The php.ini file is a special file for suPHP (pronounced sue-p-h-p).
The php.ini file is where you declare changes to your PHP settings. You can edit the existing php.ini, or create a new text file in any subdirectory and name it php.ini. This file location depends on several things: if your are using Linux or Windows, where you installed your webserver, … the file is always located on the server where the scripts of Claroline will run.
PHP.ini is very useful and it is a configuration file that is used to customize behavior of PHP at runtime. This enables easy administration in the way you administer Apache web server using configuration files. The Settings in which upload directory, register global variables, display errors, log errors, max uploading size setting, maximum time to execute a script and other configurations is written in this file. The file is normally not editable to people who open an account in a host service, as it is common to several users hosted on the same machine. But you can normally easily see its content with this simple code added to the script of Claroline if you need to see the settings.
Some common changes that you must make when moving from non-secure php environment to suPHP:
For example, if your site had these settings in a .htaccess file:
php_flag upload_max_filesize 10M
php_value post_max_size 10M
php_value max_execution_time 30
SuExec users must put them in a php.ini file instead. Here is the proper syntax:
upload_max_filesize = 10M
post_max_size = 10M
When PHP Server starts up it looks for PHP.ini file first to load various values for settings. If you made changes in PHP.ini then you need to restart your server to check the changes be effected. If you want to do some custom configurations then you can also write your own php.ini file. For this copy php.ini template file, make necessary changes in values directives according to your need rename it to php.ini then copy it to desired location in root of your web directory or in any particular folder. But hosting should allow for running this file.