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Install PHP5, lighttpd and Imagick on Mac OS X Leopard

It’s a little tricky getting a nice clean install of PHP5 for OS X 10.5. The packages that I always used to depend on over at Entropy don’t seem to work anymore. At least not for Leopard. A great shame.

I’m now switching to lighttpd for my development server, so have come up with the following recipe to install PHP5 and the great Imagick extension for image manipulation.

Follow these instructions at your own risk! They worked fine on my setup but I can’t guarantee they will for you.

  1. Install Xcode.

  2. Install MacPorts.

  3. Now update MacPorts:

     sudo port selfupdate
  4. Install lighttpd:

     sudo port install lighttpd

    Install the startup item and copy the default configuration file:

     sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.lighttpd.plist
     sudo cp /opt/local/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf.default /opt/local/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
  5. Now we install PHP with the FastCGI, MySQL and Pear variants.

     sudo port install php5 +fastcgi +mysql5 +pear

    In order for this to work, I had to disable the port perl5.8 by using the following command:

     sudo port deactivate perl5.8
     sudo port activate perl5

    Then run the command again and it should succeed:

     sudo port install php5 +fastcgi +mysql5 +pear
  6. Copy over the default PHP configuration:

     sudo cp /opt/local/etc/php.ini-dist /opt/local/etc/php.ini
  7. Now open up the PHP configuration file:

     sudo mate /opt/local/etc/php.ini

    Add the following line to the file:


    Find extension_dir = "./" and replace it with:

     extension_dir = "/opt/local/lib/php/extensions"
  8. Edit the lighttpd configuration file:

    sudo mate /opt/local/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

    Ensure that the following is uncommented:

    fastcgi.server = ( ".php" =>
        ( "localhost" =>
                "socket" => "/var/run/lighttpd/php-fastcgi.socket",
                "bin-path" => "/opt/local/bin/php-cgi"

    And also make lighttpd run as the user www:

    server.username = "www"
    server.groupname = "www"

    Add the following if you want to be able to use your Sites directory in your home directory. I also changed the default document root to the OS X default:

    server.modules += ("mod_userdir")
    userdir.path = "Sites"
    userdir.basepath = "/Users/"
    server.document-root = "/Library/WebServer/Documents"

    Ensure that "mod_fastcgi", is uncommented.

  9. Now we need to setup a few directories, and make the user www the owner for them:

    sudo mkdir /var/run/lighttpd
    sudo mkdir /var/log/lighttpd
    sudo chown www:www /var/run/lighttpd
    sudo chown www:www /var/log/lighttpd
  10. Now install ImageMagick:

    sudo port install imagemagick
  11. Now we need to download the Imagick PHP module. I was hoping this would be as easy as sudo pecl install imagick, however I got an error for that, and so a manual build and install of the module is necessary:

    curl -O
    tar xvfz imagick-2.2.1.tgz
    cd imagick-2.2.1/
    ./configure --with-imagick=/opt/local
    sudo make install
    sudo cp /opt/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613/ /opt/local/lib/php/extensions

And finally, you can then run LightTPD with the following. The -D flag tells lighttpd not to run in the background–you don’t need to use it:

lighttpd -f /opt/local/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf -D

You should then be able to visit a PHP file in your browser to test that it works. A simple test file would be:

$img = new Imagick('pic.jpg');
$img->rotateImage('#fff', 45);
header('Content-type: image/jpeg');
echo $img;

This is just a simple Imagick rotate on an image.