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For cPanel & WHM version 60


PHP handlers deliver the PHP programming libraries. 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.


  • You cannot select a PHP Handler unless EasyApache builds PHP.
  • If you select the MPM ITK option in the Exhaustive Options List stage of the EasyApache 3 interface (Home >> Software >> EasyApache 3), cPanel & WHM will select CGI as your PHP handler unless you have previously configured it to use DSO in the Configure PHP and suEXEC interface (Home >> Service Configuration >> Configure PHP and suEXEC).

PHP Handlers

By default, cPanel & WHM offers four PHP Handlers. Your selections in EasyApache determine which options are available.


We recommend that you select suPHP as your PHP handler unless you select the MPM ITK option in EasyApache. If you select suPHP, you will be able to see which user owns the account that is running the PHP script. To use this function, enable the Mod SuPHP option when you configure EasyApache.


suPHP is not compatible with FCGI or MPM ITK.


If you use suPHP as your PHP handler, extensions that handle caching (such as EAccelerator and XCache) will not provide any benefits on your server.


This option provides the version of PHP that you select through the libphp5.so library. We recommend the DSO option if you are using MPM ITK rather than the default CGI handler. The DSO handler is generally the fastest way to respond to PHP requests, but does not provide a mechanism to identify the owner of a PHP script. If you build EasyApache with MPM ITK and DSO, processes run as the user. If you build EasyApache with MPM Prefork and DSO, processes run as the nobody user. 

For information about how to migrate from DSO to suPHP, read our Configure PHP and suEXEC documentation.


The CGI handler provides the version of PHP you select through mod_cgi or mod_cgid. If you enable suEXEC, you will be able to see which virtual host has made the PHP request. A virtual host allows you to host multiple domains from a single IP address. The owner of a virtual host will be the same as the account name. However, if you disable suEXEC, your server will serve the PHP request as the nobody user.

We recommend that you only use the CGI PHP handler if you are unable to use any of the other PHP handlers. This method is not fast or secure unless you use MPM ITK, regardless of whether you enable suEXEC.


This option provides no access to the version of PHP that you select.


FCGI is an alternate implementation for the CGI handler and stands for "fast CGI." It attempts to lower the overhead of interfacing Apache with CGI programs. This allows the server to serve web pages more quickly and in higher volume. For more information, view the FCGI wikipedia page


FCGI is not compatible with the MPM ITK.


You must select Mod FCGID from the Exhaustive Options List stage of the EasyApache 3 interface in order for FCGI to appear as an option on the Configure PHP and suEXEC screen. 

Additional documentation

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