MacPorts Leopard + Apache 2.2.17 + PHP 5.3.5 + WordPress 3.0.4 + 1 million or so users per month issue

Betty Bronner bettybronner at
Thu Feb 3 16:31:55 PST 2011


Attached is an alternate 'Portfile', which allowed me to start using php-fpm on 
a test server.  It sort of takes the ideas from the diff file for the Trac 
ticket but then I tried to stick with how you like things for the most part.  I 
also made it be set up as a "conflicts with" fastcgi and vice versa since I read 
somewhere that php-fpm is a replacement for php-cgi and I can't imagine anyone 
wanting both at the same time since they are essentially building roughly the 
same binary.  This also adds a 'startupitem' since php-fpm has an init.d style 
startup script - you might take issue with this since 'port load php5-fpm' 
doesn't work (neither does 'port load php5' despite MacPorts saying that it will 
- bug?) but is convenient to be able to do 'launchctl load -w 
/Library/LaunchDaemons/org...php5-fpm.plist' right out of the gate, which DOES 

No more 502 Bad Gateway error from nginx and phpinfo() and basic PHP are working 
fantastically.  Initially had a white screen of death for all PHP scripts but I 
fixed that by adding 'fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME 
$document_root$fastcgi_script_name;' to my nginx configuration.  I still have a 
lot of testing to do and image URLs are broken at the moment but I already 
half-expected WordPress multisite to not work at first with this combination.

Of course, all this work might be for nothing when I attempt to replicate the 
configuration to the production server from the test server I'm working on, 
which is why I don't care if I blow away my MacPorts install here with modified 


From: Betty Bronner <bettybronner at>
To: Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>
Cc: macports-users at
Sent: Wed, February 2, 2011 5:22:26 PM
Subject: Re: MacPorts Leopard + Apache 2.2.17 + PHP 5.3.5 + WordPress 3.0.4 + 1 
million or so users per month issue

Yay!  I got nginx working.  Sort of.  The server is up and running but doesn't 
handle PHP requests yet - I get a 502 Bad Gateway error for the moment (no 
php-fpm/php-fcgi yet) and I don't even know if the rules I've written from 
scratch for WordPress will even work.

Ryan, I noticed that you just uploaded a modified patch for the Trac ticket for 
PHP-FPM support:

But it seems you're having some issues.  I also found this:

Don't know how useful that  may or may not be.  It looks like php-fpm is 
included with +fastcgi since I guess they go hand-in-hand.  I feel like I'm sooo 
close to getting this to finally work.

- Betty

From: Betty Bronner <bettybronner at>
To: Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>
Cc: macports-users at
Sent: Tue, February 1, 2011 11:01:14 AM
Subject: Re: MacPorts Leopard + Apache 2.2.17 + PHP 5.3.5 + WordPress 3.0.4 + 1 
million or so users per month  issue

Yes, it is weird, but that is what was happening.  The problem only showed up 
with MacPorts Apache/PHP and only seemed to happen randomly.  We reversed each 
change one by one until we were left with just the Apache/PHP switch.  The 
random RSS feed problem went away as soon as we switched back to Apple Apache 
(2.2.13) and Entropy PHP (5.3.0).

This morning I remembered having difficulty getting MacPorts to initially 
compile some of the early dependencies until I found and installed the latest 
XCode for Leopard (3.1.4?).  It successfully built the first few ports but had a 
warning at the start of the whole process that said that certain ports wouldn't 
like the version of XCode  I was building with (3.1.2?  It was whatever version 
that Leopard came with) and eventually  it hit one of those ports and stopped 
building.  I upgraded XCode at that point and then the build continued where it 
left off without any further difficulties.  I've since uninstalled MacPorts 
(sudo port uninstall installed) and then rebuilt everything from scratch but we 
haven't tried those binaries in production.  So it is tempting to try switching 
again but I'm more eager to try nginx at this point.  Now that I think about it, 
mixing binaries from multiple XCode versions might be problematic but I figured 
at the time that since everything successfully built that there wouldn't be any 
issues.  Nothing said that I needed to start over, so I didn't.

- Betty

From: Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>
To: Betty Bronner <bettybronner at>
Cc: macports-users at
Sent: Mon, January 31, 2011 6:59:18 PM
Subject: Re: MacPorts Leopard + Apache 2.2.17 + PHP 5.3.5 + WordPress 3.0.4 + 1 
million or so users per month issue

On Jan 31, 2011, at 19:27, Betty Bronner wrote:

> We've unfortunately had to revert to the Apple Apache and Entropy PHP for the 
>time being.  The problems were happening too frequently.  Of course, that means 
>we are now back to square one.
> MacPorts is pretty much a last-ditch effort to try to continue to use Leopard 
>to host the site.  We're evaluating all options but we're running out of them 
>very quickly.  I've  tried building the software myself from source but it 
>typically just breaks somewhere halfway through the build and I give up.  
>Everyone on the Internet is all "Linux or bust!" with no support or love for OS 
>X Server.  Plus, Apple recently terminated the OS X Server product line.

Well, they discontinued the Xserve server hardware line, and replaced it with 
the Mac Pro Server and Mac mini Server hardware lines. The Mac OS X Server 
software remains unchanged.

There's no reason why a Mac OS X web server shouldn't work exactly as well as a 
Linux web server, but of course I realize that doesn't help you while you're 
experiencing these problems, until we identify the cause of them and fix it.

But, you say that these problems only occurred with MacPorts Apache and PHP, and 
do not occur with Apple Apache and Entropy PHP? Or is the problem just less 
frequent now? That's interesting... though I admit I don't know how it helps us 
get  closer to a diagnosis.

> I found this:
> But obviously that isn't included yet or it would show up in the variants 

I suppose I should just add it, and then improve it (move all the SAPIs to 
separate ports -- #19091) later when I have time to sort that out.

> nginx is the new hotness - powering 6% of the top 1 million web servers - and 
>will probably stay the new hotness as long as they don't bloat the default 
>out-of-the-box server like Apache.  Unfortunately, it is still a rather 
>experimental server.  Everyone's been recommending php-fpm with nginx.  I got an 
>idea I'll try tomorrow and see if I can make it work - maybe nginx with php5 
>+fastcgi +pear might work.

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