Plesk PHP FastCGI and Safe Mode

Updated 06/09/2011

Trying to run a PHP site in FastCGI mode and wondering why Safe Mode won’t turn off even though its unticked in the panel? Yeah, it had me tearing my hair out too.

Turns out that when running a site in PHP FastCGI mode, the Safe Mode setting in Plesk will NOT affect wether Safe Mode is on or off. In this mode, the Safe Mode setting is derived from the global php.ini.

Here’s what it says in the Plesk 10 doco:

Note: When PHP is operating in CGI or FastCGI modes, PHP settings are taken from the global php.ini file, and PHP safe mode cannot be switched off by means of security policy settings. If your customers want to use applications that require PHP safe mode to be switched off, and you decide to switch it off, then you need to modify the php.ini file located in /etc/directory on Linux platforms, and the following directory on Windows platforms:
%plesk_dir%\Additional\PHP and %plesk_dir%\Additional\PleskPHP5

Who’d have thought to look in the Plesk manuals 🙂

Update: Plesk 10.3 features custom php.ini settings per subscription.

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