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Ben Ramsey:
Setting Up Jenkins on Amazon Linux for PHP Testing
August 08, 2014 @ 09:36:33

Ben Ramsey has posted a complete walk-through of setting up and configuring Jenkins on an AWS instance for testing your PHP applications.

One of my first tasks at ShootProof was to set up a Jenkins server for continuous integration and get it ready to run unit tests for PHP and JavaScript code. There are plenty of tutorials around the web to help you do just that. This is yet another one, but it's primarily my cleaned-up notes -and less of a tutorial - placed here for my future self to find and provided publicly for all to benefit. These instructions are specifically tailored for setting up Jenkins on an Amazon Linux EC2 instance.

While he doesn't call it a "tutorial" it's still a great step-by-step guide to the things you'll need and the process to follow including commands, installing and starting Jenkins and configuring the environment to execute your tests. The main goal was to set it up for PHP-based applications, but he also throws in the setup of some Javascript testing via Node.js and the PhantomJS/CasperJS combo.

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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2014/08/setting-up-jenkins-on-amazon-linux-for-php-testing/

The Geek Stuff:
How to Configure Nginx to Execute PHP Using PHP-FPM
December 23, 2013 @ 11:22:01

On The Geek Stuff site there's a recent post showing you how to set up and configure Nginx to execute PHP using PHP-FPM on your linux-based system. (A related post shows some of the differences between Nginx and Apache on the same site.)

Nginx is pronounced as "Engine-X", which is a web server and reverse proxy server. Nginx is well known for its speed and ability to handle large number of requests simultaneously with optimal use of resources. PHP-FPM stands for "PHP-FastCGI process manager". [...] This tutorial provides instructions on how to install and configure Nginx with PHP-FPM, which will help you to execute PHP programs in Nginx.

He's broken it up into five simple steps, complete with the exact commands you'll need to make it work:

  • Install Nginx
  • Install PHP5-FPM
  • Add PHP Configuration to Nginx
  • Set listen Parameter in php5-fpm www.conf
  • Restart the Nginx and PHP5-FPM and Test it
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Link: http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2013/12/nginx-php-fpm/

Chris Jones:
DTracing a PHPUnit Test Looking at Functional Programming
November 04, 2013 @ 11:04:20

On his Oracle blog Chris Jones has shared more details about using DTrace for dynamic tracing of the execution of your application. In this new post he looks more specifically at using it to trace through a PHPUnit test for a functional programming example.

I was reading the article Functional Programming in PHP by Patkos Csaba and wondering how efficient this type of programming is. I thought this would be a good time to fire up DTrace and see what is going on. Since DTrace is "always available" even in production machines (once PHP is compiled with --enable-dtrace), this was easy to do.

Using the code provided from the other post he sets things up to run some sample tests via PHPUnit. He makes a simple DTrace D script to configure a tracer to watch for "function entry" and "function exit" during execution, outputting the function tree each time when the given function is found (via a parameter). He includes both the command to run the test with the trace and an example of the output result.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/dtracing_a_phpunit_test_looking

Chris Jones:
DTrace PHP Using Oracle Linux 'playground' Pre-Built Packages
October 03, 2013 @ 09:12:07

Related to some of his other posts about using DTrace with PHP, Chris Jones has a new post about using pre-built packages to make using it even easier.

We've released DTrace-enabled PHP 5.5.4 RPMs to make testing DTrace on Oracle Linux easier. As a result, the manual PHP install steps listed in Using PHP DTrace on Oracle Linux can be skipped. There are updated Betas of the "UEK3" Linux Kernel 3.8.13-16 and the dtrace-utils tools available too. With these, you now can DTrace PHP applications under Apache or with php-fpm, as well as command line PHP scripts.

He includes the full instructions on how to install the Oracle Linux distribution and grab the Oracle Instant Client libraries used for the "playground" packages. Next up is the PHP install - a quick call to yum - and a simple script showing how to set DTrace probe. Some sample output of the trace is shown and an slight modification to the probe showing how to find only calls from a certain source.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/dtrace_php_using_oracle_linux

Chris Jones:
DTrace with PHP Update
September 05, 2013 @ 09:06:16

Chris Jones has posted an update to his previous article about DTrace and PHP (found here) and some of the updates Oracle has made to introduce things like "user-level statistically defined tracing" (USDT).

At the end of last year, I blogged about Adding DTrace Probes to PHP Extensions and how Linux's SystemTap could be used to trace the DTrace probe points. Since then, Oracle's Linux's DTrace project has been making great strides. The latest Oracle Linux UEK3 Beta kernel was just released. It comes with DTrace 0.4 and also supports "User-Level Statically Defined Tracing" (USDT) for the first time. This motivated me to make sure PHP DTrace worked well with "real" DTrace, not just with SystemTap's wrappers.

He also includes a list of the other updates in this version like:

  • DTrace build script changes from PHP 5.5 were merged back to PHP 5.4
  • A 'make install' recursive dependency issue that caused Zend/zend_dtrace.d to be deleted was fixed.
  • PHP DTrace configuration now uses the correct PIC or non-PIC objects. This also fixed building PHP when any extensions were built 'shared'.
  • PHP's OCI8 2.0 extension now builds correctly with "real" DTrace.

He finishes off the post with the list of steps you'll need to follow to get this latest version up and running.

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Link: https://blogs.oracle.com/opal/entry/dtrace_with_php_update

Community News:
Default JSON Support Licensing Issues in PHP
August 21, 2013 @ 11:13:57

Despite the misleading title, this post on Reddit talks some about a switch that some Linux distributions are making when it comes to JSON support in PHP. They're moving away from the built-in support in favor of including this one.

In a quote from Nikita Popov (a comment on the post) he notes that:

It is true that some Linux distribution switched from json to json-c, but this should be transparent to the user. The standard PHP distribution still ships the JSON extension as it always did. [...] You should all take this chance to switch to PHP 5.5, so you can see that everything works fine and that PHP 5.5 is awesome

He also includes comments from the Remi (Fedora) project about the switch, noting that the end user shouldn't notice any kind of issues. The reasoning behind the switch has to do with licensing and usage issues of the previously built-in extension. You can find out more about that issue in this bug report.

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1ksnzw/php_json_removed_in_php_55

Learn Computer:
Is LAMP Pack Still Strong?
April 01, 2013 @ 12:55:09

On the "Learn Computer" site there's a recent post that wonders if the web development standard of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack is "still strong" and will still stand up with new technologies.

This year in tech (like almost every other year) has been filled with buzzwords. Many of them this year, however, are based around big data processing and web content: NoSQL, Hadoop, BigTable - the list goes on. With all the fuss around these new technologies, one might be tempted into thinking that these are the technologies of the future, and that from now on our servers and websites will be built upon, leaving technologies like LAMP in the dust.

They talk about some of the things the LAMP stack doesn't do well like difficulties with scalability on both the web server and database side. There's also mention of the things that it does do well, like getting things up and running quickly and with a solid structure.

That being the case, the LAMP stack is still going very strong, and it's definitely still extremely viable in small and medium-sized deployments; there are no signs of it waning in that regard, and I'd expect it to be a standard deployment for many companies and organizations for quite some time to come.
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Andi Gutmans:
Zend Server 6 is launched and available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace
February 21, 2013 @ 10:40:26

Andi Gutmans has a new post to his site about a recent update to the offerings on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) - it now offers Zend Server 6 as an installable option.

Zend Server 6 is the ideal application platform for mobile and web applications, and this version brings a new level of enterprise capabilities. [...] Today, I'm also pleased to share that this newest version of Zend Server is now available on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Now, for one combined fee with Amazon Web Services, you can run your applications on a fully supported PHP application platform with Zend Server 6 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu Linux.

If you're interested in what Zend Server has to offer, check out the product page on the Zend website. Zend Server handles a lot of the base level things for you and can help you get up and running quickly. It includes things like detailed monitoring, error tracking, code tracing and a nice UI to for management and configuration of the server.

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Lorna Mitchell:
Managing PHP 5.4 Extensions on Ubuntu
November 29, 2012 @ 11:08:44

In this new post to her site Lorna Mitchell shares a handy tip for those using Ubuntu (or a Debian-based distribution) about how to manage your PHP 5.4 extensions and the "php5enmod" tool.

My shiny new VPS* runs Ubuntu 12.10 (official subtitle: Quantal Queztal. Local nickname: Quirky Kestrel) and therefore has PHP 5.4 installed. It's very new so every command I type is missing, and today I realised that included a PECL module (pecl_http, of course). [...] What's happened here is that all debian-flavoured unixes have adopted this standard for their PHP 5.4 packages, so if you're using debian, ubuntu, or any of their relatives with PHP 5.4, you'll see a directory structure like this. When you add a module to PHP, you'll add a file to the mods-available directory enabling the module and adding any config specific to it.

She points out that the "phpenmod" command, accompanied by the PECL extension to install, is the newer way to correctly get these extensions downloaded and configured correctly.

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Tecmint.com:
Install Apache, MySQL 5.5.27 & PHP 5.4.7 on RHEL/CentOS 6.3/5.6 & Fedora 17-12
September 21, 2012 @ 09:45:38

Tecmint.com has a new tutorial that walks you through the installation of a full LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) on a CentOS or RedHat installation.

This howto guide explains you'll how to install Apache Server with latest MySQL 5.5.27 and PHP 5.4.7 versions with php required following modules on RHEL 6.3/6.2/6.1/6.0/5.8/5.6, CentOS 6.3/6.2/6.1/6.0/5.8/5.6 and Fedora 12,13,14,15,16,17 systems using Remi repository via Yum tool.

Thankfully, package management has made things a lot simpler than they used to be. Most of the time you're only a few commands away from a working installation (if all you need are the generic setups). They explain what each piece of the installation is and how to set up the custom "Remi" yum repository to get the latest versions of the software - Including PHP 5.4. They show how to stop and start each of the servers (MySQL, Apache) and a few screenshots of what the output of your phpinfo page should look like.

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