2.2. Obtaining PHP

At the time of this writing, two versions of PHP are available: PHP 4 and PHP 5. When PHP 6 is released, three versions of PHP might be available for a period of time. If you're installing PHP for the first time and creating your first Web site, you should download PHP 5, or PHP 6 if it is available at the time you read this book. You should install an older version of PHP only if you need to maintain or modify an existing Web site with existing code. Code that's written for one version of PHP might need to be modified to run on another version of PHP. If you have a lot of code, you might want to update the code over a period of time.

2.2.1. Downloading from the PHP Web site

PHP for all operating systems is available on the PHP Web site at www.php.net. You can download source code to compile on your operating system. Compiling and installing source code isn't difficult on Linux and the Mac OS, but requires expert knowledge and software on Windows.

Binary files — compiled, ready-to-run files that just need to be copied to the correct location — are available only for Windows. You can obtain binary files for Linux and the Mac OS from other Web locations, but not from the PHP Web site.

2.2.2. Obtaining PHP for Windows

You can easily install PHP from binary files that you can download from the PHP Web site at www.php.net. You can download a Zip file that contains all the necessary files or an installer that you can run to install all the PHP files. The PHP documentation ...

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