Frequently Asked Questions

Get all the answers that you are looking for.

How can I access the package repositories?

The package repositories are private. Only customers of the service have access to them. See the documentation for details on how you can access them.

What if I want to share the packages with my customers, but I can’t afford the “pro” offer?

In that case, you should tell your customers to subscribe to the service by themselves. If you want to spare them this administrative work, you can take multiple “basic” subscriptions: we will hand you multiple access tokens and you should dedicate one for each of your customer.

What is the difference between Freexian and Debian packages?

The main difference is the supported PHP versions. On Debian, there’s only a single supported PHP version, but on Freexian, multiple co-installable PHP versions are provided from the Freexian repository.

The other difference is in the way how the PECL extensions are packaged. There’s a single package for Debian and multiple versioned packages in the Freexian PHP repository.

What is the default PHP version on Freexian?

The default PHP version that gets installed when you type f.e. apt install php-fpm follows the latest upstream PHP version with some delay. The default PHP version is usually switched to the new stable PHP version after few months of grace period when all extensions are built, and people report success running the latest PHP version.

What is the difference between Freexian and DEB.SURY.ORG?

There are two differences. The main difference is that the Freexian PHP repositories are guaranteed and officially supported, and the DEB.SURY.ORG is provided on the best effort basis. Then the technical difference is in the Debian releases supported. The Freexian PHP repositories offer packages for the Debian Jessie (Extended LTS), Debian Stretch (LTS), and Debian Buster (stable), while DEB.SURY.ORG only provides PHP packages for the last two officially supported Debian releases. Currently, that would be Debian Stretch LTS and Debian Buster (stable). With Freexian, you are getting a broader selection of supported Debian releases.

If you are already familiar with DEB.SURY.ORG packages, you should have no trouble using Freexian PHP packages.

How long will you support PHP releases after their end-of-life?

The support for PHP releases past their respective end-of-life was made possible because of the Microsoft repository, where security patches are backported from the maintenance branches. Should this work be discontinued, the PHP versions in the Freexian repositories will receive additional six months of backported security fixes.

How long will your support Debian 8?

We will provide packages for Debian 8 for as long as Debian 8 is supported through Freexian’s Extended Long Term Support, so most likely until June 2022 (depending on customers’ interest).

How to switch from Debian PHP packages to Freexian PHP packages?

Using the Freexian PHP packages should be as simple as adding the private APT repository and running apt update. Then to install, for example, PHP 7.4, you would run apt install php7.4 or apt install phpX.Y-fpm. The only thing you must be aware of is the difference between the default versions. If you already have the php-fpm package installed, the apt dist-upgrade command will co-install the default PHP version and upgrade the currently installed version.

How to switch from DEB.SURY.ORG packages to Freexian PHP packages?

Switching the source of the PHP packages from DEB.SURY.ORG to Freexian is very simple. Just add the Freexian private repositories to the APT source lists and remove the DEB.SURY.ORG repository. The next apt update && apt upgrade will update the packages to the Freexian PHP packages.

What PECL extensions are provided?

Initially, only selected PECL extensions are provided in the Freexian PHP repository. As a customer, you have an option to request the addition the PECL extensions to the private repository based on your subscription level.

Check out the list of supported extensions.

How are the PECL extensions packaged?

For every PHP release (5.6, 7.x and 8.x), there’s a matching phpX.Y-<ext> package. In addition to that, for compatibility reasons, there’s a single php-<ext> package that depends on all individual PECL packages.

Do you support Ubuntu releases?

We can support Ubuntu releases when there’s customer interest. We have listed Ubuntu 16.04 in our support matrix to show that we are committed to add this support if a company subscribes to the service asking us to support that distribution.

I have more questions. Where do I send them?

Please get in touch with us at