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Installing Cherokee With PHP5 And MySQL Support On OpenSUSE 11.3

Cherokee is a very fast, flexible and easy to configure Web Server. It supports the widespread technologies nowadays: FastCGI, SCGI, PHP, CGI, TLS and SSL encrypted connections, virtual hosts, authentication, on the fly encoding, load balancing, Apache compatible log files, and much more. This tutorial shows how you can install Cherokee on an OpenSUSE 11.3 server with PHP5 support (through FastCGI) and MySQL support.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname with the IP address These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.


2 Installing MySQL 5

First we install MySQL 5 like this:

yast2 -i mysql mysql-client mysql-community-server libmysqlclient-devel

Then we create the system startup links for MySQL (so that MySQL starts automatically whenever the system boots) and start the MySQL server:

chkconfig –add mysql
/etc/init.d/mysql start



to set a password for the user root (otherwise anybody can access your MySQL database!):

server1:~ # mysql_secure_installation


In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we’ll need the current
password for the root user.  If you’ve just installed MySQL, and
you haven’t set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): <– ENTER
OK, successfully used password, moving on…

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n] <– Y
New password: <– fill in your desired MySQL root password
Re-enter new password: <– confirm that password
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
… Success!

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] <– Y
 … Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from ‘localhost’.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] <– Y
 … Success!

By default, MySQL comes with a database named ‘test’ that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] <– Y
 – Dropping test database…
… Success!
– Removing privileges on test database…
… Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] <– Y
 … Success!

Cleaning up…

All done!  If you’ve completed all of the above steps, your MySQL
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MySQL!

server1:~ #


3 Installing PHP5

We can make PHP5 work in Cherokee through FastCGI. Therefore we install the package php5-fastcgi (plus the packages rrdtool and rrdtool-devel which are needed by Cherokee):

yast2 -i php5-fastcgi rrdtool rrdtool-devel

We must modify /etc/php5/fastcgi/php.ini and uncomment the line cgi.fix_pathinfo=1:

vi /etc/php5/fastcgi/php.ini

; cgi.fix_pathinfo provides *real* PATH_INFO/PATH_TRANSLATED support for CGI.  PHP's
; previous behaviour was to set PATH_TRANSLATED to SCRIPT_FILENAME, and to not grok
; what PATH_INFO is.  For more information on PATH_INFO, see the cgi specs.  Setting
; this to 1 will cause PHP CGI to fix its paths to conform to the spec.  A setting
; of zero causes PHP to behave as before.  Default is 1.  You should fix your scripts


4 Installing Cherokee

Unfortunately there’s no Cherokee package for OpenSUSE 11.3 (there’s one for OpenSUSE 11.1, but it does not work on 11.3), therefore we must build Cherokee from the sources:

cd /usr/src
tar xvfz cherokee-1.0.15.tar.gz
cd cherokee-1.0.15/
./configure –localstatedir=/var –prefix=/usr –sysconfdir=/etc –with-wwwroot=/srv/www/htdocs –with-wwwuser=wwwrun –with-wwwgroup=www –with-mysql –with-php=/usr/bin/php-cgi

make install

If you are on a 64-bit system, also do this (Cherokee expects to find its libraries in /usr/lib64/ instead of /usr/lib/ on 64-bit systems):

cp /usr/lib/libcherokee-* /usr/lib64/

Now we need an init script for Cherokee. Instead of writing one ourselves, we can download the src.rpm file for Cherokee for OpenSUSE 11.1 and use the init script from the src.rpm package:

cd /usr/src
rpm -ivh cherokee-0.98.1-4.1.src.rpm

cd packages/SOURCES/
cp cherokee.init /etc/init.d/cherokee

Afterwards we make the init script executable and add system startup links for it:

chmod 755 /etc/init.d/cherokee
chkconfig –add cherokee

Next we start Cherokee:

