The newest release of WordPress requires a minimum of PHP 5.6.4, and so does Laravel. My primary web server has been running PHP 5.4.16, so I needed to upgrade. It was running on CentOS 7.0, so I figured it was time for a complete refresh. I spun up a new VPS with CentOS 7.6 and installed PHP, which resulted in a huge leap forward to PHP … 5.4.16? CentOS has been shipping with the same version of PHP for five years? Yes, they have. CentOS’s excuse is that they’re just doing whatever Red Hat does, so what’s Red Hat’s excuse?
I jumped through some hoops and got PHP 5.6.4 installed, but I eventually got to thinking, maybe other distributions aren’t so behind the times. Maybe it is time to re-evaluate some other distributions. The default OS from my VPS provider is Ubuntu, so I thought I would start there.
Out of the box, Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS installed Apache httpd 2.4.18 and PHP 7.0.33, the last of which is a huge improvement. A release from this year. That part made me happy.
So far, I haven’t found many differences, but I haven’t really been looking very hard. apt-get instead of yum. SELinux is not enabled by default.