PHP problem: exec() disabled

Hi all!
I’ve just installed the Gallery software ( and hit a snag: it appears that something called “exec()” is disabled. I’ve just written DH Support asking them to enable it for me, but since it’s New Year I don’t know what response time to expect, so I would like to ask you for thoughts and comments.

Do you think DH will enable exec() for me?

I have no idea what it is, technically speaking. I just installed the software - I didn’t write it. If DH won’t enable this, then I basically can’t use the software, which would be a real loss to me. I wouldn’t know how else to solve the problem, or how to work around it.

Gallery’s help description about this problem:

C.2. I’ve installed Gallery and all seems well. But when I try to upload an image it says Unable to make thumbnail(0) or Invalid image. What gives?
A: This is a very common problem. It’s usually because the image manipulation program isn’t getting called correctly, and this can happen for a number of reasons. If the output displays exec() see FAQ C.29.

C.29. Why do I get this error: Warning: exec() has been disabled for security reasons?
A: Basically, this is a form of safe mode. Gallery requires functions like exec() to perform operations on images. The steps to “fix” this problem are the same as in FAQ C.5.

C.5. Whenever I try to upload an image in Gallery, I get all these errors about safe mode. How can I fix this?
A: This is an unfortunate situation, because Gallery cannot run in safe mode. You have three options, listed below (try them in that order).

  1. Email your host asking them to turn off safe mode. They are providing a service to you, and safe mode puts severe limits on that. If they are a good host, they should listen
  2. Try FAQ B.3, where you can use PHP as a CGI. This is usually pretty difficult, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
  3. Find another host that doesn’t use safe mode. Some are listed in the Gallery Hosting Referrals Page.


Thank you very much for that link to installation tips. It helped me to continue, and now I have my gallery running just as I wanted! Thanks for the help!