setting up MacPorts apache2 with virtual hosts and PHP 5.6

I just needed an apache webserver with PHP 5.6 and some virtual hosts on my Mac running OSX El Capitan. The native OSX apache version comes with an older version of PHP which has no xdebug support, so I shut it down with

sudo apachectl stop


I installed the following ports:

sudo port install apache2 php56 php56-apache2handler php56-xdebug

Apache configuration

After installing the following commands are needed:

cd /opt/local/apache2/modules
sudo /opt/local/apache2/bin/apxs -a -e -n php5

After that, the following changes must be made to /opt/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf:

# add the following line where the modules are loaded
LoadModule php5_module modules/
#add the following line
Include conf/extra/mod_php56.conf
# set the ServerName
ServerName myhost.local
#uncomment the following line to have vhost configurations:
Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

In the file /opt/local/apache2/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf configure the virtual hosts:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  DocumentRoot "/path/to/where/the/docs/are"
  ServerName myvhost
  <Directory />
    DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
    AllowOverride All
    Options All
    Allow from all

And don’t forget to add the virtual host name (myvhost) as an alias to localhost in /etc/hosts.

The configuration can be checked with

/opt/local/apache2/bin/apachectl -t

Starting and stopping the server is done with:

sudo port load apache2
sudo port unload apache2

PHP configuration

in /opt/local/etc/php56 copy one of the provided sample files to php.ini and adjust it, especially the date.timezone setting. To configure xdebug, add the following section to php.ini (make sure the path to matches the installed version):