Category Archives: PHP

Upcoming Changes: PHP 5.4, 5.5 Removal & MariaDB 10.6

Over the next few months, we will once again be revamping all of our hosting servers. We’re excited to deploy hardware upgrades across the board, including additional processing cores and RAM as well as NVMe SSD storage arrays. One of our goals has always been to provide the best performance possible and these upgrades will enable us to continue doing so.

We’ll also be making the switch from CloudLinux 7, which will reach end of life soon, to CloudLinux 9. This will make for some meaningful upgrades to a lot of core system software and libraries such as OpenSSL. We’ve been eagerly awaiting cPanel’s official support of CloudLinux 9 to move forward and have already deployed it and AlmaLinux 9 across all of our internal systems with great success. While the operating system upgrade doesn’t have a significant impact to hosted accounts, there are a couple of related changes that you should be aware of.

 


PHP 5.4 & 5.5 Removal

CloudLinux 9 no longer supports PHP 5.4 and PHP 5.5 so these will no longer be available for you to use. All accounts still using these very old versions will be switched to PHP 5.6 before servers are upgraded. We encourage you to use PHP 8.1 or newer wherever possible. As always, you can continue to select your desired PHP version via the “Select PHP Version” section of cPanel.

MariaDB 10.6

Replacing servers also provides us with a great opportunity to upgrade the database server software; so MariaDB will be upgraded from 10.5 to 10.6. For most users, this will not be a noticeable change unless you’re planning to use new functionality that the upgrade will provide. Please make sure that your scripts are kept updated as usual and you won’t run into any issues.


 

All clients can expect to receive a notification with further details as soon as their server’s upgrade is scheduled. If you have any questions meanwhile, please submit a ticket and we’ll be happy to answer them.

PHP 8.3 Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that PHP 8.3 is now available on all of our servers. You can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 8.3 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

The full change log for version 8.3 can be found on PHP’s website here and the migration guide is also available. Please consult these for a detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For third party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 8.3 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

Please note that only a limited number of extensions are currently available for PHP 8.3. We will continue to make new ones available as soon as they are offered. We now offer secure versions of PHP 5.4 through 8.3 which are all easily selectable from within cPanel. Version 8.1 is now the default for all new cPanel accounts while existing accounts will continue to retain their prior settings.

PHP 8.2 Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that PHP 8.2 (8.2.2) is now available on all of our servers. You can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 8.2 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

The full change log for version 8.2 can be found on PHP’s website here and the migration guide is also available. Please consult these for a detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For third party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 8.2 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

We now offer secure versions of PHP 5.4 through 8.2 which are all easily selectable from within cPanel. Version 8.0 remains the default for all new cPanel accounts while existing accounts will continue to retain their prior settings.

PHP 8.1 Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that PHP 8.1 (8.1.2) is now available on all of our servers. You can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 8.1 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

Additional information concerning the version 8.1 release can be found on PHP’s website here and the migration guide is also available. Please consult these for a detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For third party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 8.1 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

Please note that only a limited number of extensions are currently available for PHP 8.1. We will continue to make new ones available as soon as they are offered. We now offer secure versions of PHP 5.4 through 8.1 which are all easily selectable from within cPanel. Version 8.0 is now the default for all new cPanel accounts while existing accounts will continue to retain their prior settings.

PHP 8.0 Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that PHP 8.0 is now available on all of our servers. You can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 8.0 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

  • Union Types
  • Named Arguments
  • Match Expressions
  • Attributes
  • Constructor Property Promotion
  • Nullsafe Operator
  • Weak Maps
  • Just In Time Compilation

Additional information concerning the version 8.0 release can be found on PHP’s website here and the migration guide is also available. Please consult these for a detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For third party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 8.0 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

Please note that only a limited number of extensions are currently available for PHP 8.0. We will continue to make new ones available as soon as they are offered. We now offer secure versions of PHP 5.4 through 8.0 which are all easily selectable from within cPanel. Version 7.4 is now the default for all new cPanel accounts while existing accounts will continue to retain their prior settings.

PHP 7.4 Now Available

PHP 7.4 was released last month and is now available on all of our servers! As with prior versions, you can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 7.4 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

The migration guide is available in the PHP Manual. Please consult it for the detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For 3rd party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 7.4 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

PHP 7.3 Now Available!

PHP 7.3 was released early this month and is now available on all of our servers! As with prior versions, you can easily change the PHP version per cPanel account via the “Select PHP Version” option in cPanel.

PHP 7.3.0 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as:

The migration guide is available in the PHP Manual. Please consult it for the detailed list of new features and backward incompatible changes. For 3rd party applications, it’s best to confirm that they support PHP 7.3 before making the switch. However, if you run into any issues you can quickly and easily revert back to your prior version.

PHP 7.2 Now Available!

We’re happy to announce that PHP 7.2 is now available on all of our hosting servers. It is also now the default version of PHP for all newly created cPanel accounts. PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1 remain available as alternative options using the “Select PHP Version” link from within cPanel. A short guide on the use of PHP Selector can be found here.

The PHP version for all existing cPanel accounts has not changed, though you can use PHP Selector to change this at any time.

PHP 7.2 comes with numerous improvements and new features such as

If your applications support PHP 7.2, we do recommend making the switch. PHP Selector makes this process very simple and you can easily revert to any prior version of PHP at any time, if needed.

Critical PHPMailer & SwiftMailer Security Updates

Although the PHPMailer vulnerability was posted to our Script Security Forum a couple days ago, the widespread and critical nature of these warrants a post here as well. PHPMailer and SwiftMailer are both libraries used for sending emails. A very large number of scripts use one of these two libraries, including WordPress, Drupal, SugarCRM, Joomla and many others. Both libraries contain similar remote code execution vulnerabilities that can be exploited under certain circumstances.

It is very important that you make sure all instances of these libraries are updated. This will, unfortunately, be difficult to pinpoint in some cases since many plugins also include these libraries. Every core script, plugin and theme that you use should be investigated to determine whether or not these libraries are included and require updating.

All instances of PHPMailer must be updated to 5.2.21 or higher, which can be downloaded here.

All instances of SwiftMailer must be updated to 5.4.5 or higher, which can be downloaded here.

This would also be a good time to examine your plugins and themes to make sure they are all being actively maintained. As a general rule, if they haven’t received any updates within 6 months you should be concerned. If they haven’t received any updates within the past year, they probably shouldn’t be used at all.

The ongoing use of abandoned projects are one of the bigger risks that face websites like those powered by WordPress. While such a plugin may appear to be all good and up-to-date from within the WordPress admin panel, the developers may not have touched it in years and the project page may no longer even exist. As such, a regular audit of these is a very good idea and in general you should stick to more popular options when possible.

If you run into any issues with updating or have any questions please feel free to post a comment here, post on our forums or submit a ticket via our portal.

Feature Spotlight – PHP Selector

As we get close to completing all of our server upgrades, I wanted to go ahead and quickly highlight a feature that is available on the new servers. We’ve permitted clients to change the version of PHP that their site uses for many years now but this has always required a modification to the domain’s .htaccess file. Although this wasn’t particularly difficult, it has been simplified even further with the inclusion of PHP Selector. PHP Selector is a CloudLinux component that sits on top of CageFS and allows each cPanel user to select their desired PHP version.

Once you’ve logged into cPanel you’ll find the “Select PHP Version” option under the “Software” menu group as shown below.

cPanel PHP Selector 1

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