Switching between php versions with macports

March 9th, 2013

As thing are moving along in PHP versions, and as we start seeing more and more of php 5.5, I find it very useful to be able to switch between PHP versions. If you're on OSX, and using macports, switching is easy enough. There is a port called "php_select" that will help you choose the currently active php version.

sudo port install php_select

Once installed, it will allow you to select the active php version. Using it is simple:

sudo port select php php54

If you want to know more about port select, run:

sudo port help select

Now, while being able to select the "active" php port is nice, that's really only half the picture. Selecting the active php port sets the correct symlinks for:

  • /opt/local/bin/php
  • /opt/local/bin/php-config
  • /opt/local/bin/phpize

But usually, when I want to switch PHP versions, I want to check some functionality right away. I want to reload the web browser and check if everything works (preparing for the upgrade to PHP5.4 on production for example), or check some profiler output (to see if there are major differences in performance with PHP5.5).

That's where the following bash script comes in:

#!/usr/bin/env bash


if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then
    echo "Usage: $0 phpversion"
    echo "Example: $0 54 (for php 5.4)"


# Unload all installed PHP versions
declare INSTALLED=`$SUDO $PORT select php | $EGREP -v 'none|Available'`
while read -r line; do
    line=${line% *}"-fpm"
    $SUDO $PORT unload $line > /dev/null 2>&1
done <<< "$INSTALLED"

$SUDO $PORT load php$VERSION-fpm;
$SUDO $PORT select php php$1

To use it, save the contents to a file called “phpswitch” (or something else of your choice), save it in your path and make in executable. Then you can do:

phpswitch 54

Obviously, this will also work for 53, 55 or even 60. (yes php6 has existed for almost four years now!). The script will stop (port unload) any versions of PHP that you have installed. Then it will start (port load) the version you requested, and switch to that version so any commandline calls are directed to the correct php version. Make sure you point all your php versions to the same port or socket file in /opt/local/etc/php{version}/php-fpm.ini

listen = /opt/local/var/run/php-fpm.sock

Ramon de la Fuente

Pointy haired boss