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PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, programming language, scripting language

PHP (recursive acronym for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor") is a widely-used Open Source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

A few examples

Hello, World!
(in html-format)
> Execute
(sep. win/tab)
print "<html><head><title>Hello, World! Script</title></head>\n";
print "<body>\n";
print "<p>Hello, World!</p>\n";
print "</body></html>\n";

Output from phpinfo(1).
A little bit more advanced
example showing some
> Execute
(sep. win/tab)

ob_start(); // start output buffer, => nothing's displayed until buffer's closed
phpinfo(1); // Show just general information (1)
$php_info .= ob_get_contents();
$php_info = str_replace("</body></html>", "", $php_info);
$offset   = strpos($php_info, "<table");
print substr($php_info, $offset);




Environment Variables

how to get client's IP address in PHP -

reserved variables -


mail - send mail (send emails)

(PHP 4, PHP 5) mail — Send mail, man page:


( )


Problems and Solutions

Until further notice, pls see Perl-section for more troubleshooting in general.

php-and-ssi.php - tests


Shell Scripts in PHP

If want to create scripts for use both in web server but also maybe occasionally as scripts.

!/usr/bin/env php

print "<html><head><title>Printenv Script</title></head>\n";
print "<body>\n";
print "Hello, World, in PHP";
print "</body></html>\n";

Important details:

1) Shebang as first line
2) (Apparently) Also must have '<?php' .. '?>' also in scripts, to work what so ever.
3) Make sure executable (e.g. chmod a+x)

Note: Difference in how works on 1&1:

With '!/usr/bin/php ' as shebang:

(uiserver):uXXX:~/comgt-com/... > ./printenv.php
X-Powered-By: PHP/4.4.9
Content-type: text/html

With '!/usr/bin/env php ' as shebang:

(uiserver):uXXX:~/comgt-com/... > ./
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.5.30
Content-type: text/html


Testing Scripts

Click to see how the web server handles different potential issues, details that may differ on different servers. All opens in a separate window (or tab).

Script Description
printhello.php Hello, World! program
phpinfo.php print lots of info about runtime environment

More extensive tests of scripts are also avaiable in the Perl-section, including one page running a number of scripts (mostly Perl).

Macintosh Notes

(Added 2009-09-08)

Standard installation - that is part of standard Mac OS X 10.6 - still isn't including (e.g.) mcrypt.

(Compare what was installed 2009-09-08 on MacMini (PHP 5.2.9, Entropy release 7) and standard OS X 10.6 (PHP 5.3.0). See all saved static phpinfo() results. Note: MacMini config retrieved via

Better to download and install Entropy's (which did earlier on Mac OS X 10.5).


Download (v5.3.0): (53.4 MB, can take quite a while... At least half hour. Seems like Entropy has a slow server - other communications are working quite fine when downloading this in 2009-09-08 ~15:30 US Central Time).


  1. ###



### PHP is by default NOT enabled; to enable uncomment one line in httpd.conf and restart server:

Default /etc/apache2/httpd.conf (== /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf)

# 2008-02-27 Wed: removing preceeding '#' from line below 
LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/



Updated 2016-01-26