Downgrade From PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3 on Ubuntu Lucid 10.04

After the Decatur server was upgraded to the newest long-term-support release of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid), there were a few issues that occurred.  This is because Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid includes the PHP 5.3.2 version with the release.  To me, this was good news because I would prefer to stay ahead on these kinds of things that are facing the Internet and could be prone to security issues.  Before the upgrade, I was using PHP 5.2.4 on the servers.

The graphic utility that I use to graph network status, e-mail status, and other server status items had some graph issues.  That is because of some “Deprecated” errors that were messing with the graphic utility’s stuff.  That was easily fixed by turning off error-reporting for the command-line interface (cli) version of the php.ini file found in the /etcphp5/cli folder.

Then I came across another problem.  Joomla 1.0.x sites.  I have Several Joomla 1.0.15 sites running on my systems.  Well, unfortunately, Joomla no longer supports the 1.0 version.  This is going to be pretty hairy if there are problems in the future.

The problems with Joomla 1.0.15 sites were that the Contacts page would be completely blank.  If you try to go into the Administrator portal and look at the contacts, it was also a white page as well.  In addition, the content area of all of the web pages were blank!  The modules and other aspects of the template would load fine, but the main body content was completely empty.

Searching through some forums on this issue, I was able to fix the Joomla 1.0.15 blank content problems by doing the following.

Open the file “includes/Cache/Lite/Function.php” file.  Search for this line:

$arguments = func_get_args();

Now, you need to replace it with this code:

$arguments = func_get_args();
$numargs = func_num_args();
for($i=1; $i < $numargs; $i++)
{ $arguments[$i] = &$arguments[$i]; }

Now, one more update.

Open the file “includes/vcard.class.php” and before line 38, you need to add this.  Note that the brackets need to be around code that is already there – which is lines 38 to 77:

if(!function_exists(‘quoted_printable_encode’))
{
/* line 38 to 77 */
}

Your site should now work.  If you have difficulties with that, download the Joomla 1.0.15 patch for PHP 5.3 and above here.  The files are text files so rename them with a “.php” extension and then place them in the proper directories (as I outlined above):

Function.php
vcard.class.php

OK, so all the of the Joomla 1.0.x sites were back up and running after running those changes on PHP 5.3.2!

Well, the next morning, I saw a few e-mails about another website that was not working; the main page was working and other aspects, but the areas where users logged in registered, or did other activities – was a blank page!

I messed with this for hours upon hours and tried to fix what I could before it was time to quit.  The individual had a developer create the website for them – and they used a program called CakePHP Framework.  The version they used was old as the hills – version 1.2.1.8004.  Unfortunately, CakePHP does not support PHP 5.3 until CakePHP 1.3 versions.  Well, there was still ways to fix it and as many other folks online posted, they got their site working with PHP 5.3 using CakePHP 1.2 without trouble.

However, the pages that were not working were completely white – nothing; no debug information or help to be provided at all.  I did manage to get some errors out of the page by trying other methods – which were:

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/inflector.php on line 131
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/configure.php on line 136
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/cake/libs/configure.php on line 226
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/configure.php on line 911
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/configure.php on line 951
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/cache.php on line 71
Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /<path>/core/cake/libs/cache.php on line 155

So, trying to fix it like the other folks did with CakePHP 1.2 on PHP 5.3 or older, I went into those files and replaced some text on those lines.  PHP doesn’t support clone code in such a way.  So, on the lines above, I changed:

=& new

To this code:

= clone new

This completely got rid of the errors and there was nothing reported.  I even went into the config/core.php file and changed the debug mode to 1, 2, and 3 at different times to try to get something out of the site – but NOTHING would give!  It still continued to be a blank white page with no warnings or errors.

So, i gave up.  The developers indicated that the site would not work if the PHP version was 5.3.2 or greater.

So, I then had no other choice but to downgrade Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid from PHP 5.3.2 to 5.2 – which happens to be 5.2.10 that was installed (hey, at least it is newer than the 5.2.4 – but it still is a year old on the build date).

So more work and stress later, I am back to PHP 5.2.10 on the server without any troubles (so far!).  Here is how PHP was downgraded from 5.3 to 5.2 on Ubuntu Lucid 10.04.

You first need to find out what PHP items you have installed – which can be done by:

sudo dpkg -l | grep “php”

It will list all of the PHP packages that are installed on your server. Write all of them down! You will need to remove all of those. So, do that here:

sudo apt-get remove php5 php-date php-http-request php-log php-mail-mime php-mimedecode php-net-socket php-net-url php-pear php5-cli php5-common php5-curl php5-dev php5-gd php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-snmp libapache2-mod-php5 libphp-adodb

Your list WILL be different than what I have above – but ensure that when you remove those items, it may throw in a few other packages that need to be removed – due to dependencies. Ensure that you write all of them down so you can re-install them after this process.

Good, now you have all of those removed. Now, a few more steps to go. First, you need to make a copy of your /etc/apt/sources.list file and point it to Karmic – which was the previous release that has PHP 5.2.10 on it. To do so, simply issue this command at the prompt:

sudo sed s/lucid/karmic/g /etc/apt/sources.list | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/karmic.list

The above code makes a coupy of your /etc/apt/sources.list and places it in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d folder and calls it karmic.list. Basically it replaces all “lucid” occurrences in the file with “karmic” and copies it. Now, do a:

sudo apt-get update

This will then allow apt to refresh itself and download all of the headers for the Ubuntu Karmic files (since it is reading that new file now).

OK – now you need to create one file that you will basically use to tell the package manager to NOT upgrade and to only use the versions from the Karmic release. You can name this file whatever you want and place it in the /etc/apt/preferences.d folder (I just called mine php). In this file, you need to list EVERY package that you want to be downloaded from the Karmic repositories and NEVER from the Lucid repositories. Below is my list. You should have EVERY package that you just removed listed in here.

Package: php-date
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-http-request
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-log
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-mail-mime
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-mimedecode
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-net-socket
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-net-url
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php-pear
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-cli
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-common
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-curl
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-dev
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-gd
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-imagick
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-imap
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-mcrypt
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-mysql
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-snmp
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: libapache2-mod-php5
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: libphp-adodb
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Now save that file. Two more commands. The first one – install the PHP version 5.2.10 from the Karmic repositories. Again, install only those that you removed from the previous remove command.

sudo apt-get install php5 php-date php-http-request php-log php-mail-mime php-mimedecode php-net-socket php-net-url php-pear php5-cli php5-common php5-curl php5-dev php5-gd php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-snmp libapache2-mod-php5 libphp-adodb

Now, just restart Apache!

sudo apache2ctl restart

Apache should now be using PHP 5.2.10. After running this, the website that was having all the problems jumped back to life and was fixed.

5 thoughts on “Downgrade From PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3 on Ubuntu Lucid 10.04

  1. [quote]So, i gave up.[/quote]

    😆 Same here after wasting a day trying to get Drupal working.

    Thank you for posting this tutorial. There seem to be a number of them now on downgrading from 5.3, but you explain the steps very well rather than just saying “do this then that.” Much appreciated. Cheers.

  2. I was able to downgrade my php version from 5.3.2 to 5.2.10 which your professional documentation of the downgrade process was fantastic in ones view.

    God bless 🙂

  3. Perfect! Thanks a lot!

    Had the “1.0.15 blank content” problem since my hoster updated his webservers.
    The function.php & vcard.class.php fixes worked perfect for me! 🙂

    Thanks again!

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