eAccelerator is an open-source PHP accelerator, optimizer, and dynamic content cache (to quote the official website of the project). It can effectively speed-up PHP processing on a server by caching bytecode.

As Wikipedia tells you, several tools of this kind exists. Why choosing eAccelerator in particular? I really have no clue… I’ve never used any of these tools, so I had to start somewhere. That’s as simple as that!

Now, I have a Debian server as a target system. Unfortunately, eAccelerator is not bundled in Lenny. Browsing the web, I found some personal repositories of people kindly sharing their deb packages, like Andrew McMillan and schnuckelig.eu. The former provides a version of eAccelerator for the i386, the latter for the amd64 architecture. In this how-to, I’ve combined the 2 repositories to give both 32 bits and 64 bits users a chance to use eAccelerator on Lenny.

Let’s start the installation! First, add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb https://debian.mcmillan.net.nz/debian lenny awm
deb-src https://debian.mcmillan.net.nz/debian lenny awm
deb https://debian.schnuckelig.eu/ lenny main contrib non-free

To kill annoying warning messages, register the cryptographic fingerprint of each repository:

$ gpg --keyserver keyring.debian.org --recv-keys 0x8f068012;
$ gpg --export --armor 0x8f068012 | apt-key add -
$ wget -O - https://debian.schnuckelig.eu/repository-key.gpg | apt-key add -

Then, update your package database:

$ aptitude update

And finally, you can install eAccelerator for PHP5 without any pain:

$ apt-get install php5-eaccelerator

Happy fine-tuning!