Safely Downgrade PHP 5.4 to 5.3 on Centos Linux / Plesk with Nucleus

Posted on October 26, 2013

The moment I upgraded to PHP 5.4, my WordPress sites and web server were flooded with error messages. I tried to fix as many of them as I could, but in the end, I just wanted to go back to 5.3.x. It turns out this process isn't as easy as typing “yum downgrade php*”. Doing that will just bring you back a version of 5.4. Thankfully, the crew at Atomicorp have developed the Nucleus repository.

Atomicorp Nucleus Repository

Atomicorp has setup the Nucleus PHP 5.3 Repository (PHP 5.3 Archive), in order to provided PHP 5.3 and related legacy support packages for Redhat, CentOS, and Cloudlinux versions 5 and 6.

This is a paid repository. The cost is only $10, and frankly, is a steal. It saved me from a world of bug fixes.

Downgrading to PHP 5.3

In order to setup the repository, run the following command. Please remember, your IP won't be authorized to use the repo until you pay the fee.

yum install nucleus-release

Next, make sure to exclude PHP 5.4 from your Atomic repo (this will ensure that you don't downgrade to another version of 5.4).


Finally, when you're ready to downgrade to PHP 5.3:

yum -y downgrade $(rpm -qa --queryformat="%{name} \n" |grep ^php)

That's it.

For more info, please visit Atomicorp's forum on downgrading to PHP 5.3

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