PHP Version For Joomla

A joomla website needs to be uploaded by me on behalf of my customer and i need to know from this community users that what version of Joomla should i use and what is the latest stable release which i must be installing on this webserver. Also please share with me if you know any thing about the PHP version that needs to be installed before i start installing this version of Joomla on my website.

Once i know the PHP version and options to complie PHP and Apache with i will go ahead and ask my web host to configure every thng for me by using easy apache. Please give as much details as possible.
The Joomla will install on all the major releases of PHP. Also before installation it will give you a list of functions which you must ask the server admin to install but this is very rare because the most common version of Joomla usually require the things which are already there.
Most of hosting company use at lest PHP 5.3 since cPanel already mark it as out dated. So I recommended php 5.4 for security, etc.