It’s pretty rare that I encounter a bug in the software I run that hampers my ability to work or my server environment’s ability to function normally. However, I encountered one last week that has taken me and several Rackspace support technicians nearly a week to figure out, namely PHP bug #43677.
The bug is in at least PHP 5.2.5, if not in previous releases in the 5.2.x branch. For the moment, we’ve downgraded the PHP installation to RHEL version 5.1.6, which I’m told includes backports of relevant bug fixes from the 5.2.x branch, to see if that doesn’t stabilize the situation.
So, if it seems that PHP starts to “forget” your include_path setting, your issue may be with PHP and not Apache as I initially suspected since the include_path setting was being set via an Apache configuration file. Hope this saves someone else time and grief.