Installing Apache + PHP + MySQL + MSSQL Extension on CentOS5

This is a short guide that will show you how to install Apache, PHP, MySQL, and MSSQL Extensions on a CentOS5 Server or VPS.  All “quote” blocks are to be executed in SSH (shell) as root.

Getting the server ready to build applications from source:

Check for any RPM installations of the applications.

rpm -qa | grep -i apache
rpm -qa | grep -i httpd
rpm -qa | grep -i php
rpm -qa | grep -i mysql

Remove any RPM installations found with the “rpm -e” command:

rpm -e application_name_here

Install some base requirements to compile and install the software.

yum -y install gcc gcc-c++ ncurses-devel libxml2-devel libpng-devel

Download the appropriate sources for Apache, PHP, and MySQL and decompress it.

cd /usr/src
tar xzf php-5.2.11.tar.gz
tar xzf httpd-2.2.14.tar.gz
tar xzf mysql-5.0.87.tar.gz
tar xzf freetds-stable.tgz

Build and Install MySQL.

Add the MySQL User and Group

groupadd mysql
useradd -g mysql -c "MySQL Server" mysql

Install MySQL.

cd mysql*
chown -R root.root *
make clean
./configure \
--prefix=/usr/local/mysql \
--localstatedir=/usr/local/mysql/data \
--disable-maintainer-mode \
--with-mysqld-user=mysql \
--with-unix-socket-path=/tmp/mysql.sock \
--without-comment \
--without-debug \
make && make install

Configure MySQL.

chown -R root:mysql /usr/local/mysql
chown -R mysql:mysql /usr/local/mysql/data
cp support-files/my-medium.cnf /etc/my.cnf
chown root:sys /etc/my.cnf
chmod 644 /etc/my.cnf

Set MySQL to start on boot

echo "/usr/local/mysql/lib/mysql" >> /etc/
cp ./support-files/mysql.server /etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql
chmod +x /etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql
/sbin/chkconfig --level 3 mysql on
service mysql start

This sets up symlinks for all MySQL binaries so that they can be run from anywhere.

cd /usr/local/mysql/bin
for file in *; do ln -s /usr/local/mysql/bin/$file /usr/bin/$file; done

Set a MySQL Root Password for security (obviously use something other than “new-password-here”.

mysqladmin -u root password new-password-here

Test the Password:

mysql -u root -p

While logged into MySQL delete the test database.

drop database test;
use mysql;
delete from db;
delete from user where not (host="localhost" and user="root");
flush privileges;

Building Apache

cd /usr/src/httpd*
make clean
./configure \
--prefix=/usr/local/apache \
--enable-shared=max \
--enable-module=rewrite \
make && make install

Build and Install FreeTDS for MSSQL Extension Support.

cd /usr/src/freetds*
make && make install

Build and Install PHP

cd /usr/src/php*
./configure \
--with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs \
--disable-debug \
--enable-ftp \
--enable-inline-optimization \
--enable-magic-quotes \
--enable-mbstring \
--enable-mm=shared \
--enable-safe-mode \
--enable-track-vars \
--enable-trans-sid \
--enable-wddx=shared \
--enable-xml \
--with-dom \
--with-gd \
--with-gettext \
--with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql \
--with-regex=system \
--with-xml \
--with-zlib-dir=/usr/lib \
make && make install
cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

I prefer to symlink configuration files to /etc so that they are easy to find and edit.

ln -s /usr/local/lib/php.ini /etc/php.ini
ln -s /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf /etc/httpd.conf

Edit the Apache Configuration File – I prefer nano.

nano /etc/httpd.conf

Uncomment the following lines or add them (uncommented) if they do not exist after “AddType application/x-tar .tgz”

#AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
#AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Find the DirectoryIndex (CTRL+W in Nano) and add index.php to the beginning.


Set Apache to start on boot and start it for the first time.

ln -s /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl /etc/rc.d/init.d/apache
ln -s /etc/rc.d/init.d/apache /etc/rc.d/rc3.d/S90apache
/etc/rc.d/init.d/apache start

Then, you must configure FreeTDS to point to your MSSQL DB server. To do so, edit (or create) the /usr/local/etc/freetds.conf file and put in there exclusively these lines:

host = (ip of the MSSQL server)
port = 1433
client charset = UTF-8
tds version = 7.0 (or 8.0 if using FreeTDS 0.82 or later)
text size = 20971520


  1. This is what i’ve been searching for…
    Good post Mike …

    I want to update my apache to a new realease one… and got stuck on its…
    But after i follow all the step in your site i finally get my server run again…

    Thanks for Your great share…
    I already bookmark this site ^^

    Thanks in advance…

  2. Hello Mike,
    Thanks for the article. It’s really helpful.
    But I came across a problem.
    I connected to MSSQL server from a php applcation hosted in Windows. It was successful.

    But when i tried to do the same hosted in a Linux platform with the installation as per your tutorial i wasn’t able to connect to MSSQL server.
    It results the following error,

    I tried PING, TELNET with 1433 port. Everything works fine.
    Then i tried “tsql” command and it resulted the following error,
    “Adaptive Server Connection Failed”

    Is it a problem of FreeTDS or something else. I couldn’t figure it out. Could you please help me figure out what’s the problem in my case.
    Your help would be highly appreciated.

  3. @Gaurav
    I haven’t actually used it myself – I just compiled the guide for a friend who needed to know how to do it and then made it available. I have obviously used LAMP but I’ve not used the MSSQL portion personally and I usually leave it out when I’m building something custom unless the customer asks for it specifically.

  4. Thanks a lot Mike. It was a good tutorial. I managed to install Apache,PHP,Mysql and FreeTDS. Its working…
    Good Job Mike

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