HOW TO INSTALL PHP 5.6 ON DEBIAN 11 – Step by Step Guide


PHP 5.6 is an older version of PHP that may be required for specific applications or legacy projects. Debian 11, codenamed “Bullseye,” is the latest stable release of the Debian operating system. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of installing PHP 5.6 on Debian 11.

Step 1: Update Your System:

Before proceeding with the PHP installation, it’s essential to ensure your system is up-to-date. Open a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Add Dotdeb Repository:

PHP 5.6 is not available in Debian 11’s default repositories. We’ll use the Dotdeb repository, which provides packages for older PHP versions. Install the required dependencies and the Dotdeb repository using the following commands:

sudo apt install -y curl gnupg2
curl -sS | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/dotdeb.gpg
echo "deb $(lsb_release -cs) all" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dotdeb.list
sudo apt update

Step 3: Install PHP 5.6:

With the Dotdeb repository added, we can now install PHP 5.6 along with necessary extensions. Run the following commands:

sudo apt install -y php5.6 php5.6-common php5.6-cli php5.6-fpm php5.6-mysql php5.6-curl php5.6-gd php5.6-mbstring php5.6-xml

Step 4: Check PHP Version:

After installation, verify PHP 5.6 is installed correctly by checking its version:

php5.6 -v

Step 5: Configure PHP 5.6:

Next, we’ll make some configuration changes to ensure PHP 5.6 works correctly. Open the PHP configuration file with a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/php/5.6/cli/php.ini

Make any necessary changes according to your project requirements. Save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 6: Switch Between PHP Versions (Optional):

If you have multiple PHP versions installed on your system, you can switch between them using the update-alternatives command. To set PHP 5.6 as the default version, run:

sudo update-alternatives --set php /usr/bin/php5.6


You have successfully installed PHP 5.6 on Debian 11. You can now develop and run projects that require this specific PHP version. However, please note that PHP 5.6 is no longer actively supported, and it’s crucial to consider upgrading to a supported PHP version for security and performance reasons. Enjoy coding!

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