A pitty in Gentoos PHP distribution - Blog - Open Source - schlitt.info

schlitt.info - php, photography and private stuff

A pitty in Gentoos PHP distribution

Today I again was annoyed by Gentoos handling of PHP through its packaging system Portage. I love portage above everything else, believe me, but the PHP package sucks. Although it compiles really well and is very easy to configure (hey, thanks Sebastian and all the other maintainers!), Gentoo seems to have an issue with enabling certain compiling options by default. If you don't set any of the USE flags (configuration options for compiling packages through Portage) for PHP, it will simply compile with --disable-all and is completly unusable.

I discovered this when first time compiling PHP through Portage (about 2 weeks ago), because I wanted to test installing eZ components through it (and those logically depend on PHP). I had to add the USE flags "session", "pcre" and "spl" there, to get a half-way usable PHP. With my upgrade yesterday, Portage installed PHP 5.1.2, where also Reflection is an optional feature (I have no clue why and it sucks, IMO). Therefore I again had to add "reflection" to my flags for PHP compilation.

I know, this is not the fault of Sebastian and the other maintainers of PHP in Gentoo, but a general problem with Gentoo's policies here, although I have no clue, where the issue could be when adding at least the most basic flags by default (if someone really wants a smaller distribution, he can always remove the flags). Most distributions (e.g. RedHat, Suse and Debian) provide a much to oversized PHP or provide all extensions as precompiled loadable modules. This mostly sucks, too, why I tend to compile PHP always from scratch. But in heavy contrast you receive a completly unusable PHP from Gentoo, by default, which sucks even more.

You Gentoo guys: I really love your distribution and I pay high tribute to you for all the greatnesses. But please, make PHP usable by default. Thanks!

If you liked this blog post or learned something, please consider using flattr to contribute back: .



Add new comment

Fields with bold names are mandatory.