# install the YAML pear from the symfony project
sc = php_pear_channel "" do
  action :discover
php_pear "YAML" do
  channel sc.channel_name
  action :install



Include the default recipe in a run list, to get php. By default php is installed from packages but this can be changed by using the install_method attribute.


This recipe installs PHP from packages.


This recipe installs PHP from source.

Deprecated Recipes

The following recipes are deprecated and will be removed from a future version of this cookbook.

  • module_apc
  • module_curl
  • module_fileinfo
  • module_fpdf
  • module_gd
  • module_ldap
  • module_memcache
  • module_mysql
  • module_pgsql
  • module_sqlite3

The installation of the php modules in these recipes can now be accomplished by installing from a native package or via the new php_pear LWRP. For example, the functionality of the module_memcache recipe can be enabled in the following ways:

# using apt
package "php5-memcache" do
  action :install

# using pear LWRP
php_pear "memcache" do
  action :install


Simply include the php recipe where ever you would like php installed. To install from source override the node['php']['install_method'] attribute with in a role:

name "php"
description "Install php from source"
  "php" => {
    "install_method" => "source"

License and Author

Author:: Seth Chisamore ( Author:: Joshua Timberman (

Copyright:: 2011, Opscode, Inc

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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