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PHP : Installation and Configuration : Installation on Windows systems : Installation of extensions on Windows

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 4.8. Enable Bzip2 extension for PHP-Windows

    // change the following line from ...

    // ... to

  • 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.


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.

Table 4.1. 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_cpdf.dll ClibPDF functions None
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_cybercash.dll Cybercash payment functions PHP <= 4.2.0
php_db.dll DBM functions Deprecated. Use DBA instead (php_dba.dll)
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 DOM XML 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 II functions Requires: Ingres II 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_oracle.dll Oracle functions Requires: Oracle 7 client libraries
php_overload.dll Object overloading functions Built in since PHP 4.3.0
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

Code Examples / Notes »


[editor note: this should be fixed in PHP 5.1.0]
The order of the extensions listed in php.ini is causing problems... one must check that a particular extension A is enabled and above extension B if B requires A to be enabled.
The original ordering doesnt make sure that this always happens (ie, A is above B)
I came into this problem when I tried to enable the exif extension under windows. I knew mbstring is required but I kept getting errors even after I enabled both.
The problem can only be fixed by moving the mbstring line above the exif line...


When confronted with the problem "PHP Warning:  PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library './php_mysql.dll' - Access is denied.\r\n in Unknown on line 0" I found I had to make the permissions "chmod.exe 755 php_mysql.dll"
(This is on a Windows XP, but I am running Cygwin).


We tried to install PHP 4 ISAPI Module on IIS 6 on a Windows Server 2003 SP2 at the office.
The only way we found out to make these extensions work, is by putting the extensions DLLs in the System32\inetsrv in the Windows directory. We did the same previously with the
php4isapi.dll and php4ts.dll to make PHP work. The system was asking for a password previously.
We cannot explain it, it seems like a problem only occuring with SP2 installed because we never had this problem before. Giving the right permission to the PHP and extensions folders didn't do anything good. It always gave use a permission denied error. We even tried to give full control to Everyone on the PHP folder, same result.
I hope it can help.


Under windows, given an error similar to
PHP Warning:  PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library 'c:\\php\\ext\\php_mysql.dll' - The specified module could not be found.\r\n in Unknown on line 0
When PHP definitely should be able to find the module, it's fairly common knowledge that this error can also be caused by  certain dlls not being in the PATH. These dlls (usually libeay32 and ssleay32) are generally found in your base php directory, and the modern windows installers add the base php directory to the PATH so that you don't need to worry about it. However, if when installing earlier versions you decided on moving libeay32, ssleay32 et al to C:\Windows\System32 instead of changing the PATH, then php will still end up with the old versions and the out of date versions will cause the same error as above. Don't fall into the trap like I did.


Installing PHP5.1.6 on an IIS5.1 system.
Some extensions are not working because of registry(like LDAP).
You need to create a registry file named: "inifilepath.reg"
Content should be the 3 lines under,be sure to define your PHP path correct:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
After creating this file, double click it, click yes, and restart IIS. Hopefully this might solve problem for some, as it solved for me.


Installing PHP extensions for IIS for the first time is sort of a baptism by fire -- you will get your hands dirty, and other suitable metaphors of nastiness.  Hopefully, you won't have to spend too many days googling around fora and restarting IIS 10 million times as I did until I finally realized both what was going on and what crazy things I'd done wrong.
THIS (peter)guy really goes into terrific detail and troubleshooting, (with very good reasons and explanations of extension dependencies not listed on the current php page you're now reading):
Most of this is applicable for IIS5.1 as well, as far as I've found.
The main problem I'd been butting my head up against was extensions being reported as not found, even though the .DLLs were definitely in C:\PHP\ext, and my PATH env var was setup correctly.  
The error messaging during dynamic loading of implicitly-linked libraries should be more specific, telling you that in fact it is a particular dependency of a dependency which is missing -- usually some obscure third-party .dll -- and name it!
Eventually I stopped being so greedy and just cut down on the extensions I thought I needed by commenting them out in php.ini.  That eliminated the startup errors.  Apparently some of these extensions or their requirements, which either come with the base PHP install zip or the PECL extensions, are either too obscure or too fragile to be necessary anyway.
Good luck, and I hope anyone who runs into the same trouble can hit upon this or Peter Guy's page directly before they go too crazy.


If You try to install PHP5 to IIS6 with Oracle....
Then You need some kind of pilot-exams, not for big planes, just a little one.
So: After installations (php.ini is correct see above ie.: extenstion = php_oci8.dll etc)
If You use anonymous access, You'll  have a builtin user to use it. Make this user local administrator, or give minimum read access to PHP folder (ie.: c:\php) and ORAHOME (ie. c:\ora92) folders.
If You use Windows Integrated authentication, give for Domain Users minimum read access to PHP folder (ie.: c:\php) and ORAHOME (ie. c:\ora92) folders.
Goog luck.

yye yeyuancn2

I just installed PHP5.2 + Apache2.2 + MySQL5 on Windows XP. Three imporatant things.
1. I tryed to put php.ini in windows directory like in early version. But php can't load it and using default values only. After I put php.ini into php installation directory, everything is fine.
2. You still need to copy libmysql.dll to windows\system32 directory for the mysql extension to work.
3. Don't forget for apache 2.2, you need php5apache2_2.dll instead of php5apache2.dll.


I had problems with PHP5/Apache2.2/MySQL 5 installation on a WinXp machine.
I got the
Fatal error: call to undefined function - mysql_connect().
Solution :
1, use correct version of ext\php_mysql.dll and libmysql.dll
2, !!! edit the CORRECT php.ini (%windir%\php.ini) like c:\windows\php.ini !!!
3, add php installation dir to PATH
4, edit php.ini to load extension php_mysql.dll
to check.

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