Joomla User Manual

Manual Index

Apache PHP Handlers


To determine which method your web server is using to handle php files use the *Administrator / System / System Information links and select the PHP Information tab. Search the page for Server API. The common ways for an Apache web server to handle PHP files include the following:

DSO (mod_php)

  • Advantage: one of the fastest handlers available.
  • Disadvantage: only works with a single version of PHP; files saved by php scripts are owned by the Apache user except when used in conjunction with mod_ruid2.
  • To recognise: Server API - Apache 2.0 Handler


  • Advantage: scripts run as the domain or subdomain user, very fast handler.
  • Disadvantage: slower than mod_php, cannot put PHP configuration changes in an .htaccess file.
  • To Recognise: Server API - CGI/FastCGI


  • Advantage: very fast, additional level of flexibility.
  • Disadvantage: uses more memory than most of the others, cannot put PHP configuration changes in an .htaccess file.
  • To Recognise: Server API - FPM/FastCGI

LSAPI (mod_lsapi)

  • Advantages:
    • Provides support for caching.
    • It is the most performant handler with a low memory footprint.
    • No configuration is required.
    • It can work with multiple PHP versions in a single setup.
    • It supports PHP configuration directives through .htaccess files.
    • Secure because scripts execute as the domain owner.
  • Disadvantages:
    • It does not make available all LSAPI capabilities.
  • To Recognise: Server API - ?

On a local laptop or desktop computer you can use mod_php but you may need to set the Apache user to your own username and point the document root to a location in your own file space. Otherwise you will have file and folder permissions problems.

On a hosting service you need to use one of the FastCGI alternatives or LSAPI. Hosting services may give you a choice.