Compiling PHP 7.4 on OSX

3 minute read

I think I am a decent PHP programmer, but I am lost when it comes to devops, C, Makefiles and compiling stuff. I just want to write brew upgrade php and be happy. If that doesn’t work I have to google each small step to fix the issue.

I love writing bash for example, but I need to google the syntax of an if-statement for every bash script I write.

The RC for PHP 7.4.2 just came out this week. I decided to test it out. I downloaded the release from the website, unzipped them. I carefully followed some guide saying:

make install

If course I ran in to issues like:

> #include <libxml/parser.h>
> fatal error: 'libxml/parser.h' file not found

Since OSX dont follow standard paths where libraries live you need to provide their locations to the ./configure command. In OSX versions before Catalina (10.15) you could do some trick, but that does not work any more.

And in PHP versions before 7.4 you could use options like --with-libxml-dir, but that has been removed in favor of pkg-config.

What you should do

So every time it complains, ie for libxml2, you should update the PGK_CONFIG_PATH environment variable. The value depends on the path to the library.

To find the path, lets run brew info:

➜  brew info libxml2
libxml2: stable 2.9.10 (bottled), HEAD [keg-only]
GNOME XML library
/usr/local/Cellar/libxml2/2.9.9_2 (281 files, 10.5MB)
  Poured from bottle on 2019-02-26 at 23:49:05
==> Dependencies
Required: python ✘, readline ✔
==> Options
	Install HEAD version
==> Caveats
libxml2 is keg-only, which means it was not symlinked into /usr/local,
because macOS already provides this software and installing another version in
parallel can cause all kinds of trouble.

==> Analytics
install: 40,738 (30 days), 149,637 (90 days), 604,534 (365 days)
install-on-request: 11,176 (30 days), 39,774 (90 days), 130,051 (365 days)
build-error: 0 (30 days)

From the output we see that libxml2 lives in /usr/local/Cellar/libxml2/2.9.9_2. That means pkgconfig lives in this folder:


For my machine, I had to run the following three commands to successfully compile PHP.

env PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/Cellar/openssl@1.1/1.1.1d/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/Cellar/libxml2/2.9.9_2/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/Cellar/icu4c/64.2/lib/pkgconfig \
      --prefix /usr/local/Cellar/php/7.4.2RC1 \
      --sysconfdir=/usr/local/Cellar/php/7.4.2RC1 \
      --with-config-file-path=/usr/local/etc/php/7.4.2RC1 \
      --with-config-file-scan-dir=/usr/local/etc/php/7.4.2RC1/conf.d \
      --enable-bcmath \
      --enable-calendar \
      --enable-dba \
      --enable-dtrace  \
      --enable-exif \
      --enable-ftp \
      --enable-fpm \
      --enable-gd \
      --enable-intl \
      --enable-mbregex \
      --enable-mbstring \
      --enable-mysqlnd \
      --enable-pcntl \
      --enable-phpdbg \
      --enable-phpdbg-webhelper \
      --enable-shmop \
      --enable-soap \
      --enable-sockets \
      --enable-sysvmsg \
      --enable-sysvsem \
      --enable-sysvshm \
      --with-curl \
      --with-fpm-user=_www \
      --with-fpm-group=_www \
      --with-freetype \
      --with-iconv=/usr/local/Cellar/libiconv/1.16 \
      --with-libxml \
      --with-jpeg \
      --with-layout=GNU \
      --with-mysql-sock=/tmp/mysql.sock \
      --with-openssl \
      --with-pdo-mysql=mysqlnd \
      --with-pdo-pgsql=/usr/local/Cellar/libpq/12.1_1 \
      --with-pdo-sqlite \
      --with-pgsql=/usr/local/Cellar/libpq/12.1_1 \
      --with-pic \
      --with-sodium \
      --with-sqlite3 \
      --with-unixODBC \
      --with-webp \
      --with-xmlrpc \
      --with-xsl \
      --with-zip \

make install

I struggled for hours to compile PHP 7.4. My main mistake was that I didn’t read the output of the ./configure command. Please please please, make sure to read at least the last 20 lines.



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