All my problems stemmed from trying to get mcrypt for PHP installed. Last night I gave in and followed a tutorial of how to do a totally fresh apache2 and php5.3.3 install. I did this using MacPorts.

Sadly, that didn't enable mcrypt for me last night, although I was pretty pleased that I got 5.3.3 running. :)

The problem is that I have woken up this morning to find that my php version is back down to 5.3.1 which can only mean that OS X has reverted to my original Apache and PHP.

How to I tell OS X to use the software I installed via MacPorts?

(And then I will as a new question of how to enable mcrypt)

  • If you only want answers to match "How to I tell OSX to use the software I installed via macports?", perhaps you should edit your question. Because, you're asking two different things.
    – Studer
    Aug 27, 2010 at 6:33

3 Answers 3


It's not so much your version of Apache/PHP have been reverted - it's just the wrong version is loaded.

If you have Mac OS X's Web Sharing enabled it will auto enable the version of Apache and PHP Apple provides using the LaunchDaemon org.apache.httpd.plist in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons (this will override MacPorts version). You'll want to disable this by either turning off Web Sharing in the Sharing Preference Pane or by running sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist.

When you installed Apache for MacPorts it installed a LaunchDaemon into /Library/LaunchDaemons which if enabled will start up the MacPorts version of Apache automatically. To enable it run sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.apache2.plist and you're off to the races.

If you're running apachectl to restart - make sure you've selected the right version. You may need to alter your $PATH to have /opt/local/apache2/bim before /usr/sbin

As for what version of PHP is being used; on the command line this will depend on your $PATH while for Apache it's entirely in your configuration of where the libphp5 module is. (/etc/apache2/ for the built in version, /opt/local/apache2/conf for the version MacPorts installed)


You have two solutions :

  1. You have to edit the global PATH variable to add MacPort folders at the beginning. It contains the order of folders the system uses to find binaries.
  2. Backup original binaries (in /usr/bin, /bin, …), then add symlinks to MacPorts binaries.

Normally, do not use option 2 until you really know what you're doing. I just mentioned it because it's technically possible.

To edit the global PATH variable, edit the file /etc/paths, add /opt/local/bin at the beginning and finally reboot to apply changes.

You can control, after the reboot, that changes have been made by do the following command :

echo $PATH

You should see /opt/local/bin just before /usr/bin:/bin:….


Why does OS X need to know which Apache to use? Just run the correct Apache yourself. Open up Terminal, cd to the MacPorts directory containing the correct Apache (probably /opt/something/something/something/Apache2/bin or something like that), and run it (probably something like ./httpd).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .