CloudLinux - CloudLinux Blog - CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

Dear CloudLinux OS customers,

In this post, I’d like to share with you some of the CloudLinux OS plans and I’ll focus on its PHP/performance features. I’ll dive in for a bit more details on some.

1. alt-php is now HardenedPHP

Originally, when we released PHP Alternatives, we just wanted a way for web hosts to provide multiple versions of PHP to their end-users. Yet, after some time, we realized that there was also a need to remove the requirement of switching from one PHP version to another (driven by the EOL of older PHP version). That meant backporting security patches to old versions of PHP. We also found the need for a large number of PHP extensions. So, today, alt-php is termed as HardenedPHP and is all about providing old versions of PHP, new versions of PHP and as many PHP extensions as possible. As there are no alternatives for this product, we are planning to continue its development indefinitely under the HardenedPHP name. There are no plans to stop supporting any of PHP versions, and once there will be, we will provide 12 months advanced notification.

2. What’s happening with PHP Selector

We recognize that cPanel has been making great progress in this area with MultiPHP, and we foresee MultiPHP taking over PHPSelector’s functionality. We will continue supporting it, fix bugs, and even enhance some functionality, but we don't plan to actively develop it. We will fully support PHPSelector until MultiPHP has all the features that PHPSelector already has. Once feature parity will be completely achieved by MultiPHP, we will develop a script to convert existing customers of PHPSelector to MultiPHP to provide a seamless transition. Note, that you can still be able to use HardenedPHP with cPanel’s MultiPHP.

3. Mod_lsapi, now with First Request Accelerator

Serving PHP is one of the most important parts of the shared hosting service today, and mod_lsapi provides the best way to do that in a multi-tenant environment. Allow me to explain.

The CGI & suPHP are just too slow. mod_PHP by itself is insecure and requires Apache prefork. mod_PHP + ruid2 is still unsafe and still requires Apache prefork (and they don't support PHP version switching). MOD_FCGID is very flaky and hard to run reliably.

The only possible alternative today is MOD_FPM. It is a relatively new mode of running PHP on the shared hosting server, and it outperforms all others, except for the mod_lsapi. Of course, the fact that FPM was not created for shared hosting can easily be recognized from its design choices. Specifically, it requires a PHP pool per user, and that wastes resources and makes it harder to manage.

In shared hosting, mod_lsapi is by far the best. It has been, and now it has gotten even better with the new First Request Accelerator technology (based on CRIU). It makes the first request, when PHP process is not ready yet, to be almost as fast as any other request, when PHP is already loaded in memory and opcode cache is already populated.

Beyond that, mod_lsapi supports a large number of configuration modes and is a drop in replacement for mod_php, CGI, suexec, mod_fcigd, FPM - including the ability to read options from user's php.ini files as well as .htaccess files. We don't see FPM ever going into that direction and catching up with mod_lsapi. As a result of this conclusion, we plan to continue with mod_lsapi for the foreseeable future.

4. OptimumCache is being discontinued

We realize that OptimumCache does not significantly improve the performance of servers, and in some cases creates support and performance issues. Therefore, we have decided to retire OptimumCache feature as of now. There is nothing you need to do about it if you never enabled it. If you did, it will just become non-operational, and will not cause any issues, however, if you’d like to remove OptimumCache from your CloudLinux OS installation, follow steps outlined in this documentation article.

In the future, if we find a way to achieve better results from OptimumCache - we will re-integrate the feature into the CloudLinux OS.

If you have any questions about any of these features, please don’t hesitate to comment below, or to contact our helpdesk.


Igor Seletskiy
CEO of CloudLinux

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