Tuesday, April 12, 2016
PHP7 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
I feel like I sort of "grew up" on PHP!
I certainly earned some spending money in high school and beer money in college (1997-2001) through a series of side jobs, building websites in PHP and Postgres, at least one of which is still up and going strong -- DivItUp.com. So yeah, PHP sort of holds a soft spot in my heart.
One of the newest members of the Ubuntu Server Team at Canonical, Nish Aravamudan, has worked hard this cycle in merging PHP7 into Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. In doing so, he's worked with Zend and the upstream PHP developers as well as Ondřej Surý and Debian to ensure an outstanding PHP experience in Ubuntu, as always.
In doing so, we have now comprehensively bumped all of PHP and its libraries from PHP5 to PHP7 in Xenial. And it's available on every Ubuntu architecture -- amd64, arm64, armhf, i386, powerpc, ppc64el, s390x.
As such, PHP7 will be the only version of PHP supported in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
If you have a hard dependency on PHP5, then you should either remain on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty), which is supported for another 3 years. Or better yet, perhaps you should have a look at LXD! Yeah, just drop your legacy PHP5 code into a LXD container running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. You might even be interested in the adapt package which makes this even easier for you. Seriously, LXD is awesome for exactly this use case!
However, I suspect your experience might be very similar to mine... You see, I have a bunch of PHP code that I wrote like 12+ years ago, that largely "just works" and I never, ever, ever have to touch. You can find a couple of those projects packaged in Ubuntu, like Pictor and Musica. Once Nish got all of my PHP library dependencies packaged (libapache2-mod-php, php-cli, php-imagick, php-getid3), my decade-old PHP code just worked!
I'm actually really impressed with the PHP community here. I love that my ancient PHP code continues to "just work" with the new PHP7 engine. [Deleted a lengthy grumble about all of my Python2.x code that had to change to run under Python3...]
And not only did it just work, it's actually faster than ever before. PHP7 at its core is faster than ever before. Check out the info graphic below for more info!
p.s. And if you're looking for Drupal, Nish is hard at work, trying to get Drupal8 into Ubuntu 16.04 LTS too ;-)