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I was installing Mediawiki on my local development machine and in the configuration, it told me that I will have to make do with slower loading tradition php pages because I dont have a PECL extension installed.

Does installing PECL really speed up page load times on a local server(or any server)? If yes, can I please have a detailed tutorial on how to install PECL and configure it that says more than just sudo apt-get install pecl-php?

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Try the following:

$ sudo apt-get install php-pear php5-dev 
$ sudo pecl install pecl_http
$ sudo echo '' >> /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
$ sudo service apache2 restart

To verify it's installed run the following command

$ php -m | grep http

You should see http in the output.

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