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Build your own PHP on Windows

Before you Begin

Building PHP on Windows will require three things

  1. A properly set up build environment, including a compiler with the right SDK's and some binary tools used by the build system
  2. Prebuilt libraries and headers for third party libraries that PHP uses in the correct location
  3. The PHP source

The Build Environment

This is the hardest part of the PHP windows build system to set up and will take up a lot of space on your hard drive - you need to have several GB of space free.


  • PHP officially supports building with Microsoft's Visual C++ compilers. MinGW and other compilers are NOT supported or even known to work. For more information and how to get the compiler see the supported versions. The following VC versions are supported:
    • Visual C++ 6.0 for PHP 5.2
    • Visual C++ 9.0 (Visual Studio 2008 or Visual C++ 2008) for PHP 5.3 and 5.4. You can use the Express versions as well.
    • Visual C++ 11.0 (Visual Studio 2012) for PHP 5.5+. You can use the Express versions as well.
  • If using VC9 or earlier, you will need the correct Windows SDK or Platform SDK to match your compiler. See this page for the supported versions.
  • Various tools, see for binary versions of them.


Quick 'n' Easy

  1. If compiling PHP 5.3 or 5.4:
    1. Install Visual Studio 2008 (no matter what version -express, pro or others; all should work) and install it
    2. Get and install Windows SDK 6.1
  2. If compiling PHP 5.5+:
    1. Install Visual Studio 2012. If using the express version, install “Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Desktop”
  3. Get PHP via git
  4. Create the folder “c:\php-sdk“
  5. Unpack the archive ( into this directory, there should be one sub-directory called “bin” and one called “script“
  6. If compiling PHP 5.3 or 5.4:
    1. Open the “Windows SDK 6.1 shell” (it's available from the start menu group) and execute the following command in it:
      setenv /x86 /xp /release
  7. If compiling PHP 5.5+:
    1. Open “VS2012 x86 Native Tools Command Prompt” (it's available from the start menu group):
  8. Execute the following commands:
    cd c:\php-sdk\
    bin\phpsdk_buildtree.bat phpdev
  9. If compiling for vc11:
    1. Copy c:\php-sdk\phpdev\vc9 to c:\php-sdk\phpdev\vc11 (the buildtree script hasn't been updated for vc11)
  10. Now extract the PHP source code to C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86 with your favorite unpacker (7-zip should handle it) where vcXX is the compiler version you are using. For example C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vc11\x86\<php-source-directory>
  11. In the same directory (C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86) there is a “deps” folder. Here you will need to extract all the libraries required to build PHP. We have packaged the required deps for most of the core extensions at Simply download the appropriate file that matches your PHP version and extract to C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86\deps
  12. Change directory to the location of your PHP source code:
    cd C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86\php-source-directory
  13. Run:
  14. To get an overview of the compiling flags:
    configure --help
  15. Create your configure command:
    configure --disable-all --enable-cli --enable-$remains
    1. Note: The deps located at should include the libraries needed to build most the core extensions. However, some other extensions may need additional libraries, header files and helper apps. See libs, fetch the version you need and extract the archive into the deps directory, i.e.: c:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86\deps)
  16. Build PHP, run:
  17. If you want the resulting PHP builds and extensions to be zipped, after 'nmake' also run:
    nmake snap
  18. The compiled PHP is now under “C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86\php-source-directory\Release_TS”. If you ran 'nmake snap' the zip file will also be here.
    1. If you compiled with “--disable-zts” the compiled PHP will be under “C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86\php-source-directory\Release”

Recompile after you have done some changes

  1. Clean up old compiled binaries
    nmake clean
  2. If you need to update the 'configure' script
    buildconf --force
  3. Create your makefile: see release
    configure --disable-all --enable-cli --enable-$remains
  4. Compile

Adding PECL extensions (using 'dbase' as an example)

  1. cd C:\php-sdk\phpdev\vcXX\x86
  2. Get the dbase extension code through Subversion
  3. svn co pecl/dbase
  4. cd php-source-directory
  5. buildconf
  6. Executing
    configure --help

    should now contain a dbase option

  7. configure --enable-cli --enable-dbase
  8. nmake
  9. Test the binary with a
    php -m

    command, to make sure dbase exists

LDAP Support Notes

  1. Add “--with-ldap” to your configure
  2. Make sure to package your generated binaries with libsasl.dll, which will not be built through this process - you can find it inside your C:\php-sdk\php53dev\vc9\x86\deps\bin\ folder, or you can download it from one of the PHP official binary packages


fatal error C1900: [] mismatch between 'P1' version '200801116' and 'P2' version '20070207' If you are using Visual Studio 2008 Express and Platform SDK 6.1 make sure you have the latest versions and check for version incompatibilities. There are known issues with old versions of VS 2008 Express and Platform SDK 6.1.

The order in which you install the Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition and Platform SDK 6.1 is important due to the issue reported in Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Overview, Windows SDK for Server 2008 (v6.1) overwrites VS2008 SP1 CRT files and Installing Windows SDK for Server 2008 (v6.1) after VS2008 SP1 causes conflicts with Security Update (KB971092). Install the SDK first, with any of its service packs and security updates before installing Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition.

Make sure that you are running setenv /xp /x86. For example, setenv /xp /x64 or setenv /vista /x64 causes the above error message even if you are using Visual Studio 2008 Express SP1 and Platform SDK 6.1 (60001.18000.367) on a Vista 64bit system.


Resource Hacker

Utility to show dependency information and other assembly information from a DLL. For instance, it shows which version of the Visual C++ Runtime the DLL was linked against.

Get it here:

internals/windows/stepbystepbuild.1427328077.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/09/22 13:28 (external edit)