DSO vs. CGI vs. suPHP vs. FastCGI

From http://boomshadow.net


This is one of the most common topics that I see customers will ask about. As highly important as PHP handlers are, they often the least understood. They seem complicated, but its not too hard to understand. You don’t have to know that exact science of how it all works, but one should learn the basics if you want to take your website seriously. Picking the right PHP handler for your website will give you the optimal speeds you want and maybe allow you to save some money by using a cheaper hosting package. So I invite you to take a few minutes and learn something new.

What are PHP handlers

In order to run a PHP site, the server must interpret the PHP code and generate a page when visitors access the website. It interprets the code based on which PHP library you are using, such as PHP 4 or PHP 5. A PHP handler is what actually loads the libraries so that they can be used for interpretation. PHP handlers determine how PHP is loaded on the server.

There are multiple different handlers that can be used for loading PHP: CGI, DSO, suPHP, & FastCGI. Each handler delivers the libraries through different files and implementations. Each file and implementation affects Apache’s performance, because it determines how Apache serves PHP.

It is critical for your server’s performance that you select the handler that fits your situation. Selecting the right handler is just as important as the PHP version itself. One handler is not necessarily always better than another; it depends on your unique setup. What caching do you need, what modules do you need, etc…

Note: You may assign different PHP handlers to different versions of PHP. For example, version 5 may be handled by CGI while PHP 4 is handled by DSO.

How to change the handler

Changing the handler on cPanel is very easy to do and takes only seconds. Log into WHM and navigate to: Main >> Service Configuration >> Configure PHP and SuExec

You simply select your PHP handler choice from the drop-down menu. Then hit “Save New Configuration”.

Note: If you do not see your desired choice in the drop-down menu, it may need to be compiled on the server first. Run an “Easy Apache” to compile it.



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Turn off csf notifications for specific processes

From configserver.com

Process Tracking

This option enables tracking of user and nobody processes and examines them for suspicious executables or open network ports. Its purpose is to identify potential exploit processes that are running on the server, even if they are obfuscated to appear as system services. If a suspicious process is found an alert email is sent with relevant information. It is then the responsibility of the recipient to investigate the process further as the script takes no further action. Processes (PIDs) are only reported once unless lfd is restarted.

There is an ignore file /etc/csf/csf.pignore which can be used to whitelist either usernames or full paths to binaries. Care should be taken with ignoring users or files so that you don’t force false-negatives.

You must use the following format:

  • exe:/full/path/to/file
  • user:username
  • cmd:command line
  • (more…)

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    SQL Buddy

    SQL Buddy is an open source, lightweight and intuitive database management tool. Ridiculously easy to install, simply unzip the folder into a web accessible folder on your server and its…

    Continue ReadingSQL Buddy