PHP 7.2 Available on All Servers

September 1, 2017

We're happy to announce the first release candidate of PHP 7.2 is available on all servers. PHP 7.2 brings even more speed improvements while adding great new security features such as the Sodium cryptography extension and the Argon2i password hashing algorithm.

New Features

The major news for developers using PHP 7.2 is the addition of great password hashing and cryptography tools in PHP.

Argon2i for Secure Password Hashing

PHP 7.2 adds support for the Argon2i password hashing algorithm. Argon2i was the winner of the Password Hashing Competition and is being widely adopted as the modern standard for password hashing.

Hashing passwords with Argon2i is now as simple as:

password_hash('password_here', PASSWORD_ARGON2I);

Verifying passwords hashed with Argon2i is the same as before:

password_verify('password_here', $hash);

Learn more about the changes to password_hash().

Sodium Extension for Safe Cryptography

PHP 7.2 adds the Sodium extension, giving PHP scripts access to the Sodium cryptography library (sometimes called libsodium). Sodium is a modern crypto library that makes tasks such as encryption, decryption, signature generation, and signature checking easy and safe.

The PHP documentation team is still working on the documentation for the Sodium extension. For now, see this guide to using the PECL Sodium extension that was available before PHP 7.2.

Note: The new PHP Sodium extension included in PHP 7.2 uses the standard PHP function naming convention where all functions are named sodium_FUNC_NAME. The previous PECL Sodium extension described in the guide linked above used a namespace where functions were available as \Sodium\FUNC_NAME. If you're using the Sodium extension guide linked above, be sure to change all function names to the new format for the Sodium extension.

Removed Extension: mcrypt

The mcrypt cryptography extension has been removed from PHP 7.2 and instead moved to an unofficial PECL extension.

The reason for the removal of mcrypt is that libmcrypt, the underlying library the extension provides an interface to, has not been maintained since 2007. With the addition of the Sodium extension to PHP, there are now simpler and safer cryptography tools available in PHP.

The mcrypt extension should no longer be used for new development. For existing projects using mcrypt, you can still use mcrypt with PHP 7.2 by installing the mcrypt extension through PECL.

Other Changes

Learn more about upgrading to PHP 7.2.

Deprecated Functionality

With the release of PHP 7.2, the developers of PHP announced that the following functionality will be removed in a future PHP version. You should avoid writing new code with deprecated functionality.

  • The __autoload() mechanism has been deprecated, use spl_autoload_register() instead.
  • The (unset) cast has been deprecated. This does not affect the unset($var) language construct.
  • The create_function() function has been deprecated, use anonymous functions instead.
  • The each() function has been deprecated, use a foreach loop instead.
  • The $errcontext error handler argument has been deprecated. However, using it does not trigger a deprecation warning for technical reasons.
  • Calling parse_str() without the result argument has been deprecated.
  • Calling assert() with a string argument has been deprecated, use an ordinary expression instead.

Learn more about the deprecations in PHP 7.2.

App Compatibility

Most apps that are compatible with PHP 7.1 will be compatible with PHP 7.2.

The main change to be aware of is the removal of the mcrypt extension. If your apps use mcrypt, be sure to install the mcrypt PECL extension for PHP 7.2.

Extension Compatibility

If your apps rely on PECL extensions or third-party PHP extensions, such as ionCube, you'll need to wait for the extension developer to add PHP 7.2 support.

The good news is that most PECL extensions that support PHP 7.1 already support PHP 7.2. To learn about specific PECL extensions, see our PECL extension documentation which we've updated to include information on PHP 7.2 support.

How to Switch to PHP 7.2

To use PHP 7.2 with one of your apps, go to the app's Settings in ServerPilot and change the Runtime to PHP 7.2 RC.

As always, your servers and apps using PHP 7.2 will automatically receive updates as new PHP 7.2 releases become available. When PHP 7.2.0 is released, all apps using PHP 7.2 RC will automatically begin using PHP 7.2.0.