More Notes On PHP Version Switching in VVV

This article is a follow-on to Changing PHP Version on Vagrant .

Here are some discoveries of using different versions of PHP on vagrant.

Change Your Host

The default vvv installation has the db_host set to ‘localhost’ in the wp-config.php file.

phpbrew, however, sets the default db listener to 127.0.01 explicitly.   They do not want to change it as they claim “this is the proper default”.   As happens often with technology gurus both the VVV camp and the phpbrew camp claim to be “right” in the purist-interpretation of the technology “bible”, after 30 years I’ve still not received my copy BTW.  The bottom line is that if you change your VVV PHP version using phpbrew you’ll need to edit your wp-config.php and change your db_host to be defined as

You will want to do this for each WordPress branch you are working with: wordpress-default , wordpress-develop, wordpress-trunk.

These directories are stored locally on your host so you can, theoretically, change them by going to your local vvv install directory and finding the www subdirectory and the proper wordpress-default directory under that.

Check Your nginx Config

The default listener for nginx php connections is defined in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file on the guest (where you are after you login with vagrant ssh).

Look for the entry ending with .sock in the upstream php section.   This defines the default compiled php version that is linked to nginx.  This will be what is run whenever someone accesses a PHP file from the nginx browser (the default for vvv).

Change this manually be commenting out the default server line and adding a new socket listener for your default phpbrew path.

If you run the vagrant provision command, this file will be created from your local HOST (not the guest box) and will overwrite things you do here.  You can make it persistent by editing your ~/config/nginx-config/nginx.conf file on your HOST box (where you installed vvv not after a vagrant ssh command).

Restart nginx After Socket Changes

If you use phpbrew to build a new version of PHP and edit the nginx.conf file to use the new PHP listener you just built and started with php fpm start, restart nginx.

phpMyAdmin Will Be Broken

phpMyAdmin uses its own configuration files to connect to MySQL.  You will need to change the default phpMyAdmin configuration file to point to instead of localhost to connect.

I’ve not yet found that config setting on vvv, but when I do I’ll let you know.   If you know the trick ,please comment or email me via lance at this website.

Investigate Docker

As a fellow tech guy and past colleague said “sounds like you need Docker”.   Yeah, probably so.  For most people not doing WordPress Core contributions, Docker is likely a much better solution for switching PHP versions.  If all you need is a place to run a local WordPress install and build themes / plugins that will likely be far easier (and faster) than VVV.

However I do contribute to core when I can and that requires me to have trunk, dev, and local installs of WordPress so I can build current patch files AND test with my plugins.    Can I do that in Docker?  Sure, but I’m guessing it is more work.   I’m also certain that at the next WordCamp the core team can help me if I’m running VVV as they often cite this as the way to “get started”.

Maybe I’ll play with Docker if I ever get a free afternoon and write some articles on doing WP Core development on that.

Someone also mentioned on my Twitter feed that Pressmatic may help (a Docker front end for OSX).  Looks cool and may be worth investigating someday.

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