Installing gearmand, libgearman and pecl gearman extension for php from source in Debian 6 & 7

I had a pretty rough evening today. No, not because the waiter forgot to add sugar in my tea, but because it was so boring to go through the trial and errors of installing gearman daemon and pecl gearman extension for php.

First I tried with the pretty-obvious-awe-fucking-some way.

apt-get update
apt-get install gearman 
pecl install gearman

In above steps, “apt-get install gearman” ran smoothly. But then “pecl install gearman” failed saying that it doesn’t have libgearman. Eh? so I installed libgearman4 (in Debian Squeezy. It was libgearman6 in Wheezy) and libgearman-dev. But pecl failed again to compile the extension saying that libgearman is missing. Strange! So I googled about this issue and found that it could be a link error where a symbolic link might be required of “/usr/include/libgearman” as “/usr/include/libgearman-1.0″. Still no luck.

So I decided to compile gearmand from the source. And libgearman is also included with that, so it will fix two errors at once. I downloaded the latest gearman package from launchpad and tried to compile it

tar -zxvf gearmand-1.1.11.tar.gz
cd gearmand-1.1.11

Failure 1:
At this step, configure stopped showing the following error

configure: error: cannot find Boost headers version >= 1.39.0

To fix this, I had to install “libboost-all-dev” by following command

apt-get install libboost-all-dev

And I tried to compile gearman and it failed again

Failure 2:
At this step, configure stopped showing that it cannot find gperf. That’s fine – I have installed gperf and tried to configure gearman again

apt-get install gperf

Failure 3:
Now it failed again, showing that libevent is missing. Hmm! Had to fix it anyway

apt-get install libevent-dev

Failure 4:
Heck! Another failure. Now it’s showing that it can’t find libuuid. This part was a little tricky to solve, but finally fixed with the following package

apt-get install uuid-dev

Let’s configure again. And sweet that the configure script ran smoothly. Let’s compile using make

Failure 5:
Grrr! At this point the make script failed with a bunch of text, where the following lines were at the top

libgearman/ In function 'void custom_backtrace()':
libgearman/ sorry, unimplemented: Graphite loop optimizations can only be used if the libcloog-ppl0 package is installed

So it cannot find a library named libcloog-ppl. Let’s fix this problem by

apt-get install libcloog-ppl-dev

Now I’ve tried to run the make script, and it was good. So i also ran make install to complete the installation.

make install

Now gearmand and libgearman both are installed. So I tried to install pecl-gearman with the following extension and voila! it worked. No more missing libgearman anymore.

pecl install gearman

Now all I had to do is add the line “” in my php.ini .

The process was tedious and boring and took me more time than writing this article. If you have seen “Despicable Me 2″ when Lucy and Gru went to ElMacho’s restaurant and were attacked by that crazy chicken and finally Lucy exclaimed “What’s wrong with that chicken!”

I really wanted to say “What’s wrong with this chicken” after gearman was installed at last.


connecting to flickr using PHP and PECL oAuth extension

flickr, one of the world dominant in photo sharing service, has added support to oAuth recently. Though their old authentication system still works (marked as deprecated but not discontinued) I find it’s wise to use their oAuth system for the better future proof application development.

PHP has a nice extension to perform oAuth dance in it’s pecl repository – pecl oAuth. Here is the code to connect to flickr using this extension. The only catch I found and took me more than 30 minutes to figure out a failed attempt, is you will have to append the permission flag in it’s oAuth authorization url. Pass either one of these permission flags “read”,”write” or “delete” as “&perms=” (flickr.php, line # 20) and then the redirection will be successful. Register your Flickr application from here, you will find your consumer key and secret key in next page in the App Garden.

While creating new application in flickr app garden, point the callback url to your flickr.php – thats it.

source code of config.php


And here is the source code of flickr.php

 * flickr authentication script based on
 * pecl oauth extension
$oauthc = new OAuth($oauth['flickr']['consumerkey'],
if(empty($_SESSION['frequest_token_secret'])) {
    //get the request token and store it
    $request_token_info = $oauthc->getRequestToken($oauth['flickr']['requesttokenurl']); //get request token
    $_SESSION['frequest_token_secret'] = $request_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
    header("Location: {$oauth['flickr']['authurl']}?oauth_token=".$request_token_info['oauth_token']."&perms=read");//forward user to authorize url with appropriate permission flag
else if(empty($_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //get the access token - dont forget to save it 
    $request_token_secret = $_SESSION['frequest_token_secret'];
    $oauthc->setToken($_REQUEST['oauth_token'],$request_token_secret);//user allowed the app, so u
    $access_token_info = $oauthc->getAccessToken($oauth['flickr']['accesstokenurl']);
    $_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token']= $access_token_info['oauth_token'];
    $_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token_secret']= $access_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
if(isset($_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //now fetch current users profile
    $access_token = $_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token'];
    $access_token_secret =$_SESSION['faccess_oauth_token_secret'];
    $data = $oauthc->fetch('');
    $response_info = $oauthc->getLastResponse();
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "</pre>";

You can download the complete package from here (Thanks

Note: I have written a similar post to demonstrate connecting to twitter and linkedin via their oAuth protocol which you can find here :) widget in MiproApps – why did it require special care…

In MiproApps, our Visual Facebook Fanpage Desiger from Leevio, everything is built on top of a scalable plugin based architecture. Every plugin manages it’s data using a central plugin manager. Most of these data are isolated from each other, stored and served by the plugin manager without any special coding required from plugin developers. That makes everything simple. As storage and serving is fully managed by Plugin Manager, it helps us to cache, validate and sanitize user data properly from a single place.

But when we decided to add support for, there comes a challenge. We have asked for username and password for account from our users to pull out the data from their shared folders and files. “PASSWORD” – and that is the thing everyone thinks twice before providing to a third party. Everyone cares about their personal data security.

In MiproApps every data collected from user are submitted to storage service via Ajax request. And we simply cant send plain password collected by users in an Ajax request. What we did in this case is we had signed user’s sensitive information using a 128 bit public key (RSA) in client side. The private key is stored securely in our server and that encrypted information is decrypted only in server side. So client application has just the public key. widget in Facebook Fanpages powered by MiproApps widget in Facebook Fanpages powered by MiproApps

There were other challenges as well, while we went to implement this encryption in client side by Javascript and Decryption by PHP. Unfortunately PHPs Mcrypt doesnt support RSA, and Zend Framework doesnt provide any component for that. And there was a trick when you encrypt your data in JS. You must add a null byte at the end of your data, otherwise PHP cant decrypt it.

We have used RSA library (a combination of RSA, BigInt and Barett Library) from Ohdave and used the Crypt_RSA library from PEAR. And it also required us to install bigint PECL extension.

You can see some example code at here and you can use the RSA public/private key pair either by openssl shell command or the RSA key generator from ohdave.

The service layer is working smooth. Plugin developers doesnt need to bother about encryption and decryption. Everything was managed transparently under the hood. And so far we are only developing our plugins, data is secured and safe. Users can add their publicly shared files directly in their facebook fanpage. For a sample output, you can check out my page. You will find the component at the bottom right corner.

Complete oAuth script for Twitter and LinkedIn using PECL oAuth Extension

After searching for help to connect with LinkedIn via their oAuth protocol using PECL oAuth extension, I’ve found that lots of people are posting in their forum for the code samples. And only very few obscure code examples are available. I’ve found phplinkedin script but that is just too bulky for a simple oAuth dance :)

So here are two files to perform 3 step oAuth Dance for both twitter and linkedin. Just set your consumer key and consumer secret key in these scripts (config.php) and in your LinkedIn and Twitter application, set the url of these scripts as authentication callback :) thats it :)

check out the source code below or just straight download them from the following url

config.php: source


twitter.php: source

 * twitter authentication script based on
 * pecl oauth extension
$oauthc = new OAuth($oauth['twitter']['consumerkey'],
if(empty($_SESSION['trequest_token_secret'])) {
    //get the request token and store it
    $request_token_info = $oauthc->getRequestToken($oauth['twitter']['requesttokenurl']); //get request token
    $_SESSION['trequest_token_secret'] = $request_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
    header("Location: {$oauth['twitter']['authurl']}?oauth_token=".$request_token_info['oauth_token']);//forward user to authorize url
else if(empty($_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //get the access token - dont forget to save it 
    $request_token_secret = $_SESSION['trequest_token_secret'];
    $oauthc->setToken($_REQUEST['oauth_token'],$request_token_secret);//user allowed the app, so u
    $access_token_info = $oauthc->getAccessToken($oauth['twitter']['accesstokenurl']);
    $_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token']= $access_token_info['oauth_token'];
    $_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token_secret']= $access_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
if(isset($_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //now fetch current users profile
    $access_token = $_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token'];
    $access_token_secret =$_SESSION['taccess_oauth_token_secret'];
    $data = $oauthc->fetch('');
    $response_info = $oauthc->getLastResponse();
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "</pre>";

