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Major PHP and mySQL changes are coming

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    Very Large Orange

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:35 PM

This will be sent out in an email also.

This notice is to make you aware of a few important server changes that we will be making in the near future. All three changes will happen starting on September 6th, 2010.

The first change is that we will no longer be offering PHP 4.x. This version is no longer being supported and will have no further bug or security fixes. This means all servers will run PHP 5.x only on the server's upgrade date. If you have any software that requires PHP 4.x and is not compatible with PHP 5.x, you will need to make sure it is up to date and PHP 5.x compatible. You can enable PHP 5.x for your site now by logging into your control panel, clicking on PHP Configuration, and selecting PHP 5 as the default. If you don't do this we will make this change for you at the time the server is updated.

We will also be changing the way that PHP 5 runs on our servers. We will be switching to suPHP, which will allow the processes to run as your user ID rather than running as the same user ID for everyone on the server.

In addition to PHP updates, we will be updating mySQL on all servers from version 4.x to 5.x. This may also affect some software and you should check with your software vendors to make sure any installed scripts are compatible.

The changes will be made in the morning hours on the dates listed below. While we don't expect any issues, we are of course available to assist you in case you need help. Feel free to contact our support team if you have any questions or see any issues during the change.

We will also be posting in the forum hosting status section as servers are changed. That url is

The timeline for this change is listed below.
Server               Date of change
Aaron           September 6th, 2010
Adam            September 6th, 2010
Adama           September 6th, 2010
Aldo            September 6th, 2010
Alex            September 6th, 2010

Alvar           September 7th, 2010
Amelia          September 7th, 2010
Apollo          September 7th, 2010
Arzt            September 7th, 2010
Athena          September 7th, 2010

Bea             September 8th, 2010
Ben             September 8th, 2010
Bernard         September 8th, 2010
Boomer          September 8th, 2010
Boone           September 8th, 2010

Bram            September 9th, 2010
Brian           September 9th, 2010
Cally           September 9th, 2010
Caesar          September 9th, 2010
Carmen          September 9th, 2010

Charlotte       September 13th, 2010
Christian       September 13th, 2010
Cindy           September 13th, 2010
Colleen         September 13th, 2010
Cooper          September 13th, 2010

Daniel          September 14th, 2010
Danny           September 14th, 2010
Diane           September 14th, 2010
Edward          September 14th, 2010
Eloise          September 14th, 2010

Emma            September 15th, 2010
Ethan           September 15th, 2010
Felix           September 15th, 2010
Frogurt         September 15th, 2010
Gaius           September 15th, 2010

Galen           September 16th, 2010
Gerald          September 16th, 2010
Goodwin         September 16th, 2010
Harper          September 16th, 2010
Horace          September 16th, 2010

Ilana           September 21st, 2010
Ivan            September 21st, 2010
Jacob           September 21st, 2010
Jason           September 21st, 2010
Juliet          September 21st, 2010

Karen           September 22nd, 2010
Karl            September 22nd, 2010
Keamy           September 22nd, 2010
Kelvin          September 22nd, 2010
Liam            September 22nd, 2010

Lindsey         September 23rd, 2010
Luke            September 23rd, 2010
Mars            September 23rd, 2010
Matthew         September 23rd, 2010
Mikhail         September 23rd, 2010

Miles           September 27th, 2010
Mrfriendly      September 27th, 2010
Mrpaik          September 27th, 2010
Mshawking       September 27th, 2010
Nadia           September 27th, 2010

Nathan          September 28th, 2010
Nikki           September 28th, 2010
Paulo           September 28th, 2010
Penelope        September 28th, 2010
Penny           September 28th, 2010

Pickett         September 29th, 2010
Rachel          September 29th, 2010
Radzinsky       September 29th, 2010
Randy           September 29th, 2010
Roger           September 29th, 2010

Rose            September 30th, 2010
Roslin          September 30th, 2010
Ryan            September 30th, 2010
Sam             September 30th, 2010
Sarah           September 30th, 2010

Saul            October 4th, 2010
Scott           October 4th, 2010
Seth            October 4th, 2010
Starbuck        October 4th, 2010
Steve           October 4th, 2010

Susan           October 5th, 2010
Thehydra        October 5th, 2010
Thomas          October 5th, 2010
Thrace          October 5th, 2010
Tom             October 5th, 2010

Tricia          October 6th, 2010
Widmore         October 6th, 2010
Yemi            October 6th, 2010
Zach            October 6th, 2010
TheHydra        October 6th, 2010

If you do not know which server your site is on, you can find that information here: http://www.asmallora...tras/server.php

All the best,
A Small Orange LLC
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#2 Jeff Schroeder

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:14 PM

Will it be possible to upgrade the host system to something newer than RHEL4? Just because my ssh connection is walled off from concatenating /etc/redhat-release doesn't mean I don't know kernel 2.6.9 is likely a RHEL4 / CentOS 4 kernel. That is very old.

Not only that, but will you be offering RHEL6/CentOS6 servers when it is released?
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#3 IBBoard


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Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:44 PM

The thing is, distros like RHEL/CentOS update the kernel with security patches, even if they don't include features that bump the versions. Its a stability thing, and SysAdmins like it. CentOS5 isn't a huge amount better as it is only 2.6.18. CentOS6 would be good, but I'm guessing ASO will want to leave it a while before they deem it stable enough for servers.

It'd be nice if I could have landed on a CentOS5 VPS server as well, but never mind :)

/me wonders how many complaints and angry customers ASO will get, even though it is all good for security and the server as a whole...
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#4 AndrewB


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Posted 03 August 2010 - 03:26 PM

/me wonders how many complaints and angry customers ASO will get, even though it is all good for security and the server as a whole...

