Installing PHP 5.6 on RHEL 7 and CentOS 7

The PHP language is constantly evolving and improving performances. As a result, old versions of PHP become obsolete and shouldn't be used when they are no longer supported. PHP 5.4 is no longer supported by the PHP team, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) still ships with PHP 5.4.  For customers on Nextcloud 9 and 10, PHP 5.6 is not mandatory but strongly recommended for both performance and security. For customers on Nextcloud 11 and 12, PHP 5.6 is mandatory but we recommend using PHP 7 for performance and scalability advantages.

Note: before upgrading, you should make sure that all your PHP apps are compatible with PHP 5.6.

How to upgrade RHEL 7 to PHP 5.6

The RHEL support contract states that you must use the Software Collections repository (SCL) and not a third-party repository to upgrade to PHP 5.6. Here is the process to install PHP 5.6 from SCL.

1. Enable SCL with your Subscription Manager

subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-server-rhscl-7-eus-rpms 

2. Install P

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