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PHP Handler for DirectAdmin : DSO – Dynamic Shared Object (mod_php)

PHP handler supplies the required library to interpret PHP code. Each handler delivers the libraries through different files and implementations. Each file and implementation affects Apache’s performance, because it determines how Apache serves PHP.

By default, DirectAdmin is come with DSO – Dynamic Shared Object (mod_php) and this is an older configuration but is generally considered the fastest handler. It runs PHP as an Apache module and this means that PHP scripts will run as the Apache user, which is the file ownership should be as ‘apache:apache’ (owner:group).


  • DSO (mod_php) is loaded once, it is faster than CGI and SuPHP.
  • PHP can direct access to some Apache-specific calls, which give you some more fine-grained control on the HTTP-level.
  • Allow for most common PHP .htaccess (php_flag) directives to be used.
  • Suitable environment to run PHP optcode caching addon such as eAcclerator, APC or Xcache.
  • Well suite for high traffic sites.

Important Note:

  • All files created by a PHP script will have the ownership of ‘apache’ or ‘nobody’. You may not able to edit it in DirectAdmin or through FTP. It can be edit after you have changed the file ownership to yours as you can reset it in DirectAdmin.
  • Most PHP websites need to write to files and directories and if they are owned by DirectAdmin ‘user:group’, without changing the permissions on the files or directories to 777 it will causes issues and in some cases, break your website.
  • The most important thing is a security issue, as all created files/folders will have the ‘nobody’ ownership. The preventative fix the hack issue is to always keep your site’s software up to date. Check with your PHP script’s developer to keep up on the new releases. If you are the only one being hosted on the server, this is easy to do as it’s part of your webmaster duties already.

Architecture :

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