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I have a Debian 7.11 (wheezy) installed as a development server and I attempted an upgrade from PHP 5 to 7. I got as far as php -v returning 7.2.2 but the last obstacle after a long installation process was that I am unable to enable PHP 7 in Apache2.

I have attempted to install libapache2-mod-php7.0 via apt-get and this returns an error:

E: Unable to locate package libapache2-mod-php7.0
E: Couldn't find any package by regex 'libapache2-mod-php7.0'

I even attempted downloading the .deb file from packages.debian.org but this returns an error:

dpkg-deb: error: archive 'libapache2-mod-php7.0_7.0.28-1_amd64.deb' contains 
not understood data member control.tar.xz, giving up
dpkg: error processing libapache2-mod-php7.0_7.0.28-1_amd64.deb (--install):
 subprocess dpkg-deb --control returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 libapache2-mod-php7.0_7.0.28-1_amd64.deb

I basically can't run a2enmod php7 for Apache to enable PHP. What can I do here?

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  • Any chance you could upgrade to Debian 9? It includes PHP 7 as standard... Mar 10 '18 at 15:19
  • I have root access so I could technically perform an upgrade. I have very little stuff running there atm so I might pull it off without too many problems.
    – Rcls
    Mar 10 '18 at 15:30
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    Well, I successfully upgraded from wheezy to jessie and managed to install PHP 7 without any bigger problems. Everything works now.
    – Rcls
    Mar 10 '18 at 16:43
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    So now you're successfully in Debian oldstable (Debian 8 = jessie) as opposed to oldoldstable (Debian 7 = wheezy). One more upgrade would bring you to the current stable version, Debian 9 (stretch). The full support of jessie is ending in June of this year, however there is Long Term Support after that for two more years. With Debian 9, there is full support to year 2020 and Long Term Support until 2022. See wiki.debian.org/DebianReleases
    – telcoM
    Mar 10 '18 at 20:49
  • Yes, I know. This was the first time I upgraded the distro myself and after this was done step two was upgrading Stretch.
    – Rcls
    Mar 11 '18 at 17:56
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I highly recommend upgrading to Debian 9 if you can, it includes PHP 7 as standard.

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  • yes, this is my plan now. First step was wheezy => jessie, and after fixing a few things in Apache and installing PHP 7 it worked, so now I'm planning on upgrading jessie => stretch. Thank you!
    – Rcls
    Mar 11 '18 at 18:00

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