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Tutorial lsapi vs lsphp vs mod_lsapi vs litespeed vs cpanel lsapi

Introduction

This guide is to clarify the different LSAPI implementations which used on cPanel and WHM servers.

The LSAPI

LSAPI is the Application Programming Interface (API) use to connect the Apache webserver with a specific service that is going to handle the actual PHP processing and execution.

There are, currently, three primary LSAPI implementations which are:
  • LiteSpeed LSAPI
  • CloudLinux mod_LSAPI PRO
  • cPanel mod_LSAPI Lite
These implementations are all based in the same original LiteSpeed LSAPI which is currently opensource: LiteSpeed Server API - LiteSpeed Technologies

LiteSpeed mod_lsapi

The official definition of LSAPI by LiteSpeed:
LiteSpeed Server Application Programming Interface (LSAPI) is designed specifically for seamless, optimized communication between LiteSpeed Web Server and third-party web applications. Using LSAPI with LSWS, we have seen 50% greater performance than Apache with mod_php. LSWS plus LSAPI means faster, more stable dynamic web pages.
mod_lsapi PRO

mod_lsapi PRO is another implementation of the LiteSpeed API. It serves to execute PHP scripts on a web-server like mod_suphp, PHP-fpm or mod_php. However, mod_lsapi PRO usage offers excellent PHP performance, low memory footprint coupled with high security and support for opcode caching and is provided by CloudLinux: Apache mod_lsapi PRO | Documentation

cPanel mod_lsapi

CloudLinux released a limited version of mod_lsapi PRO for cPanel (without CloudLinux), and there are two main features of lsapi disabled in cPanel mod_lsapi:
  1. CRIU (which requires kernel changes to enable), and connection pooling. A detailed understanding of the full-featured version of LSAPI can be found in CloudLinux’s documentation. To take advantage of the full benefits, you can upgrade from CentOS to CloudLinux via the promotional banner in the EasyApache or MultiPHP interfaces (only available on cPanel & WHM Version 78 or higher).
  2. The PHP OPcode Cache integrated system (OPcache) is disabled when using mod_lsapi (non-CloudLinux) cPanel version.

Even with the above options disable servers using the cPanel mod_lsapi version should notice a considerable performance increase. More information can be found here: Explanation of mod_lsapi update on cPanel

LSPHP

lsphp is the binary which processes the PHP code when it comes from Apache through the LSAPI.

There is one lsphp binary per PHP version, for example:
Code:
/opt/cpanel/ea-php72/root/usr/bin/lsphp
The package is provided by LiteSpeed:
Code:
Name        : ea-php72-php-litespeed
Arch        : x86_64
Version     : 7.2.20
Release     : 2.2.3.cpanel
Size        : 4.5 M
Repo        : installed
From repo   : EA4
Summary     : LiteSpeed Web Server PHP support
URL         : http://www.php.net/
License     : PHP and Zend and BSD
Description : The ea-php72-php-litespeed package provides the /opt/cpanel/ea-php72/root/usr/bin/lsphp command
            : used by the LiteSpeed Web Server (LSAPI enabled PHP).
For more information on CloudLinux mod_lsapi PRO, please visit:
Apache mod_lsapi PRO | Documentation

For more information on CloudLinux's cPanel mod_lsapi version, please visit:
EasyApache 4 and mod_lsapi | cPanel Blog

For more information on LiteSpeed's LSAPI, please visit:
PHP LiteSpeed Server API - LiteSpeed Technologies
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