How to Install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9

PHP 8.0 is a major release from PHP 7 series with improvements and changes to the language, including many long-awaited additions by developers everywhere! This includes named arguments; union types. It also boasts improved JIT compilation tools which will help optimize your application code even further than before while increasing performance.

More information about the release and full changelog which gets updated on every new minor version release can be found here.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to import the REMI PHP Module and install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9 server or workstation desktop, along with some tips about configuring Nginx with FPM using the command line terminal.

Update AlmaLinux

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. This will ensure no conflicts arise as best as possible during the installation.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

Install/Import PHP Remi Repository

Currently, PHP 8.0 is not featured in AlmaLinux 9 appstream but can install PHP from (Remi) repository, a free-to-use third-party repository that deploys the latest PHP 8.0 builds.

The first task is to install the (EPEL) repository, which stands for (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). For newer users of AlmaLinux and similar distributions based on RHEL, EPEL contains the most commonly used software packages for Enterprise Linux.

First, enable the CRB.

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled crb

Next, install EPEL using the following (dnf) terminal command.

sudo dnf install \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-next-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm

Now that you have added the EPEL repository enable (Remi repository) with the following command.

sudo dnf install dnf-utils http://rpms.remirepo.net/enterprise/remi-release-9.rpm -y

Situational – Remove Existing PHP Installation

Remove the previous version for users wanting to install PHP 8.0 but have already installed PHP or PHP-FPM. For example, remove PHP 7.4 for PHP 8.0.

Make sure to back up any configuration files.

sudo dnf remove php php-fpm -y

Then remove the rest of the package extensions.

sudo dnf remove php* -y

To reset the PHP module list is easy with the following command:

sudo dnf module list reset php -y

Now you can proceed to the next part of the tutorial.

Enable PHP 8.0 (Remi) Repository

A quick tip is to use the dnf module list command to see the options available and the default.

The following dnf module list command can do this:

dnf module list php

You will be prompted to import the GPG key for Remi’s repository. Type (Y) to proceed if you encounter it.

Example output:

How to Install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9

Next, enable PHP 8.0 with the following command.

sudo dnf module enable php:remi-8.0 -y

Install PHP 8.0 / PHP-FPM 8.0

Now that you have added the Remi PHP repository and enabled PHP 8.0 to be the default version on your AlmaLinux system, you can install PHP 8.0 with the following command:

Apache (httpd) Users:

sudo dnf install php -y

Nginx Users:

sudo dnf install php-fpm -y

If you would like to install the most commonly used extensions for PHP 8.0, use the following command.

sudo dnf install php-cli php-fpm php-curl php-mysqlnd php-gd php-opcache php-zip php-intl php-common php-bcmath php-imagick php-xmlrpc php-json php-readline php-memcached php-redis php-mbstring php-apcu php-xml php-dom php-redis php-memcached php-memcache

Note, remove the options you do not want this is optional. It is highly recommended to only install and keep what modules you require from a performance and security standard.

To view modules loaded at any time, you can use the following command.

php -m

Example output (They will 100% vary):

[PHP Modules]
apcu
bcmath
calendar
Core
ctype
curl
date
dom
exif
FFI
fileinfo
filter
ftp
gd
gettext
hash
iconv
igbinary
imagick
imap
intl
json
libxml
mbstring
memcache
memcached
msgpack
mysqli
mysqlnd
openssl
pcntl
pcov
pcre
PDO
pdo_mysql
Phar
posix
readline
redis
Reflection
session
shmop
SimpleXML
sockets
sodium
SPL
standard
sysvmsg
sysvsem
sysvshm
tokenizer
xdebug
xml
xmlreader
xmlrpc
xmlwriter
xsl
Zend OPcache
zip
zlib

[Zend Modules]
Xdebug
Zend OPcache

Depending on how many modules you have installed, this can be pretty large, and it is always recommended to keep an eye on this and remove any you do not need.

Lastly, use the following command for anyone interested in installing the development branch.

sudo dnf install php-devel

Additional developments tool, such as debugging tools, use the following command.

sudo dnf install php-xdebug php-pcov

This will install lots of dependencies, and unless you are developing with PHP or have some special requirement to install it, do not use this version.

Now that you have installed PHP 8.0 and the extensions check the version with the following command:

php -v

Example output:

How to Install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9

PHP-FPM Installations of PHP 8.0

Unlike PHP-FPM installations on Debian/Ubuntu that use the (www-data) user, this isn’t the case with RHEL family installations. By default, the PHP-FPM service is designed to be run (Apache) user, which is incorrect since we are using Nginx, and this needed to be corrected.

Firstly, open following (www.conf) configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Next, replace the (Apache) user and group with the (Nginx) user and group.

Example from:

How to Install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9

Example to:

How to Install PHP 8.0 on AlmaLinux 9

For nano editor, to save, press (CTRL+O) then exit (CTRL+X).

Now you will too reload or restart your PHP-FPM service:

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm

Nginx Configurement

The Nginx server block needs the following example below for Nginx to process the PHP files.

Below is an example for all server {} blocks that process PHP files that need the location ~ .php$ added.

Example ONLY:

    location ~ \.php$ {
        try_files $uri =404;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/www.sock;
        fastcgi_index   index.php;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include fastcgi_params;
    }

Test Nginx to make sure you have no errors with the adjustments made with the code above; enter the following.

sudo nginx -t

Example output:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Restart the Nginx service for installation to be complete.

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Comments and Conclusion

All in all, PHP 8.0 is slowly becoming the new standard as more developers update their code to be compatible with it and take advantage of its advantages. WordPress has even pledged support for the next version of PHP, 8.1, which promises even more speed improvements and security enhancements over 8.0. So if you’re looking to make your website faster and more secure, start making the switch to PHP 8 now – it’s well worth it.



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