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Installation of extensions on Windows

After installing PHP and a web server on Windows, you will probably want to install some extensions for added functionality. You can choose which extensions you would like to load when PHP starts by modifying your php.ini. You can also load a module dynamically in your script using dl().

The DLLs for PHP extensions are prefixed with php_.

Many extensions are built into the Windows version of PHP. This means additional DLL files, and the extension directive, are not used to load these extensions. The Windows PHP Extensions table lists extensions that require, or used to require, additional PHP DLL files. Here's a list of built in extensions:

In PHP 4 (updated PHP 4.3.11): BCMath, Caledar, COM, Ctype, FTP, MySQL, ODBC, Overload, PCRE, Session, Tokenizer, WDDX, XML and Zlib

In PHP 5 (updated PHP 5.0.4), the following changes exist. Built in: DOM, LibXML, Iconv, SimpleXML, SPL and SQLite. And the following are no longer built in: MySQL and Overload.

The default location PHP searches for extensions is C:\php4\extensions in PHP 4 and C:\php5 in PHP 5. To change this setting to reflect your setup of PHP edit your php.ini file:

  • You will need to change the extension_dir setting to point to the directory where your extensions lives, or where you have placed your php_*.dll files. For example:

    extension_dir = C:\php\extensions

  • Enable the extension(s) in php.ini you want to use by uncommenting the extension=php_*.dll lines in php.ini. This is done by deleting the leading ; from the extension you want to load.

    Example #1 Enable Bzip2 extension for PHP-Windows

    // change the following line from ...
    ;extension=php_bz2.dll
    
    // ... to
    extension=php_bz2.dll

  • Some of the extensions need extra DLLs to work. Couple of them can be found in the distribution package, in the C:\php\dlls\ folder in PHP 4 or in the main folder in PHP 5, but some, for example Oracle (php_oci8.dll) require DLLs which are not bundled with the distribution package. If you are installing PHP 4, copy the bundled DLLs from C:\php\dlls folder to the main C:\php folder. Don't forget to include C:\php in the system PATH (this process is explained in a separate FAQ entry).

  • Some of these DLLs are not bundled with the PHP distribution. See each extensions documentation page for details. Also, read the manual section titled Installation of PECL extensions for details on PECL. An increasingly large number of PHP extensions are found in PECL, and these extensions require a separate download.

Note: If you are running a server module version of PHP remember to restart your web server to reflect your changes to php.ini.

The following table describes some of the extensions available and required additional dlls.

PHP Extensions
Extension Description Notes
php_bz2.dll bzip2 compression functions None
php_calendar.dll Calendar conversion functions Built in since PHP 4.0.3
php_crack.dll Crack functions None
php_ctype.dll ctype family functions Built in since PHP 4.3.0
php_curl.dll CURL, Client URL library functions Requires: libeay32.dll, ssleay32.dll (bundled)
php_dba.dll DBA: DataBase (dbm-style) Abstraction layer functions None
php_dbase.dll dBase functions None
php_dbx.dll dbx functions  
php_domxml.dll PHP 4 domxml functions PHP <= 4.2.0 requires: libxml2.dll (bundled) PHP >= 4.3.0 requires: iconv.dll (bundled)
php_dotnet.dll .NET functions PHP <= 4.1.1
php_exif.dll EXIF functions php_mbstring.dll. And, php_exif.dll must be loaded after php_mbstring.dll in php.ini.
php_fbsql.dll FrontBase functions PHP <= 4.2.0
php_fdf.dll FDF: Forms Data Format functions. Requires: fdftk.dll (bundled)
php_filepro.dll filePro functions Read-only access
php_ftp.dll FTP functions Built-in since PHP 4.0.3
php_gd.dll GD library image functions Removed in PHP 4.3.2. Also note that truecolor functions are not available in GD1, instead, use php_gd2.dll.
php_gd2.dll GD library image functions GD2
php_gettext.dll Gettext functions PHP <= 4.2.0 requires gnu_gettext.dll (bundled), PHP >= 4.2.3 requires libintl-1.dll, iconv.dll (bundled).
php_hyperwave.dll HyperWave functions None
php_iconv.dll ICONV characterset conversion Requires: iconv-1.3.dll (bundled), PHP >=4.2.1 iconv.dll
php_ifx.dll Informix functions Requires: Informix libraries
php_iisfunc.dll IIS management functions None
php_imap.dll IMAP POP3 and NNTP functions None
php_ingres.dll Ingres functions Requires: Ingres libraries
php_interbase.dll InterBase functions Requires: gds32.dll (bundled)
php_java.dll Java functions PHP <= 4.0.6 requires: jvm.dll (bundled)
php_ldap.dll LDAP functions PHP <= 4.2.0 requires libsasl.dll (bundled), PHP >= 4.3.0 requires libeay32.dll, ssleay32.dll (bundled)
php_mbstring.dll Multi-Byte String functions None
php_mcrypt.dll Mcrypt Encryption functions Requires: libmcrypt.dll
php_mhash.dll Mhash functions PHP >= 4.3.0 requires: libmhash.dll (bundled)
php_mime_magic.dll Mimetype functions Requires: magic.mime (bundled)
php_ming.dll Ming functions for Flash None
php_msql.dll mSQL functions Requires: msql.dll (bundled)
php_mssql.dll MSSQL functions Requires: ntwdblib.dll (bundled)
php_mysql.dll MySQL functions PHP >= 5.0.0, requires libmysql.dll (bundled)
php_mysqli.dll MySQLi functions PHP >= 5.0.0, requires libmysql.dll (libmysqli.dll in PHP <= 5.0.2) (bundled)
php_oci8.dll Oracle 8 functions Requires: Oracle 8.1+ client libraries
php_openssl.dll OpenSSL functions Requires: libeay32.dll (bundled)
php_overload.dll PHP 4 Object overloading functions Built in since PHP 4.3.0, removed as of PHP 5.0.0
php_pdf.dll PDF functions None
php_pgsql.dll PostgreSQL functions None
php_printer.dll Printer functions None
php_shmop.dll Shared Memory functions None
php_snmp.dll SNMP get and walk functions NT only!
php_soap.dll SOAP functions PHP >= 5.0.0
php_sockets.dll Socket functions None
php_sybase_ct.dll Sybase functions Requires: Sybase client libraries
php_tidy.dll Tidy functions PHP >= 5.0.0
php_tokenizer.dll Tokenizer functions Built in since PHP 4.3.0
php_w32api.dll W32api functions None
php_xmlrpc.dll XML-RPC functions PHP >= 4.2.1 requires: iconv.dll (bundled)
php_xslt.dll XSLT functions PHP <= 4.2.0 requires sablot.dll, expat.dll (bundled). PHP >= 4.2.1 requires sablot.dll, expat.dll, iconv.dll (bundled).
php_yaz.dll YAZ functions Requires: yaz.dll (bundled)
php_zip.dll Zip File functions Read only access
php_zlib.dll ZLib compression functions Built in since PHP 4.3.0

PHP Manual