The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial from author Andrew Carter showing you how you can use the Raspberry Pi hardware to power a PHP-based application with a bit of simple setup.
A Raspberry Pi is a brilliant tiny computer that you can power off of a micro USB cable. The most recent model has WiFi, an ethernet port, 4 USB ports and an HDMI port. There’s also a micro SD card slot, which is where the “hard drive” goes.
It’s capable of running Raspbian Linux, which is a Debian based Linux distribution. This makes it familiar to Ubuntu users who can then just sudo apt-get install all the things. Like with any Linux machine, you can install PHP on it and make a website – but we can do so much more than that!
He starts with the equipment you'll need to follow along with the tutorial - a recent Raspberry Pi model with wifi and a bit of other electronics equipment (he also recommends a starter kit for those new to this hardware world). Once the Pi is set up, he then installs PHP via an
apt-get package install along with the PiPHP: GPIO library that makes working with the input/output simpler via PHP. He then shows the wiring you'll need to do to get a LED and button connected. A simple script is included that sets up a watcher on the button input and, when the "push" event is fired, it blinks the LED five times.
He finishes the post with a look at some of his own testing and preparation for a talk on this same subject with some slightly humorous results.