Monthly Archives: December 2013

How to restrict php directives using php_admin_value and php_admin_flag

Let’s say you are dealing with a shared Apache server running PHP as an Apache module, you have several websites running, and you don’t want to let some php directives being changed. You allow the modifications of the directives such as  display_errors but you don’t want memory_limit to be changed by any of the users (let’s say 128M) also, you don’t want to say that your server runs PHP (i.e expose_php off).

It’s possible to change the values of the php.ini directives in three differents ways:

  • apache configuration (i.e virtualhost(s), apache2.conf, etc …)
  • .htaccess (if AllowOverride Options or AllowOverride All)
  • ini_set function

There are two ways to force the values of the php directives and make them unchangeable from .htaccess or with ini_set function.

php_admin_value <setting> <value>

This one forces a directive to a certain value (non boolean), for example:

php_admin_value memory_limit 128M

We force memory_limit to 128M.

php_admin_flag <setting> <on|off>

This one does the same but for a boolean value, for example:

php_admin_flag expose_php off

There the directive expose_php will be unset.

To do this for ALL the websites on your server, you can edit your /etc/apache2/apache2.conf (may change if you have httpd) and put this content at the end:

Include php_restrictions

Create the file  /etc/apache2/php_restrictions, and add this content:

php_admin_value memory_limit 200M
php_admin_flag expose_php off

You can add as many rules as you wish, then reload your webserver like that (may change if you have httpd):

/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

To do this for only ONE specific website (i.e virtualhost), just set the rules inside the virtualhost like that:

    DocumentRoot /var/www/test
    # now the rules
    php_admin_value memory_limit 128M
    php_admin_flag expose_php off

This will apply only to the website.

Then you need to reload the webserver too.

Voilà, you have restricted some directives and some others are still changeable.

Though, some directives cannot be changed inside apache2.conf or virtualhost(s), you may check the documentation.

How to deal with several ssh keys easily

Hello, this post will be about how to use several ssh keys in a “simple” way.

I had the problem of having several ssh keys to connect to different servers and also to use git with a different key.
I know I’m not quite clear with this, so let’s take an example.

You have two keys, one to connect to a server and an other one to use git (github, bitbucket, whatever …).

You want to clone a project using git :

git clone

And you would do this to connect to the server :

ssh -p 2222

Your keys are in ~/.ssh/, though which one will be used for the server and which one for git? Stuck.

I hope it’s more clear now. 😀

Here’s one way to solve this problem.
You have to create this file ~/.ssh/config
Give it some “good” rights (i.e chmod 600 ~/.ssh/config)

Here is an example of what you can write in this file, the explanations will follow :

Host git
    User git
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/git/id_rsa

Host *
    User florian
    Port 2222
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/farm/id_rsa

Options shown :

  • Host => alias or the pattern(s) you want to match, some regex are allowed
  • Hostname => the real host you want to connect to
  • User => the user with which you will be connected on the remote server
  • Port => the port of the remote server (default 22)
  • IdentityFile => the path to your private key

And now how to use it :

git clone git:/myAwesomeProject

In this command: git clone git:/myAwesomeProject, what’s in bold will be replaced by because it is matched by the first Host (i.e alias), and obviously, it will do what was wanted at first, which is to take the key ~/.ssh/git/id_rsa. Note that you can also write it git clone, but the alias is quite handy.


In this command: ssh, it’s matched by the second Host, and will be replaced by -p 2222 and use the file ~/.ssh/farm/id_rsa.

Obviously, not everything is said, there are other options ! RTFM 🙂

man ssh_config