Tuesday, March 11, 2008

PHP 4 to PHP 5 transition

Due to the PHP developers' decision to end support for PHP 4, the OCF will be requiring all users with PHP web applications, such as WordPress, phpBB, or Gallery, to use PHP 5. This transition, required by the campus Minimum Security Standards, will provide more features, security, and performance for PHP web applications on the OCF. As the current default PHP interpreter is PHP 4, almost all users of PHP will be affected, though few will need to make drastic changes to their applications. The transition will happen in two stages:

  • As of March 21st, 2008, the default PHP interpreter (the one used to run scripts with extension .php) will change from PHP 4.4 to PHP 5.2. Users who cannot migrate to PHP 5 by this date may choose to continue to use PHP 4 temporarily; see our transition documentation for details.
  • As of May 12, 2008, support for PHP 4 will be removed entirely. All PHP applications in use after this date will be run using PHP 5.

Users whose websites do not include web applications, or whose web applications are written in another language such as Perl, will not be affected.

All PHP users should review their web applications for compatibility with PHP 5 as soon as possible. Most widely-used web applications already support PHP 5, so in many cases, no action is needed; in most others, an application upgrade will be sufficient to ensure continued functionality. Users who use custom-written PHP applications need to review their code for PHP 5 compatibility; see the links provided in our documentation for details on what's changed.

We recommend that you test your web application with PHP 5 before the transition date; instructions on how to do this are in our documentation.

The latest information on the change, and details on how you can ensure your web applications continue to function, can be found at:


If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us (email staff@ocf.berkeley.edu).