With the release of Ubuntu 14.04 and the proliferation of PHP 5.5, there is going to be a migration away from Alternative Performance Cache (APC) and toward PHP’s new built-in OPcache.
This is a logical move that seems destined for any interpreted language. As websites have become more and more complicated with many processes running, opcode caching has become a necessity – fortunately, it’s simple to implement.
The php.net site has a nice page of all the runtime options available, but we will cover the basics here to get you started quickly.
All you need to do to get OPcache set up is to make changes in the php.ini file on your server.
Open php.ini In Your Favorite Text Editor
To get started open your php.ini file.
Nginx web-servers with PHP-FPM
Enable the OPcache
To enable the OPcache, change to the following lines — easy enough!
Note: you have to uncomment this line as well as change the “0″ to “1″.
Modify the Amount of RAM the OPcache Will Use
With OPcache, there is a trade-off between speed and the amount of RAM used. The more RAM you are willing to dedicate to storing opcode, the more opcode that can be stored. There is a diminishing return at some point, because some code will execute rarely, or your code base might not be that big. It is worth playing with this setting to see where you get the best performance-versus-RAM trade-off. This setting is in megabytes.
Boost the Number of Scripts that Can Be Cached
OPcache has a strange setting that requires you to not only adjust the amount of RAM, but also define the number of scripts that can be cached. You have the option of tuning this parameter for your own application too, especially if you find that your hit rate is not close to 100 percent.
Change the Revalidate Frequency
To make sure that the OPcache notices when you change your PHP code, you can set the revalidate frequency. Basically, this will tell the cache how often to check the timestamp on the files. This is measured in seconds.
;opcache_revalidate_freq = 2
opcache_revalidate_freq = 240
Verify that the PHP OPcache Mod is Enabled
Believe it or not, that converts most of the settings you will need to get started. PHP5 has its own module system (since 5.4), so make sure that OPcache is enabled.
sudo php5enmod opcache
Restart PHP and Your Server
You should now be all set to start using PHP 5.5’s OPcache. You just need to restart your server to get it going.
sudo service apache2 restart
sudo service nginx restart
Well, there you have it. It’s actually amazingly simple to get this up and running. There are a number of options that allow you to monitor your hit rate with OPcache. Here is an open-source solution (OPcache Status) that can be found on GitHub.