This tutorial has the purpose of teaching basic php setup, but before learning the code you need to setup your machine to be able to operate php with a database. You will set up Red Hat 8.0 for using php with a database, I am sure the setup is very similar for most distros. The power of php lies in the possibility of accessing a database for using its content for some purpose. This tut will help you to configure your box so that you can start playing with php and a database, so that you can do the same as if you had a real web server and a domain. I did all the setup using Gnome and not command line.
After the setup is complete, I will follow with some basic php code for using a database.

-Setup: If you did not choose to install a web server and databse during installation, add them now. When this is done, click on the equivalent of the windows start menu button go to server setting -> services: make sure you click the boxes of httpd, postgresql, mysqld -> restart these services.

-Configuring http: go to /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf open httpd.conf with any text editor -> look
for the line that says servername write localhost after this line //this means your machine is
the server. Look for a line that says document root verify that after that it says /var/www/html //this is the directory in which files are stored for when you type in your browser http://localhost/index.php it will look for file index.php in the dir you specified above.
Look for a line saying directory index after it you should write the name of the default file
that will be opened when you type just http://localhost. examnple: directory index test.php this means test.php will be accessed by default.
Save httpd.conf and restart the service.

-Configuring php and creating a database.
go to /etc/php.ini open it in a text editor and edit the following: short_open_tag=on this is
for when you write php code it indicates the start of a code by: <? instead of: <php><?
Also change: register_globals=on
The cool thing about linux is that you don't need to download a php interpreter.
Creating a database: many people use mysql, for this example I am using postgresql:
go to a terminal at the prompt type:
$su postrgres
$createuser usr1 //then tell it yes when it asks if the user can create tables and databases
$su -usr1
$createdb testdb
$psql - d testdb

Now you have created a database named testdb.

go to /var/lib/pgsql/data open postgresql.conf in a text editor delete the * before the
"tcpip_socket=true" line In the same dir open pg_hba.conf delete the * before the "host all"
line. Restart httpd and postgresql services.
Configuration complete!

Php code: php is embedded within html, you can combine php with html tags, I am not gonna
explain any html. <? indicates the start of php ?> indicates end. People familiar whith C will
find php easier since many things are in common: you end lines with ; for and while loops have the same syntax, if's, etc.
Variables in php: are always preceded with $ you don't need to declare data types or initialize
variables, you just write them on the fly, example:
<? $var=1;
printf("the answer is $result

Now the important stuff, accesing your database with php code:
$conect= pg_connect("host=localhost dbname=testdb user=anyuser password=anypwd");
//this has opened a connection to your db, user is not the same one that created the db, it can be any user you have created.

$result1= pg_exec("create table table1(id int, name varchar(20), address varchar(100))");
//this shows how to use sql queries with php to create, update, delete or insert into different
//tables within your db

$result2= pg_exec("insert into table1 values(1, 'john smith', 'street 100')");

//next is another important thing, selecting and printing your table:

$result3= pg_exec("select * from table1");
$n= pg_num_rows($result3); //returns the number of rows in your table
//loop for printing your table:

//this is like a matrix of coordinates:
$id= pg_result($result3,$i,0); //in the first pass of the loop: row 0 column 0 id
$name= pg_result($result3,$i,1); //in the first pass of the loop: row 0 column 1 name
$address= pg_result($result3,$i,2); //in the first pass of the loop: row 0 column 2 address
//every increment in the loop means a different row

printf("$id $name $address
"); //outputs every entry
} ?>

If you are using a different dbms the syntax changes a bit for example using mysql instead of
postgresql: pg_connect = mysql_connect pg_exec = mysql_query pg_result = mysql_result.
Well that is the basics for manipulating a db in php, of course there are many other things you
can do like creating a form in html for adding, deleting and updating a table, which I can write
a tutorial for that if I get requests. You can find lots of info on millions of php functions
and syntax in where anybody can add their input on new useful functions which is a great advantage of php.
This was my first attempt at writing a tutorial, hope it helps. Any input and comments will be
Copyright Juan Mier 2003. Please give credits to me if you distribute this tut and don't
plagiarize it or claim it as yours... Thanks