Home » WHM/cPanel » Restrict/Prevent all accounts from using their own custom php.ini

Restrict/Prevent all accounts from using their own custom php.ini

The is tutorial will help to restrict/prevent all accounts from using their own custom php.ini file, you have to edit the /opt/suphp/etc/suphp.conf file:

#vi /opt/suphp/etc/suphp.conf

Uncomment these lines:

;Uncommenting these will force all requests to that handler to use the php.ini
;in the specified directory regardless of suPHP_ConfigPath settings.

To as below;

;Uncommenting these will force all requests to that handler to use the php.ini
;in the specified directory regardless of suPHP_ConfigPath settings.

Save the file, then restart Apache for good measure. Now, if any account tries to put suPHP_ConfigPath into their .htaccess file, that account will return an Internal Server Error until they remove the .htaccess line. No account will be able to use another php.ini file with this as the default unless you allow the account in the php.ini file itself.

If you have PHP 5.3+ and want to allow some accounts to have their own php.ini file

If you have restricted all accounts globally to the /usr/local/lib/php.ini file and want to have one or more accounts bypass the restriction, this is possible under PHP 5.3 using the global php.ini itself.

Option 1: Allowing individual user_ini files

In /usr/local/lib/php.ini file, put the following line:

#vi /usr/local/lib/php.ini
user_ini.filename = .my.ini

The .my.ini name can be anything. Save the file, then go to the account you want to allow their own settings and create .my.ini on the account (it can be anywhere on the account so /home/username/public_html/.my.ini)

In the .my.ini file, you would be able to put only the changes you want to have such as register_globals = On for that account. Of note, only the PHP_INI_PERDIR and PHP_INI_USER directives are allowed in this file. Any PHP_INI_SYSTEM directives will not be changeable there.

Options 2: Putting individual user settings into the global php.ini file

This is the better method in my opinion. At the bottom of /usr/local/lib/php.ini file, you can actually define individual user php.ini directives with the path to that user’s application:


Here is an example putting that at the bottom of /usr/local/lib/php.ini for an account. If you try doing this in PHP 5.2, it will change the global value to the new ones rather than just that user’s as PHP 5.2 doesn’t support the path directive. Only PHP 5.3 will work properly to read the path to the user’s application. Under this method, even PHP_INI_SYSTEM directives are changeable for that account.

Under Method One for the user_ini file, the user does have the ability to themselves modify directives in their .my.ini file on the account. Under Method Two for the global php.ini user path directives, only the administrator of the machine could modify the directives. Of note, anyone can create their own user_ini file under Method One, but they would need to know the name in the global php.ini to do so (since you can call the file anything, so it could be called .guessme.ini instead and users aren’t then likely to know the name to bypass restrictions).

If you are using PHP 5.2 or earlier (PHP 5 only, not tested on PHP 4 nor guaranteed to work on PHP 4)

If you are not using PHP 5.3, then the prior methods will not work. This then leads instead to the more complicated option to allow some users to have their own php.ini file and some users to be restricted to the global php.ini file.

Under this method, you cannot have the phprc_paths uncommented, so you must have them commented out. As such, you would need to ensure /opt/suphp/etc/suphp.conf looks like the following for that area:

;Uncommenting these will force all requests to that handler to use the php.ini
;in the specified directory regardless of suPHP_ConfigPath settings.

Now, you would need to do the following steps:

1. Restrict all users to the global php.ini

Create the following directory:

#mkdir -p /usr/local/apache/conf/userdata
#cd /usr/local/apache/conf/userdata
#vi suphp_config.conf

In that file, place the following:

suPHP_ConfigPath /usr/local/lib

Save the file, this will restrict all current users to the /usr/local/lib location for the php.ini file.

2. Allowing one user to have an individual php.ini

Create the following directories:

#mkdir -p /usr/local/apache/conf/userdata/std/2/username

Here, std is for http. If you are also wanting this for https, you’d also create an ssl directory. The 2 is for Apache 2 and 2.2. If you are using Apache 1.3, you’d use 1 instead. The username is the cPanel username, so replace with the correct username.

In that location, create the file:

#cd /usr/local/apache/conf/userdata/std/2/username
#vi suphp_config.conf

In that file, place the following:

suPHP_ConfigPath /home/username/

Again, replace username with the cPanel username. This will allow a php.ini file to be placed into /home/username level only. Save the file (:wq).

3. Adding additional directories

Further directories can be allowed on the user’s account who is being allowed to have a php.ini file. If you change the entry to this in

#vi /usr/local/apache/conf/userdata/std/2/username/suphp_config.conf

suPHP_ConfigPath /home/username/{public_html}/{folder1,folder2}


This allows a php.ini in public_html as well as in public_html/folder1 and public_html/folder2 locations.

4. Checking the changes into httpd.conf

Create a backup of Apache in case you need to revert to it:

#cp /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf.bak

Here 100902 is the date where today is September 2, 2010.

Now, run the following command to verify the includes:


If each checks out OK, you’d then run this command to check these into the system:

#/scripts/ensure_vhost_includes –all-users

Now, rebuild Apache and restart it (rebuilding isn’t entirely necessary in this instance, but I normally just do it as a precaution to ensure everything is working fine):

#/etc/init.d/httpd restart

Two Important Notes on Above Method

1. mod_userdir exception

mod_userdir will bypasses the suPHP_ConfigPath restriction for the global php.ini file. If you have a user with the following url type:


That url will allow any php.ini files or suPHP_ConfigPath set into .htaccess to parse under mod_userdir. This is unwanted behavior, and the only current way I’m aware to prevent it would be to disable mod_userdir on such a system.

2. New accounts aren’t restricted

Any accounts created after you have locked users into the global php.ini file using the tags around suPHP_ConfigPath in userdata location will not be restricted to it. Each time a new account is created, the following must be run after the account creation to lock that account to the global restriction:

#/scripts/ensure_vhost_includes –all-users
#service httpd restart

Final Note: suPHP_ConfigPath in httpd.conf

Defining the suPHP_ConfigPath line in the VirtualHost entry in httpd.conf does not restrict the account to using that path if the tags are not around it. Without those tags, if a user defines the suPHP_ConfigPath into their .htaccess file on their account in either /home/user/ or /home/user/public_html, their .htaccess entry will override the httpd.conf VirtualHost entry. You can only lock users to the set suPHP_ConfigPath by the previously described method.


I am founder and webmaster of www.linuxpcfix.com and working as a Sr. Linux Administrator (Expertise on Linux/Unix & Cloud Server) and have been in the industry from last 7 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Categorized Tag Cloud