Application Servers

4 Hot Free and Open Source PHP Application Servers

An application server is computer software which provides the business logic for an application program. It offers services such as management of large distributed systems, data services, load balancing, transaction support, and network security. The application server is one part of a three-tier application, consisting of a graphical interface server, an application (business logic) server, and a database / transaction server.

There are good reasons to deploy an application server in a corporate environment. At a high level, an application server enables updates and upgrades to applications to be distributed to all users. System administrators also benefit from the fact that changes to application configuration can take place centrally, which greatly simplifies technical support and ultimately the end user experience. Application servers also simplify user management, avoiding the need to set up and maintain user-management systems for applications. This type of software also enhances scalability and resource usage, and exposes business components via different deployment wrappers.

PHP has been at the helm of the web for many years. It’s an extremely popular, interpreted scripting language that is ideally suited for web development in part because it has an approachable syntax and supports different operating systems. This language powers millions of web sites on the net and is extremely well supported by its user community.

Here’s our recommended PHP application servers, captured by a legendary LinuxLinks chart.

Best Free and Open Source PHP Application Servers

Let’s explore the 4 PHP application servers. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

PHP Application Servers
RoadRunnerHigh performance PHP application server, load balancer, and process manager
appserver.ioMultithreaded application server for PHP
PPMProcess manager, supercharger and load balancer
SwooleComplete PHP async solution with built-in support for async programming

It’s sometimes argued that a PHP serving webserver is a PHP application server.


Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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