/etc/init.d/cherokee start

(The output is as follows – Cherokee will not return to the command line until you press CTRL+C; if you do this, Cherokee will continue to run in the background which is what we want:

server1:~ # Cherokee Web Server 1.0.15 (Jan 10 2011): Listening on port ALL:80, TLS
disabled, IPv6 enabled, using epoll, 4096 fds system limit, max. 2041
connections, 5 threads, 408 connections per thread, standard scheduling


Now direct your browser to, and you should see the Cherokee placeholder page:


Cherokee can be configured through a web-based control panel which we can start as follows:

cherokee-admin -b

(By default cherokee-admin binds only to (localhost), which means you can only connect to it from the same system. With the -b parameter you can specify the network address to listen to. If no IP is provided, it will bind to all interfaces.)

Output should be similar to this one:

server1:~ # cherokee-admin -b
Cherokee Web Server 1.0.15 (Jan 10 2011): Listening on port ALL:9090, TLS
disabled, IPv6 enabled, using epoll, 4096 fds system limit, max. 2041
connections, caching I/O, 5 threads, 408 connections per thread, standard
scheduling policy

User:              admin
One-time Password: Vk2yR8alQft73zzn

Web Interface:
URL:               http://localhost:9090/

You need the username and password to log into the web interface which can be found on


This is how the web interface looks:


To stop cherokee-admin, type CTRL+C on the shell.

5 Enabling PHP5 In Cherokee

PHP is not enabled in Cherokee by default. To enable it, we need to start Cherokee’s web-based control panel…

cherokee-admin -b

… and log into it (

Now go to vServers, pick the default vhost and go to the Behavior tab; click the Rule Management button:


In the left column, you should now see all currently existing rules:


Click the Plus button next to Behaviour to add a new rule:


An overlay window pops up; select Languages from the left column, then choose PHP and click the Add button:


Next, click the Create button in the Configuration Assistant window:


You should now see a new rule for PHP in the left column (with the status NON FINAL). You can change the default PHP settings if you like (this is not necessary, the default settings should be fine in most cases). The FastCGI settings are on the Handler tab:


To finalize the setup, click the box that says NON FINAL


… and it should change to FINAL:


In the upper right corner there should now be a SAVE button – click it to save the new configuration…


… and then click the Graceful restart button:


PHP should now be listed on the Behavior tab (there should be a check in the Final column):


Press CTRL+C on the command line to stop the control panel.


6 Testing PHP5 / Getting Details About Your PHP5 Installation

The document root of the default web site is /srv/www/htdocs. We will now create a small PHP file (info.php) in that directory and call it in a browser. The file will display lots of useful details about our PHP installation, such as the installed PHP version.

vi /srv/www/htdocs/info.php


Now we call that file in a browser (e.g.


As you see, PHP5 is working, and it’s working through FastCGI, as shown in the Server API line. If you scroll further down, you will see all modules that are already enabled in PHP5. MySQL is not listed there which means we don’t have MySQL support in PHP5 yet.


7 Getting MySQL Support In PHP5

To get MySQL support in PHP, we can install the php5-mysql package. It’s a good idea to install some other PHP5 modules as well as you might need them for your applications:

yast2 -i php5-mysql php5-bcmath php5-bz2 php5-calendar php5-ctype php5-curl php5-dom php5-ftp php5-gd php5-gettext php5-gmp php5-iconv php5-imap php5-ldap php5-mbstring php5-mcrypt php5-odbc php5-openssl php5-pcntl php5-pgsql php5-posix php5-shmop php5-snmp php5-soap php5-sockets php5-sqlite php5-sysvsem php5-tokenizer php5-wddx php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl php5-zlib php5-exif php5-pear php5-sysvmsg php5-sysvshm

Now restart Cherokee:

/etc/init.d/cherokee start && /etc/init.d/cherokee start

(I’m using the stop and start commands here instead of restart because restart did not work reliably on my system – sometimes Cherokee would not start despite saying so.)

Now reload in your browser and scroll down to the modules section again. You should now find lots of new modules there, including the MySQL module:



  • Cherokee:
  • PHP:
  • MySQL:
  • OpenSUSE: