[CentOS] PHP package versions

Thu Nov 2 08:50:18 UTC 2017
Pete Biggs <pete at biggs.org.uk>

> http://php.net/eol.php says that PHP 5.5 and 5.4 are EOL, but a
> freshly installed Centos 7 box, then fully upgraded, gives me PHP
> 5.4.16-42.el7. What do people do about maintaining current versions
> of software on a variety of machines? We have some users who manage
> their own machines, and would rather not force them to jump through
> hoops of managing repos to get later versions.
> I just hope I've missed something straightforward, and that someone
> here can offer advice.
That's not the point of an enterprise distro. The point is that once a
distro version is released the versions of the software contained
therein does not change. The OS predictably uses certain versions so
that it is a known environment.

Yes, those versions are EOL, but RedHat spends vast amounts of money
back porting security (and bug) fixes from later versions into the EOL
versions so that they remain a viable option for the life of that
particular version of the distro - that's what the '-42' on the version
is all about.

If you *need* the most recent versions you have two options. Firstly
you could use a more dynamic distro (F26 has PHP 7.1) - but you will
need to upgrade every 12 months (preferably every 6 months). Second,
you could use Software Collections - they have PHP 5.5, 5.6, 7.0
packaged in a way that's safe to use in RHEL/CentOS. There are also
repositories that have other versions of PHP in them (such as Remi).

What you really, really must not do is to replace the default installed
version of the various things in CentOS - that has the potential to
break many things. (I heard of someone who replaced the default version
of Python in CentOS with the latest greatest one - panic and confusion