We'll get a lot of support tickets from websites that suddenly throw 500 Internal Server Error on page load.

We have a couple of scripts already in place that we've used to convert whole servers and minimize most of the issues from going from mod_php to suPHP. The majority of PHP problems I've seen in these changes include:

  • the ownership/permissions changes (suPHP throws a 500 Internal Server Error)
  • .htaccess directives that suddenly throw an error (such as php_value memory_limit 32M)
  • custom AddType/AddHandlier lines customers occasionally put in to override our default PHP settings (causes scripts to downloaded instead of executing on the server)

Our scripts look for these and try to compensate for it, but there's always a few sites that slip through.

Most customers I've dealt with tend more upset about not knowing of the changes in advance than the change itself. So we're trying to get the word out so people can at least be aware of when to expect a "500 Internal Server Error" on their site and know that it's a quick and easy fix to get it back up and running.

There will be some other fallout. I plan to do a write-up of all the things that can break and what changes will need to be made to a site for any site owners who want/need to proactively prepare in advance.
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#5 Matt Light

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:30 PM

Is MySQL being upgraded to 5.0.x or 5.1.x? If 5.1.x, is there a more specific version you can provide? I'm working on a some fairly major code changes and I'm curious to know if there are any new feature sets I'll be able to make use of. (MySQL 5.1.17 and/or 5.1.21 provide query cache support with prepared statements. I know... neither should be too useful in a shared hosting environment, but that's besides the point.)

I suppose the better question is: Cally is already at MySQL 5.0.x. Will she be seeing a MySQL upgrade?

Edited by Matt Light, 03 August 2010 - 08:38 PM.

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#6 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 09:13 PM

Don't quote me on this, But I'm fairly confident that it will be 5.0.x. Any servers that are already running 5.0.x will not be getting upgraded. Theres a handful of servers still on MySQL 4 for legacy applications that will be seeing the upgrade.
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    Very Large Orange

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 12:11 AM

Just to clarify mySQL will be upgraded from 4.x to 5.0.x. Existing 5.0.x servers won't be upgraded to 5.1.x.
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#8 Tidalik


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:58 AM

Thank you A Small Orange for informing your customers well in advance!

As someone who has been negatively impacted by server changes without notification, I am very happy to have been informed prior to any of these changes.
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#9 Dan C

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 10:41 AM

Just out of interest, does suPHP run as FastCGI? If not, are we not going to see a negative performance impact as a result of this?
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#10 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:17 AM

No, suphp does not run through fastcgi.

You shouldn't notice any performance differences. If anything, it will be better because we aren't running 2 concurrent PHP versions.
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#11 NyteOwl


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:09 PM

The server I'm on is showing kernel version 2.6.18-164.15.1.el5 so it's pretty up to date. I'm also already using MySQL 5.0.91 and PHP 5.2.13 so I guess I'm already good to go :)
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#12 cotinus


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:42 PM

From what I see, the server one of my sites is on (rachel) is already running MySQL 5.0.91-community and PHP 5.2.13. However, it's listed as one of the servers that will be updated on September 29.

So I'm a bit confused as to what changes will take place on September 29 to the rachel server. From what I recall (separate issue, my past four years support ticket history is missing on the new ticketing system) the changes for suPHP were made a while ago on rachel.

Can someone confirm what, if any, changes will be made on rachel?
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#13 Danothy


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:41 PM

Any clarification on what constitutes 'morning hours'? And I'm guessing this will be morning hours EDT?
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#14 primatology


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:22 PM

@cotinus,I'm not on rachel, so I can't vouch for the situation over there. My best guess is that Rachel is currently running suPHP with both the 4.x and 5.x branches. You probably flipped the switch in cPanel to use PHP 5 exclusively, so it's not an issue for you. If you take a look at thephpinfo() ASO provides, however, the server definitely still has PHP 4 available. I assume that the update will simply disable PHP 4, while leaving suPHP and MySQL untouched.

By the way, it might be possible to get your old tickets back.

Yup, What MacManX said. We're trying to move away from the /help/ URL (direct access to supportsuite) and get people to use the support area within the client portal. They both access the same information, and if you used the same email address for billing as you do for support, all your old tickets will be in there as well.

There is no way to link accounts in esupport with accounts in whmcs unless the email address matches. We might be able to change the email address in supportsuite so it will show up in your billing area.

Edited by primatology, 04 August 2010 - 07:23 PM.

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#15 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:48 PM

From what I see, the server one of my sites is on (rachel) is already running MySQL 5.0.91-community and PHP 5.2.13. However, it's listed as one of the servers that will be updated on September 29.

PHP4 will be removed, and PHP5 will be switched to suphp if it is currently running as a DSO. You should not have to do anything.

Any clarification on what constitutes 'morning hours'? And I'm guessing this will be morning hours EDT?

Early morning EDT. The exact times have not yet been determined.
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#16 MacManX


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Posted 05 August 2010 - 11:44 AM

Early morning EDT. The exact times have not yet been determined.

How about having a contest where the customer who guesses the "Early morning EDT" for his/her server wins a $10 account credit? I think it would be a great way to make customers aware of the impending change.
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#17 jyc3


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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:26 AM

Okay, what do I do if all this is just gobbledygook to me? I hired someone to set up my site years ago and have no idea what I have or if it is compatible with these changes. Any suggestions?
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#18 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:01 PM

I wouldn't worry about it. Its not going to effect most people.
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#19 Nepherim


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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:24 PM

How/does this affect servers that already run processes as the owner-userID (ie, Yemi)?
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#20 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:39 PM

If you already have PHP5 selected for use in cPanel, it will not affect anything.
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