FCGID allows PHP to run outside of the Apache process. It also allows the PHP process to run as the user who owns the scripts. This is useful for WordPress as it allows the installation of plugins and themes without the need to enter FTP credentials.
To get it running is sometimes tricky as it is not always obvious (e.g. from a log file) where a problem lies. This post documents how I got it working after a few headaches. This assumes WordPress has already been installed at /var/www/mysite.
First, install the necessary packages
aptitude install apache2-mpm-worker php5-cgi libapache2-mod-fcgid
Enable the fcgid module in Apache. Disable php5 mod if it is enabled, so that the fcgid module is used to handle PHP requests.
a2enmod fcgid a2dismod php5
Ensure the wordpress user/group owns all files in the wordpress site.
chmod -R wordpress:wordpress /var/www/mysite
Create the php-fcgi-starter script
with the following contents
#!/bin/sh PHPRC=/etc/php5/cgi/ export PHPRC export PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS=5000 export PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN=8 exec /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php
This also needs to be owned by the wordpress user/group.
Finally, put the necessary bits in Apache site configuration file:
<IfModule mod_fcgid.c> SuexecUserGroup wordpress wordpress <Directory /var/www/mysite> Options +ExecCGI AllowOverride All AddHandler fcgid-script .php FCGIWrapper /var/www/php-fcgi-scripts/php-fcgi-starter .php Require all granted </Directory> </IfModule>