PHP 5.2
on Debian 7 Wheezy

2nd December 2016

Sometimes you need to bring back to life old lines of code which will only works with old PHP versions. We will here see how to install PHP 5.2 on Debian 7 Wheezy (because I couldn’t get it work on Debian 8 Jessie).

PHP 5.2 end of life occured in January 2011; thus it is obviously a very bad idea to install it on a production environment, for obvious security reasons.

Sources

We will use the Debian 6 Lenny sources. To do so, let’s edit /etc/apt/sources.list in order to add the repo:

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free

We will also edit /etc/apt/preferences in order to tell apt we want to use PHP older versions. We add:

Package: *
Pin: release n=lenny*
Pin-Priority: 100

Package: php5 php5-common php5-cli php5-curl php5-gd php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-mhash php5-xsl php5-xmlrpc php5-sqlite  libapache2-mod-php5 phpmyadmin
Pin: release n=lenny*
Pin-Priority: 999

Installation

The installation isn’t straightforward due to a conflict with the dependency libkrb53. We will first download the packages:

cd ~
apt-get update
apt-get download php5-common php5-cli php5-curl php5-gd \
 php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-mhash php5-xsl php5-xmlrpc \
 php5-sqlite libapache2-mod-php5 

Then, we install them, while specifying we want to ignore the missing libkrb53:

dpkg --ignore-depends=libkrb53 -i *.deb

After the installation

Now, PHP 5.2 should work, but now apt doesn’t accept to install new packages anymore. It will ask to run apt-get -f install, wich will delete PHP:

You might want to run 'apt-get -f install' to correct these.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libapache2-mod-php5 : Depends: libkrb53 (>= 1.6.dfsg.2) but it is not installed
 php5-cli : Depends: libkrb53 (>= 1.6.dfsg.2) but it is not installed
E: Unmet dependencies. Try using -f.

So, each time you need to install or upgrade a package, you will have to run apt-get -f install before doing your stuff, then to install PHP 5.2 again with dpkg --ignore-depends=libkrb53 -i *.deb.


Published on the 2nd December 2016 by Sylvain Durand.