Proper use of nginx and PHP?

I am trying to make use of nginx on my VPS while maintaining my current PHP-based website. When switching from apache to nginx I find that all domains are forced to use PHP v5.2 which is no longer supported by anyone (including DreamHost). I cannot find any control panel setting to change this. I have not gotten any clear answer from DreamHost as to whether there is a supported means of using nginx+PHP from either their wiki, chat support or tickets.

From tracing the scripts in use on the VPS I’m seeing that the following changes to /dh/nginx/servers/https-ps####/environ might work:


My biggest concern here is that the file this is being changed from ( /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini ) appears to be a customized version of /etc/php5/php.ini and no equivalent file exists in the /etc/php56 folder. I did do a diff between the two files and there are a number of changes between the two. It also looks like significant changes were made in how configurations are done between PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3.

Is there anyone familiar with these files and could (1) indicate whether this is the “most supported” means of using nginx+php, and (2) indicate whether I needed to create a “cgi-version” of php.ini and if so, what customizations I should be making?