How to Compile PHP7.0/PHP7.1 From Source on Arch Linux

This tutorial shows you how to compile PHP7.0/PHP7.1 on Arch Linux and install it alongside PHP7.2. Arch Linux is a rolling-release distribution with the newest and greatest software. PHP7.2 landed in Arch Linux repository. Some web applications such as WordPress works well with PHP7.2, but others like NextCloud currently doesn’t support PHP7.2. The upcoming NextCloud version – NextCloud 13 – is said to be compatible with PHP7.2.

Yesterday I did an upgrade on my Arch Linux server, which resulted in PHP7.2 replacing PHP7.1 and my NextCloud web interface stopped working. The AUR (Arch User Repository) provides PHP7.0. I tried to install it with Yaourt, but the signature verification failed, so I had no other choice but to compile PHP7.0/PHP7.1 myself.

How to Compile PHP7.0/PHP7.1 on Arch Linux

First, upgrade all software.

sudo pacman -Syu

Install wget and download PHP source code. I use the latest version of PHP7.0. Replace the version number with your preferred version.

sudo pacman -S wget


Extract the tarball.

tar xvf php-7.0.26.tar.gz

Cd into the newly created directory.

cd php-7.0.26

Install build tools and dependencies.

sudo pacman -S gcc make bison gawk re2c libxml2 libwebp freetype2 c-client libmcrypt libxslt

Configure the environment with the following parameters. Copy the entire command and paste it to your terminal window.

./configure \
--prefix=/opt/php-7.0.26                      \
--with-config-file-path=/opt/php-7.0.26/etc   \
--with-zlib-dir                              \
--with-freetype-dir                          \
--enable-mbstring                            \
--with-libxml-dir=/usr                       \
--enable-soap                                \
--enable-calendar                            \
--with-curl                                  \
--with-mcrypt                                \
--with-zlib                                  \
--with-gd                                    \
--disable-rpath                              \
--enable-inline-optimization                 \
--with-bz2                                   \
--with-zlib                                  \
--enable-sockets                             \
--enable-sysvsem                             \
--enable-sysvshm                             \
--enable-pcntl                               \
--enable-mbregex                             \
--enable-exif                                \
--enable-bcmath                              \
--with-mhash                                 \
--enable-zip                                 \
--with-pcre-regex                            \
--with-pdo-mysql                             \
--with-mysqli                                \
--with-mysql-sock=/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock \
--with-jpeg-dir=/usr                         \
--with-png-dir=/usr                          \
--enable-gd-native-ttf                       \
--with-openssl                               \
--with-fpm-user=http                         \
--with-fpm-group=http                        \
--enable-ftp                                 \
--with-imap                                  \
--with-imap-ssl                              \
--with-kerberos                              \
--with-gettext                               \
--with-xmlrpc                                \
--with-xsl                                   \
--enable-opcache                             \

When it’s done, let’s compile PHP7 with make command. Replace 2 with the number of CPU cores on your machine. By default make uses 1 core, you can make the compile process faster by using all available cores.

make -j2

The compile process can take some time, depending on your CPU power. Once it’s finished, run a test.

make test

Now install PHP. The installation directory is /opt/php-7.0.26/.

sudo make install

compile php7 on arch linux

From the screenshot, we can see PHP-FPM binary is installed to /opt/php-7.0.26/sbin/ and PHP-FPM configuration directory is /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/. Before running PHP-FPM, we need to create the PHP-FPM configuration file. There are two sample configuration files so we can just copy them.

sudo cp /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.conf.default /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.conf

sudo cp /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf.default /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Edit the www.conf configuration file.

sudo nano /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

By default, PHP-FPM listens on TCP socket, we can make it listen on Unix socket. Find the following line.

listen =

Add a semicolon at the beginning to comment it out. Then add the following line below it.

listen = /run/php-fpm/php7.0-fpm.sock

Next, find the following 3 lines and uncomment them.

;listen.owner = http
; = http
;listen.mode = 0660

Save and close the file. Next copy the php.ini file.

sudo cp ~/php-7.0.26/php.ini-production /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php.ini

Edit the file.

sudo nano /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php.ini

Add the following at the bottom of the file.

include_path = "/opt/php-7.0.26/lib/php"

Save and close the file. Now we can start PHP-FPM with:

sudo /opt/php-7.0.26/sbin/php-fpm

Creat Systemd Service Unit

Create Systemd service unit for PHP7.0.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/php7.0-fpm.service

Copy and paste the following lines into the file.

Description=The PHP FastCGI Process Manager

ExecStart=/opt/php-7.0.26/sbin/php-fpm --nodaemonize --fpm-config /opt/php-7.0.26/etc/php-fpm.conf
ExecReload=/bin/kill -USR2 $MAINPID


Save and close the file. Now we can kill the current running PHP7.0-FPM and run it via systemd. Find the PID of PHP7.0-FPM master process.

ps aux | grep php-fpm

compile php7 from source

As you can see, the PID is 5066 on my machine. So I can kill it with:

sudo kill 5066

Note that the PHP7.2-FPM binary is also named php-fpm.If you use pkill php-fpm, then both PHP7.2-FPM and PHP7.0-FPM will stop. Now start php7.0-fpm via systemd.

sudo systemctl start php7.0-fpm

Enable auto-start at boot time.

sudo systemctl enable php7.0-fpm

Check its status.

systemctl status php-fpm

compile php7 from source on arch linux

Make Nginx Use PHP7.0-FPM

To make Nginx use PHP7.0 instead of PHP7.2, open Nginx server block file, find the following line.

fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock;

Change it to

fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/php7.0-fpm.sock;

There may be more than one instance of this line. You need to change all of them. Then make http (the web server user on Arch Linux) as the owner of /run/php-fpm/php7.0-fpm.sock file.

sudo chown http:http /run/php-fpm/php7.0-fpm.sock

Test Nginx configuration.

sudo nginx -t

If the test if successful, reload Nginx for the changes to take effect.

sudo systemctl reload nginx

That’s it! I hope this tutorial helped you compile PHP7.0/7.1 from source on Arch Linux. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get more useful tips and tricks.

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