linkedin.php: source

 * linkedin authentication script based on
 * pecl oauth extension
$oauthc = new OAuth($oauth['linkedin']['consumerkey'],


if(empty($_SESSION['lrequest_token_secret'])) {
    //get the request token and store it
    $request_token_info = $oauthc->getRequestToken($oauth['linkedin']['requesttokenurl']); //get request token
    $_SESSION['lrequest_token_secret'] = $request_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
    header("Location: {$oauth['linkedin']['authurl']}?oauth_token=".$request_token_info['oauth_token']);//forward user to authorize url
else if(empty($_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //get the access token  - dont forget to save it
    $request_token_secret = $_SESSION['lrequest_token_secret'];
    $oauthc->setToken($_REQUEST['oauth_token'],$request_token_secret);//user allowed the app, so u
    $access_token_info = $oauthc->getAccessToken($oauth['linkedin']['accesstokenurl']);
    $_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token']= $access_token_info['oauth_token'];
    $_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token_secret']= $access_token_info['oauth_token_secret'];
    $_SESSION['loauth_verifier'] = $_REQUEST['oauth_verifier'];
if(isset($_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token'])) {
    //now fetch current user's profile
    echo "<pre>";
    $access_token = $_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token'];
    $access_token_secret =$_SESSION['laccess_oauth_token_secret'];
    $oauth_verifier = $_SESSION['loauth_verifier'];
    $data = $oauthc->fetch('');
    $response_info = $oauthc->getLastResponse();
    echo "</pre>";

Download these files from – Happy dancing time, in oAuth way ;)

Using new PECL Memcached extension for storing session data

Many of you already know that managing session is a critical task for web applications, specially when you want to avoid I/O hop and also a significant load over your database by writing a custom session handler. Beside that, if your application makes use of multiple web servers behind a proxy, then its more than a critical job to share and manage session data among these servers effectively. This is why a central session manager is very important for your application to scale. In this article I am going to show you how you can use the latest Memcached extension (developed by Andrei Zmievski and his team) to isolate the session storage from web servers. I will show you how to compile the extension and use it.

Step1: Install Memcached Server
If you are using Debian its just plain simple

apt-get install memcached

Step 2: Run memcached instances
Lets run two instances of memcached in same machine (well, this article is just for demonstrating you how you can get things done. In the production environment, you can deploy as many memcached instances as you want in different servers in same network)

memcached -d -l -p 11211 -u <username> -m 16
memcached -d -l -p 11212 -u <username> -m 16

Above commands will run two instances of memcached listening on port number 11211 and 11212, same IP Each of them get an allocation of 16 MB of memory (on RAM).

Step 3: Install the PECL Memcached extension.
Lets install the new PECL memcached extension in your web server. This new extension depends on libmemcached. You can grab the latest distribution of libmemcached from and compile it in your own machine. Make sure you have the dependencies met.

tar -zxvf libmemcached-0.34.tar.gz 
cd libmemcached-0.34
make && make install

Considering everything went fine, lets install the PECL memcached extension

pecl install memcached

If everything goes fine, you should see the output similar like this

Build process completed successfully
Installing '/usr/lib/php5/20060613/'
install ok: channel://
configuration option "php_ini" is not set to php.ini location
You should add "" to php.ini

Make sure that is placed in your PHP extension_dir folder (here /usr/lib/php5/20060613). Add the line “” in your php.ini and restart your web server.

To make sure, everything’s done and working – run a phpinfo() and check the output. There should be a “memcached” sesction which will look like the following one.

Memcached PECL Extension
Memcached PECL Extension

Now we need to make change in our php.ini to register Memcached as a session handler and set the necessary properties there. Open your php.ini and add the following two lines. If you find any similar line un-commented, comment them out first.


