Overview of LiteSpeed and PHP

LiteSpeed Web Server comes pre-configured for PHP 5, /usr/local/lsws/fcgi-bin/lsphp5, however it is for testing only and can not be used for real applications. Users should install php binary through “yum install” or “apt-get” lsphp packages from LiteSpeed Repositories or compile from source code to set up special configurations for PHP at either the server or virtual host level. PHP external application and script or context handler should be setup before PHP can be used. This wiki reviews how PHP is configured with LiteSpeed Web Server.

Unlike Apache's mod_php, which embeds the PHP engine inside web server processes, LiteSpeed Web Server talks to standalone PHP engine processes via a PHP SAPI interface. This allows the web server to delegate processes to different processors and efficiently handle multiple tasks. Two types of PHP SAPI interfaces are supported by LiteSpeed: LiteSpeed and FastCGI. LiteSpeed SAPI (LSAPI) has similar architecture to FastCGI SAPI with two major enhancements:

  1. Up to 50% better performance
  2. Support for dynamic PHP configuration changes through web server configuration and .htaccess files.

For cPanel, if you are using EasyApache 3, PHP should be built and working fine with Apache through EA3, then LiteSpeed builds matching PHP (with LSAPI) through LiteSpeed WHM/cPanel plugin. See cPanel installation Guide. For EA4, no php build any more and please refer here instead

For Plesk, please refer here.

For DirectAdmin, we recommend DA CustomBuild 2.0 to build matching PHP.

For CloudLinux PHP Selecor, please refer here.

If no control panel php or no CloudLinux php used, we suggest to install php packages through rpms/apt-get packages. PHP source code compiling is another alternative option but it is not recommend unless there is special requirement.

If you PHP runs into 503 errors, this is often indicative of a problem with PHP. Please see our 503 troubleshooting guide for the necessary steps to diagnose and fix these errors.

Install PHP through repositories

If you are not using Control Panel php or cloudlinux PHP, you may need to install PHP Binary through rpms/apt-get packages.

Installing LSPHP via RPMThe fastest way to get PHP for CentOS
Installing LSPHP via APTThe fastest way to get PHP for Debian/Ubuntu

The external application

Defining a external application in LSWS's settings tells the server how to handle dynamic content. (In this case you are defining a PHP external application to tell the server how to handle PHP scripts.) When adding an external application, you will be first asked to choose the “Type”. This refers to which SAPI (either LSAPI or FastCGI, in the case of PHP) will be used to communicate with the application.

If you are unsure which SAPI you have compiled PHP for, you can check this using the following command:

[lsws_home]/fcgi-bin/lsphp -v

If you like the command line, you can set or modify the external application from LSWS configuration file:

vi /usr/local/lsws/conf/httpd_config.xml

Some example configuration:


Make sure the external app binary path set to the installed php binary or other right location.

For example: update command path to /usr/local/lsws/lsphp56/bin/lsphp.

The script or context handler

Script and context handlers tell the server which files go to a certain application. A script handler uses a file's suffix (and associated MIME types). Script handlers differentiate content based on the file’s suffix (and the coressponding MIME type). Setting up an external application as a script handler (in the Script Handler tab at either the server or virtual host level) will cause the server to send certain types of files to that external application. When configured as a context handler, an external application will be used for content based on its location, not its file type. The web server will send content to the external application as long as the request’s URL matches the URI specified in the context settings. Context handlers can only be configured at the virtual host level (Configuration > Virtual Hosts > your virtual host > Context).

Environment variables

Once configured, you can also use environment variables to further customize PHP via LSAPI and FCGI. For detailed information on environment variables, please refer to the What Environment Variables Can I Use to Configure a PHP fCGI Application? wiki and the README file in the php/sapi/litespeed directory.

litespeed_wiki/php/configuring-lsws-for-php.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/25 16:32 by Jackson Zhang