Integrating eAccelerator Into PHP5 (Debian Etch)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This guide explains how to integrate eAccelerator into PHP5 on a Debian Etch system. From the eAccelerator project page: "eAccelerator is a free open-source PHP accelerator, optimizer, and dynamic content cache. It increases the performance of PHP scripts by caching them in their compiled state, so that the overhead of compiling is almost completely eliminated. It also optimizes scripts to speed up their execution. eAccelerator typically reduces server load and increases the speed of your PHP code by 1-10 times."

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I have tested this on a Debian Etch server with the IP address where Apache2 and PHP5 are already installed and working. I'll use Apache's default document root /var/www in this tutorial for demonstration purposes. Of course, you can use any other vhost as well, but you might have to adjust the path to the info.php file that I'm using in this tutorial.


2 Checking PHP5's Current State

First, before we install eAccelerator, let's find out about our PHP5 installation. To do this, we create the file info.php in our document root /var/www:

vi /var/www/info.php

Afterwards, we call that file in a browser:

As you see, we have PHP 5.2.0 installed...

... but eAccelerator isn't mentioned anywhere on the page:


3 Installing eAccelerator

Unfortunately, there's no eAccelerator package for Debian Etch in the official repositories, therefore we must compile and install it from the sources. Before we can do this, we need to install some prerequisites:

apt-get install build-essential php5-dev

Now we can download and install eAccelerator like this (make sure that you get the latest version from the eAccelerator web site):

cd /tmp
tar xvfj eaccelerator-
cd eaccelerator-
make install

eAccelerator is now installed. Now we have to tell our PHP installation that it should make use of eAccelerator. On Debian Etch, the configuration files for the various PHP 5 modules are stored in the /etc/php5/conf.d directory, and this directory is referenced in the main PHP5 configuration file /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini, meaning all files in /etc/php5/conf.d are read in whenever Apache is started/restarted. So all we do is create the file /etc/php5/conf.d/eaccelerator.ini:

vi /etc/php5/conf.d/eaccelerator.ini

(You can read up on the various configuration settings on this page:

As you see, we are using the disk cache directory /var/cache/eaccelerator which we must create now and make it world-writable:

mkdir -p /var/cache/eaccelerator
chmod 0777 /var/cache/eaccelerator

Afterwards, we restart Apache so that our new PHP configuration takes effect:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Afterwards, open info.php again in a browser:

You should now see eAccelerator mentioned on the page which means it has successfully been integrated and is working as expected (I've marked the eAccelerator line in the below screenshot for better visibility):


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9 Comment(s)

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This add-in has boosted the loading of the pages I have on my server many times over. I use mainly WordPress and Zen-Cart.


By: Anonymous

It gives 404 error


To run the phpize command, php header files have to be installed,so type apt-get install php5-dev (replace 5 with the number You are using) and then go on.


Im using cache im ram, it speeds eA even more:

Here is my fstab:

none /tmp/eaccelerator tmpfs size=256M,nr_inodes=10M,mode=0777 0 0 

By: atrox

be aware: every time aptitude updates your php5 package (even minior-changes like 5.2.0-8+etch11 to 5.2.0-8+etch13), you have to rebuild & reinstall the eaccelerator to fit the new version.


Falko, this saved me after XCache started segfaulting for no apparent reason (evidently quite a few people have experienced this).  I had used XCache because it was in the Debian repo and therefore quick to setup.

eAccelerator works like a charm and it is FAST.  Thank you.

Installed on:  Debian Lenny / ISPConfig2 / Drupal 6.19

By: romsatch

thank you very much

By: Ron

These instructions are outdated.

By: till

The instructions are for Debian Etch as mentioned in the title of the article. Debian 4.0 (Alias Etch) has been released in 2007 and the instruction are still valid for Debian 4 but not for Debian 8 off course.