Support for PHP 5.3 in RHEL 5 via new php53-mapi RPM package

July 29, 2011 by Robert Scheck   Comments (0)

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Red Hat introduced with with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 a new PHP version for users, which whish to migrate to a more current PHP release. This new version was packaged as "php53" and replaces the regular "php" (PHP 5.1.x) if the user chooses to migrate.

Unfortunately, PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.3 are ABI incompatible, that means that PHP modules that were compiled for PHP 5.1 can not be run using PHP 5.3. Every PHP module that shall work with PHP 5.3 needs to be recompiled from source.

What does that mean for Zarafa? There is "php-mapi" which was compiled for PHP 5.1.x by default and thus you can not use Zarafa WebAccess or any other PHP MAPI related software which requires the PHP MAPI module - till today:

Thanks to Erik Jacobs (who complained about this issue) and Matej Cepl (who did the Fedora Package Review), I am able to let you know that I submitted the new RPM package "php53-mapi" in Bodhi as an official update for EPEL 5.

This new package is available until it has been pushed to the EPEL testing repository via Bodhi (via Koji) using the following URL:

If you use "php53" on RHEL 5 (or derivates) already, just get it and test it. And please add afterwards positive or negative karma to the package in Bodhi.

Some notes for PHP 5.3 users on RHEL 5: It does not matter whether you use the PHP 5.3 RPM packages from RHEL 5 (or derivates) or these from the IUS Community Project. Things go even that far that you can use this php53-mapi RPM package together with the official Zarafa RPM packages - of course, it will be unsupported by Zarafa. But if you really have the need, you do not need to compile this extension any longer by yourself and you do not need to use some of the untrusted "" binaries for PHP 5.3 that were made available by some people on the Internet.

But there are caveats for now, if you want to use PHP 5.3 on RHEL 5: Due to a packaging bug of Red Hat, you need to install the "zarafa-webaccess" RPM package until Zarafa 7.0.1 using "rpm -Uvh --nodeps <package>". So starting with 7.0.1 final release, I will work around this issue by a hackish trick.

Nevertheless, if you are also a "zarafa-z-push" or "z-push" user (from RPM Fusion), I have to disappoint that the packaging trick from WebAccess does not apply for Z-Push. Instead, please help to get the source of the issue fixed, the packaging bug in RHEL 5, by opening a "Service Request" in your Red Hat Network account. is the URL that needs to be mentioned in the ticket and if possible, please add also a comment to the bug report with the ID of the Service Request. As RHEL is mostly customer-driven, official requests from paying customers via the Red Hat customer portal are the best way to priorize this issue.

And if you should find bugs or issues, please fill a bug report in Red Hat Bugzilla as described here:

Your feedback is very much appreciated.