Installation instructions

PHP-JS is a PHP extension written in C++ that first has to be compiled and deployed on your server(s). To do this, you need the following tools on your system:

  • A modern C++ compiler with C++11 support (like g++ or clang)
  • The PHP development environment
  • GNU make
  • Git
  • The PHP-CPP library
  • The Google V8 Javascript library

We are not going to help you install a compiler, set up a PHP build environment, or tell you how to install make or git -- there are a billion websites explaining how to achieve this. However, PHP-CPP and V8 are less well documented, so we will describe how to install these, before we start with PHP-JS.

Installing PHP-CPP

PHP-CPP is a library (also made by Copernica, just like PHP-JS) that allows one to create native PHP extensions using C++. PHP-JS is built on top of PHP-CPP, so you need it before you can proceed with installing PHP-JS.

You can download the latest PHP-CPP (stable) release from the PHP-CPP website, or get the latest unstable version from GitHub. If you want to use and compile the latest version from GitHub (which often is also the best and most up-to-date version available), you can enter the following command line instructions in your terminal:

git clone
sudo make install

If you prefer a stable release over the bleeding edge master branche, visit the releases overview on GitHub to fetch the latest version. After you've downloaded an appropriate version, you can install it (replace "X.Y" with the version number you're using):

tar xfz vX.Y.tar.gz
sudo make install

If you run into problems downloading or installing PHP-CPP, please check the PHP-CPP installation guide.

Installing the Google V8 Javascript engine

Next stop is to install the V8 Javascript engine that is made by Google. We had some problems understanding the official installation guide, so we wrote a much simpler installation guide instead.

If you don't feel like reading this full installation tutorial, you can also directly enter the following instructions in your terminal to install V8:

git clone
export PATH=`pwd`/depot_tools:"$PATH"
fetch v8
cd v8
git checkout 5.9-lkgr
gclient sync
gn gen --args='is_debug=false is_component_build=true v8_enable_i18n_support=false'
ninja -C
sudo cp include/*.h /usr/include
sudo cp*.so /usr/lib
sudo ldconfig

Installing PHP-JS

Installing PHP-JS is very similar to installing PHP-CPP. You can also choose between installing the latest bleeding edge unstable version from GitHub, or one of the versioned releases.

Before installing PHP-JS you'll have to copy 2 files from the v8 installation directory. You'll have to copy and into the PHP-JS directory. We can't ship these files as they depend on your local v8 build. After you've done this you can simply compile PHP-JS using make. To then install it systemwide using sudo make install.

Watch out! Although the "sudo make install" instruction mentioned above works on most systems, on some environments you will have to do some things manually. The "sudo make install" instruction copies the "php-js.ini" configuration file to the system wide "/etc/php/mods-available" directory. If you are on a system that uses a different location for the php.ini files, you should copy this php-js.ini file by hand to the appropriate directory.

After you've installed PHP-JS, you should tell PHP to enable the extension:

sudo phpenmod php-js || sudo php5enmod php-js

And - if you're using an Apache web server - restart this webserver:

sudo apache2ctl restart

Found a typo?

You can find this documentation page on GitHub.
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