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The default is to build PHP as a CGI program. This creates a commandline interpreter, which can be used for CGI processing, or for non-web-related PHP scripting. If you are running a web server PHP has module support for, you should generally go for that solution for performance reasons. However, the CGI version enables Apache users to run different PHP-enabled pages under different user-ids. Please make sure you read through the Security chapter if you are going to run PHP as a CGI.

As of PHP 4.3.0, some important additions have happened to PHP. A new SAPI named CLI also exists and it has the same name as the CGI binary. What is installed at {PREFIX}/bin/php depends on your configure line and this is described in detail in the manual section named Using PHP from the command line. For further details please read that section of the manual.


If you have built PHP as a CGI program, you may test your build by typing make test. It is always a good idea to test your build. This way you may catch a problem with PHP on your platform early instead of having to struggle with it later.


If you have built PHP 3 as a CGI program, you may benchmark your build by typing make bench. Note that if safe mode is on by default, the benchmark may not be able to finish if it takes longer then the 30 seconds allowed. This is because the set_time_limit() can not be used in safe mode. Use the max_execution_time configuration setting to control this time for your own scripts. make bench ignores the configuration file.

Note: make bench is only available for PHP 3.

Using Variables

Some server supplied environment variables are not defined in the current CGI/1.1 specification. Only the following variables are defined there; everything else should be treated as 'vendor extensions': AUTH_TYPE, CONTENT_LENGTH, CONTENT_TYPE, GATEWAY_INTERFACE, PATH_INFO, PATH_TRANSLATED, QUERY_STRING, REMOTE_ADDR, REMOTE_HOST, REMOTE_IDENT, REMOTE_USER, REQUEST_METHOD, SCRIPT_NAME, SERVER_NAME, SERVER_PORT, SERVER_PROTOCOL and SERVER_SOFTWARE

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