XCache Fast PHP Code Cacher

Earlier this week, we looked at GZIP compression for Apache HTTP Server, which helps reduce the load time on websites and minimize bandwidth usage.  Many websites use some form of server-side scripting to produce on-the-fly dynamic content pages.  PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages of the web, and XCache is a useful tool for caching PHP sites to make them faster.

XCache features:

  • optimized opcode cache
  • support for PHP 4.x and 5.x (alpha support for PHP 6)
  • Read-only cacher protection
  • automatic disabling if the cache gets corrupted
  • administrative interface for viewing statistics, viewing cache list, and clearing cache

XCache installation requires building from source or using binaries available for many Linux distributions and other Unix-like OSes, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Gentoo, Debian, Arch Linux, and FreeBSD.

XCache works by reducing compilation time of PHP scripts by saving the compiled results in memory.  With the cache, the server will generate pages up to 5 times faster.  It is maintained by one of the developers of Lighttpd, a fast, light-weight web server, which is used by many high-traffic websites.

If you lease your dedicated server, your host might install XCache for you.  The more dynamic content you or your customers use, the more you will notice the difference of having your scripts cache.  For content management systems like WordPress, XCache is a helpful addition.  XCache is free and open source software, released under a BSD-style license.