Using and hiding phpinfo (with or without Joomla)

phpinfo is a valuable command that can allow you to find errors and learn more about your server. Don’t share it with everybody on the internet.

So last month you wanted to install this fancy new java-flippy-moo-fools-slider-transparency-bookmarklet-tab thingy on your website.  You installed it and it didn’t work as expected, so you asked the bookmarklet-flippy-moo developer what to do.  He asked you if you were using php4 or php5, and if you had GD libraries installed. You said:  “I dunno, what’s php?”

At one point or another we have all needed to know more detailed information about our webhost and the server your site was on. A very popular and easy way to do this is to create a file and insert this code.

phpinfo

Upload it to your website in a location you can type into your address bar, and then rename it something.php. Popular examples are info.php or phpinfo.php. Then type that into your address bar and give it a snoop. It should look something like this.

phpinfo for my local server

(phpinfo for my local server)

Remember to remove this file once you are done with it. If you leave this on your site in a silly location that is easy to find, you have essentially shown the entire world your site details.

Google is literally awash with webservers showing off their private parts with no protection. In this day and age of virus’s, hackers, bored overstimulated kids, and powerful search engines, it’s only a matter of time until you get hit. If you make a phpinfo file, delete it.

As a helpful sidenote, Joomla has this info built into it. Go to your admin backend -> go to help/system info -> then press php information.

Joomla php system info

(Joomla php system info)

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