Restart your web server. And …… you are done! :) – Now all your session data will be saved and served from these memcached servers. No matter whenever you need to extend your setup by adding extra web servers, all user data and session data will remain valid and served from a central location. No I/O issue, no huge write load on DB servers.

converting standard wordpress into a SQLite powered multi user blogging platform

wordpress is one of the very popular blogging platforms which is not only free but also released as a open source project. officially wordpress runs only on mysql. so if you want to run it with SQLite, you will not find any official support for that. but fortunately justin addie has written an excellent plugin (pdo for wordpress) which will work as an adapter just between the wordpress DAL and mysql. this plugin hooks all the SQL queries which are sent to execute on mysql by wordpress, convert those into PDO compatible statements and then execute them. currently PDO for WordPress is written to work smoothly with mysql and sqlite.

on the other hand, WPMU (wordpress mu or multi-user) is another version of wordpress which uses the core wp with some modifications and convert any single user wordpress blog into a multi user blogging platform. in this blog post i will show you how you can convert a general installation of wordpress into multi user blogging platform (like WPMU, but fully featured) and take advantage of SQLite :) – so let the fun begin.

step 1: check if your domain support wildcard A record. if so, then create a “*” A record and point it to your server. if it works, now you can point http://.. to your server :) – that is very much required. alo please check that in your webserver it has “pdo” and “pdo_sqlite” php extensions enabled. you can check that using phpinfo(); – needless to say, you need PHP5

step 2: install wordpress

step 3: install pdo for wordpress
download the pdo_for_wordpress plugin. inside it you will find one file named “db.php” and a folder named “pdo”.
put the db.php inside “wp-content” directory
now put the “pdo” folder inside “wp-content” directory

open wp-config.php
find the following line

define('DB_COLLATE', '');

add the following line just below that line

define('DB_TYPE', 'sqlite'); 

step 4: create a directory named “userdb” anywhere in your server, make sure to give it write access. in this example we’ve created one as /opt/userdb – DONT FORGET TO ASSIGN WRITE PERMISSION to this “userdb” directory.

step 5: now we will be modifying that “db.php” which we had copied into “wp-content” folder.

find the line in db.php where it says

define ('FQDBDIR', ABSPATH .'/wp-content/database/');
define ('FQDB', FQDBDIR .'MyBlog.sqlite');

now change those lines as below

define ('FQDBDIR', '/opt/userdb/');
define ('FQDB', FQDBDIR ."{$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME']}.sqlite");

and tada – you are done. now point your browser to any subdomain under your domain and it will comeup with registration page. register some blog and check it out :) (at the bottom of this post you can find the link of a live demo)

now you can extract some themes in the wp-content/themes folder or some plug-ins into wp-content/plugins folder. all users will be able to choose only from those pre installed themes and plugins, and everyones data and configuration will remain separate from others, as everyone is running from their own database. set only “read” access to “wp-content/themes” and “wp-content/plugins” folders to avoid any security loophole.

happy blogging.

[note – i’ve checked it against latest wordpress 2.8.4 and it runs okay]

To check out a live example of a running wordpress 2.8.4 on SQLite – click on – and to create your own – just go to this url http://<any_subdomain&gt; and register your one :). You can select from six pre installed themes too :)

using oauth pecl extension to talk to twitter

if you are interested in developing twitter applications, you must have read about twitter API and it’s authentication protocol. your application can fetch user’s private data but it has to authenticate itself as the user for that. so there are two ways to do it

1. asking user to provide his twitter username and password to your application (well, i am not interested to give away my PASSWORD to anyone!!!)
2. let twitter handle the authentication on behalf of you and ask user to grant permission to your application (hmm!! interesting)

now you see that #2 is more safe for your user. and i think most security concerned users will choose this way. so your application have to initiate this type of authentication system using twittter’s supported authentication protocol oAuth (it’s a commonly used authentication protocol used among number of popular service providers like yahoo, google and others)

to implement oauth in php, the best way is to use an existing library. there are now numbers of libraries available for this purpose. following are some of them
1. oauth lib by andy smith
2. oauth library by marc worrell
3. oauth pecl extension by rasmus lerdorf and john jawed and felipe pena

now you see, pecl extensions are written in c and runs pretty faster. so i choose it without thinking much abt it. i have assumed that you know how to install a pecl extension in your php hosting and i am not going to blog detail about that right now. all that can help you right now is shell command “pecl install -f oauth” – you know, nothing talks better than command or code :)

after installing oauth extension in my hosting account, i start developing my twitter application. first i have to register my application with twitter. you can create your one by pointing your browser to please remember that you have to provide a callback url which twitter use to redirect user of your application after a success/unsuccessful authentication. i will refer to that url as “callback_url” through out this blog post. my applications callback_url is “http://mydomain.tld/auth.php&#8221;

after you have done registering your application with twitter, it will give you the following important data.
1. consumer key
2. consumer secret
3. request token url
4. access token url
5. authorize url

you will be going to use all of these in your application. now lets see how oauth works in brief. it initiate the talk using your consumer key and secret key. and then it request the “request token” from the service provider. if u r successful, you have to forward user of your application to the “authorize url” with the “request token”. now the service provider will ask to grant permission to your application from the user. if user grants (or disagree) the permission, the service provider (here, twitter) will forward your user again to the “callback url” of your application with a “new token”. now with the help of this new token and the token grabbed from previous “request token” your application will ask for “access token”. once you have the access token, you can authorize you application as the user itself with same privilege.

