Why I Hate System Administration

I got assigned to a new project at work recently. At first, I was delighted, because I knew that the project requirements would allow me to use PHP. My job generally involves Oracle Forms and Reports or PL/SQL data cartridges, so going back to my language of choice seemed like it would be a refreshing change. The client, however, has rather interesting requirements regarding the server environment.

First, they’re running on Sun hardware and as such require that they maintain a Sun operating system, namely Solaris 10, only that hardware. Second, their applications are currently running off of an Informix 7 database server.

There is currently only one PHP extension for interfacing with Informix that is actively maintained: PDO_INFORMIX, which is in PECL and is maintained by IBM (who bought out Informix shortly after the client got this database server). The latest release of this extension was made in February 2007 and it relies on PDO 1.0, which is about 3 versions back from the current version of PDO. That’s not to mention that you need the Informix Client SDK installed on the system to install PDO_INFORMIX.

The only Solaris builds of PHP are on the Freeware for Solaris web site and the only build that will run on Apache 2.0.59 (what’s currently running on the client’s production server) is PHP 5.2.1, which has the latest version of PDO built in by default. There’s no way to override this with an installation of the separate PECL extension, at least that I know of. The only way to get around it is to recompile PHP from source and disable the default inclusion of PDO.

I spent today trying to figure out how to get PHP to compile from the source tarball offered on that web site so that I could disclude PDO from being built into the interpreter and then install it as a separate PECL extension to allow me to install PDO 1.0 to allow PDO_INFORMIX to be installed and work correctly. No matter what I tried, I got this error message:

ld.so.1: httpd: fatal: relocation error: file /usr/apache/libexec/libphp5.so: symbol sapi_module: referenced symbol not found

I’ve been told (and I believe it) that libphp5.so is expecting there to be some Apache files somewhere and obviously just isn’t finding them, even though I’ve used the –with-apache2 and –with-apxs2 options when configuring PHP for installation from source and tried installing Apache from source as well.

The last thing I did before leaving was start a fresh installation of Solaris 10 to a VMware disk, which I intend to make a snapshot and backup copy of before I try again. I’m hoping that my initial attempts to install PHP and Apache from their Solaris packages is causing some sort of conflict, though I have to say I have my doubts. I’ll continue searching for answers tomorrow. In the meantime, any sagely advice in the comments would be welcome.

One Comment

  1. chris says:

    Did you try setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH env variable before the compile? Sounds like it might not be able to find the libraries it needs.

    I’m trying to remember back to my days compiling on Solaris for any other help…