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PCRE upgrade

Discussion in 'Plesk 10.x for Linux Issues, Fixes, How-To' started by CurBookk, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. CurBookk

    CurBookk New Pleskian

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    Hello,
    Our system is VPS running CentOS release 5.8 with Plesk Panel 10.4.4 installed through a hosting service provider.

    My main question is whether I can do a PCRE update on the system; or if that would mess up the system?

    Alternatively, I saw some posts on the Parallels forum that dealt with setting up and running two versions of PHP. But then in the Plesk panel 11.0.9 upgrade pre-check I thought I saw a check saying there was not two versions of PHP running with an ok after the test - so that makes me wonder if there is a problem running two versions of PHP. (Unfortunately I didn't save the contents of that file and I don't see those checks run on subsequent tries to upgrade the Plesk panel.)

    Finally, the hosting service provider is suggesting that I can solve the PCRE problem by moving to cPanel.

    Does Parallels have a good solution keeping the Plesk panel in place?

    Background is below:
    1. We tried to install some software and it was having problems. The response from their support personnel was:
    My apologies for the late response. I have reviewed the available information and have determined that it is indeed the built-in PCRE engine used by PHP that is out of date. According to phpinfo(), the library used is extremely old; it's 6.6 from February 2006. The only possible way that this could have happened is if PHP were deliberately configured and compiled with an older version of the library; by default, the bundled PCRE library's version should be according to the table shown here:

    http://www.php.net/manual/en/pcre.installation.php

    Your best option is to contact the systems administrator of the web hosting service and demand that a better build of PHP be made available. What is there currently is a highly abnormal PHP build, and I do not doubt that you would run into further problems if you attempted to use [our sofware] with PHP the way that it is.

    2. We put in a ticket with our hosting service provider asking if we could get PCRE upgraded. Their response was:
    Our apologies but the version of PHP that is currently configured on your VPS was generated by Plesk and is specifically designed by the Parallels company to operate properly with the Plesk system. Because of this we are unfortunately not able to provide manual updates to PHP on Plesk systems. If you need to use software the requires a more recent version of PCRE you may want to look at switching to a cPanel VPS as cPanel does tend to use more up to date software versions (the current PCRE version for cPanel servers is 8.21, built on 2011-12-12).

    3. After that I decided to try to upgrade to Plesk panel 11.0.9 to see if that might help with the PCRE version installed. That upgrade failed. (A different problem - it looks like it was looking update the Sitebuilder MySQL user password and failed on that. We don't have Sitebuilder installed.)

    4. I contacted our hosting service provider about the failure of the Plesk panel upgrade and told them:
    ...
    (3:49:14pm)Me:I was thinking of going on the Parallels forum to address the question of PCRE, but thought it might be best to be at the current stable build before submitting a question that might be taken care of.
    (3:51:14pm)Support:I apologize, I have to recommend cPanel also.
    (3:51:36pm)Me:so you're saying a Plesk upgrade won't help?
    (3:52:26pm)Support:That is correct.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. IgorG

    IgorG Forums Analyst Staff Member

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    Plesk doesn’t ship PCRE, it only downloads it from original OS vendor repo and it is quite likely it may be outdated there (especially for older OS). If your OS comes with necessary version of PCRE, then Plesk would run this version of PCRE for clients. Also you can compile it from source.
     
  3. CurBookk

    CurBookk New Pleskian

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    Hello IgorG,
    On the trouble ticket with my hosting company, I posted your reply along with the full text of my original post from this forum.

    Going through several follo-up posts with our hosting company, they still recommend us moving to a cPanel server rather than staying on the Plesk server. Their responses:
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, regardless of where the package comes from, the PHP that comes with Plesk depends on the version of PCRE that is installed. Even if I could just update PCRE and not have it cause a problem for Plesk's PHP, your VPS is running CentOS 5.8. That is fairly outdated.

    If you absolutely need a newer version of PCRE, I recommend moving to a cPanel based VPS as there, we have more flexibility with the installed PHP.

    If you require any additional assistance, please let me know.

    Best regards,

    xxxxxx
    Linux Systems Administrator
    [the hosting company], LLC
    http://support.zzzzzzzzz.com

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    and
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    If you require an up to date version of PCRE a server move would unfortunately be needed so that your sites could be hosted on a cPanel server rather than your current Plesk server.The first step in this process would be to order a new VPS plan with cPanel which you can do at the following page:
    ...
    The entire transfer process should take less than a week and once on a cPanel server the version of PCRE available should be at least 8.21 (2011-12-12). If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us again.
    ...

    Best regards,

    yyyyyyy
    Linux Systems Administrator
    [the hosting company], LLC
    http://support.zzzzzzzzz.com
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    We've been on a Plesk server for 4 years and our preference is to stay with Plesk since we know it. However, the hosting company is making that a difficult choice since we do need an updated version of PCRE. Other than moving from Plesk to cPanel as they suggest, do you have any suggestions? You are sure that if I do a specific PCRE update that it will not cause problems with the Plesk panel? Their comments are making us hesitant. I'll be discussing options with my company's owner next week.

    Thanks
     
  4. CurBookk

    CurBookk New Pleskian

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    "Plesk doesn’t ship PCRE, it only downloads it from original OS vendor repo"

    Even though we wanted to stay with Plesk on our VPS we finally moved to a cPanel Linux VPS at the recommendation of our hosting provider:
    1. Given that Plesk only downloads the version of PCRE provided by the OS; and 2) there was no solution provided that satisfactorily answered the hosting provider's concerns about using some other version of PCRE with Plesk; and 3) the hosting provider said that cPanel was more flexible with the installed PHP.

    However, if I read Igor's eariler post properly, the version of PCRE should have been a non-issue as long as it was proper for the PHP version. Our hosting provider did not know that and didn't want to experiment.

    An interesting thing is that the cPanel VPS our hosting provider put us on is running CentOS 5.8 - the same OS as was running on the Plesk VPS.

    I feel it would be useful for Plesk to have instructions that answer the questions related to what can/can't be done as far as software upgrades that would not impact Plesk panel vs. those that may impact Plesk panel operation.

    I won't be adding to this post since we are no longer running Plesk panel, I just wanted to follow up with what was done.
     
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