Installing a PHP Extension

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[account] and [extension] have to be replaced by the name of the extension to be installed and the account on which it is to be installed.

Managing extensions

A PHP extension comes in the form of a file with an .so extension. To load it, you need to add to your php.ini file (Environment > PHP or at the website level in Web > Sites). Here’s and example for YAML extension:

extension = /home/[account]/[extension].so

where /home/[account]/[extension].so is the absolute path to your extension.

Some extensions load with the zend_extension directive and not extension. The extension publisher will tell you when this directive should be used instead.

The extensions depend on the major version of PHP. In other words, a .so file compiled for PHP version 5.5 will not work with version 5.6: it must be recompiled.

The following sections tell you how to get new extensions. All commands are to be executed in SSH.

Extensions included in PHP

PHP includes numerous extensions as standard, a number of which are already preloaded by default by alwaysdata. To see the full list of extensions available:

$ ls $(php-config --extension-dir)

To see the list of extensions already loaded in your account:

$ grep extension $HOME/admin/config/php/php.ini

To load an extension included in PHP, you will not need to specify the full directory, the filename is enough:

extension = [extension].so

Examples: imap, intl.


Many extensions can be installed via PECL. To install an extension, we suggest using our proprietary script, ad_install_pecl. It handles downloading, configuring and compiling an extension:

$ ad_install_pecl [extension]

The command generates a new .so file in the current directory. You don’t have to use our script, you can use the usual commands (phpize, make) if you prefer.

Example of regularly requested PECL extensions: apcu, imagick, memcached, ssh2, yaml.

From the vendor site

Some extensions can be directly downloaded from the vendor site in pre-compiled form (.so file). If the vendor offers you a choice, download the Linux 64 bit version. For example:

From distribution packages

Some extensions are complex or even impossibles to compile manually. It is possible to retrieve a .so file from the Linux distribution packs, for example Debian:

$ wget
$ dpkg-deb -x php5-mapscript_7.0.4-1~bpo8+1_amd64.deb .