How to run different versions of PHP on Centos with Parallels Plesk

Whilst providing our Drupal web design and development services, We found ourselves working with the Rooms module for Drupal 7. Having got quite far through the set up, a known bug with the calander cropped up. In short it means that you must have PHP 5.3.9+. 

Being as our server has many integrated systems, We didn't feel comfortable in the slightest with uninstalling so much interdependent software.

Also, if you need a version that is not in your distribution's repos you are getting into dangerous waters. Unless you seriously know what your doing, it should be left well alone. 5.3.3 is the latest recommended release by Centos.

After considerable time researching this topic We found this: http://forum.sp.parallels.com/threads/php-panda-multi-php-installer-for-plesk.293750/

The page describes PHP Panda, a Multi-PHP installer for Plesk. By installing it you can run different domains with different versions of PHP. Whilst not interfering with the default install of PHP and other programs that shipped with your server.

It adds this ability to Plesk via a dropdown in the "Website scripting and security" page for each domain.

The commands We used to install it were:

1) Set up the atomic yum repository

wget -q -O - http://www.atomicorp.com/installers/atomic |sh

2) Install the PHP Panda

yum install plesk-php-panda

That was it for us. The page also mentioned a 3rd step for Nucleus subscribers

yum install plesk-php53-panda

For us it said there was no package available but it is all working as described.

We feel really happy with this solution. Now we can run this new Drupal Rooms app without effecting anything else on our server.

Post type: 
Technical
Drupal version: 
Drupal 6 (D6)
Drupal 7 (D7)