lets see how to do it in php with the help of oauth pecl extension. here we are going to initiate the talk, get the token and forward user to the service provider’s authorizing url.


< ?php
$oauth = new OAuth("consumer key","consumer secret",OAUTH_SIG_METHOD_HMACSHA1,OAUTH_AUTH_TYPE_URI); //initiate
$request_token_info = $oauth->getRequestToken(""); //get request token
file_put_contents("token.txt",$request_token_info['oauth_token_secret']);//store the oauth token secret of request token
header('Location:'.$request_token_info['oauth_token']);//forward user to authorize url

you see that we are storing the oauth_token_secret of the “request_token” because we need it in our next step to fetch access token. in the example above i am storing it in flat file, but you will have to store it in db/file with proper index to the userid so that you can retrieve it later in our next step.

if user visit this page, he will be redirected to twitter authorize url and that may look like the following one with different app name.

now lets see how we handle if the user click “allow” or “deny” in the above page.

this is the callback file you specified in settings of your app [auth.php]

< ?php
$oauth = new OAuth("consumer key","consumer secret",OAUTH_SIG_METHOD_HMACSHA1,OAUTH_AUTH_TYPE_URI); //initiate
$request_token_secret = file_get_contents("token.txt"); //get the oauth_token_secret of request token we stored previously
$oauth->setToken($_GET['oauth_token'],$request_token_secret);//user allowed the app, so u 
$access_token_info = $oauth->getAccessToken('');

access token is the most important token for your application. there are two object in this token – one is “oauth_token” and “oauth_token_secret”. if you print_r the access token it will look like the following one (actual value is not shown here)

Array ( 
    [oauth_token] => abcdefg 
    [oauth_token_secret] => uvwxyz

you have to store this access token for authorizing later as this user (the user that was visiting). using this token you can anytime authorize yourself as that user and fetch user’s data from twitter. so lets see how we can fetch user’s profile data in rss (or json) format. the REST API url to fetch this data is “;. you can find other important REST urls to fetch user’s timeline, public timeline and friends timeline (also update status) in twitter’s documentation of it’s REST API

fetch user’s profile data

< ?php
$oauth = new OAuth("consumer key","consumer secret",OAUTH_SIG_METHOD_HMACSHA1,OAUTH_AUTH_TYPE_URI); //initiate
$data = $oauth->fetch('');
    $response_info = $oauth->getLastResponse();
    echo "<pre>";
    echo "</pre>";

the output of this code is the following one (my twitter username is hasin)

stdClass Object
    [time_zone] => Dhaka
    [friends_count] => 97
    [profile_text_color] => 666666
    [description] => Smoking too much PHP
    [following] => 
    [utc_offset] => 21600
    [favourites_count] => 2
    [profile_image_url] =>
    [profile_background_image_url] =>
    [profile_link_color] => 2FC2EF
    [screen_name] => hasin
    [profile_sidebar_fill_color] => 252429
    [url] =>
    [name] => hasin
    [protected] => 
    [status] => stdClass Object
            [text] => ok, understood how twitter auth works via oauth pecl ext. of #php. thanks to @rasmus for his excellent example
            [in_reply_to_user_id] => 
            [favorited] => 
            [in_reply_to_screen_name] => 
            [truncated] => 
            [created_at] => Sat May 02 16:08:28 +0000 2009
            [id] => 1679349376
            [in_reply_to_status_id] => 
            1 => web

    [profile_sidebar_border_color] => 181A1E
    [profile_background_tile] => 1
    [notifications] => 
    [statuses_count] => 1147
    [created_at] => Fri Nov 09 10:40:14 +0000 2007
    [profile_background_color] => 1A1B1F
    [followers_count] => 265
    [location] => Dhaka, Bangladesh
    [id] => 10094392