How To Compile PHP7 From Source on Raspbian Jessie

This tutorial explains how to compile PHP7 from source and installing it to Raspbian Jessie OS. I’m using the low end Pi 1 Model B. The processing power of Pi 1 is inadequate when it comes to compiling software from source. It took about 5 hours to finish compiling PHP7. So I suggest using Pi 2 or Pi3 if you have one. Pi 2 has dual-core CPU and Pi 3 has quad-core CPU.

Compile PHP7 From Source

First SSH into your Raspberry Pi if you have a headless setup. Then download the PHP7 source code from official website.


Extract the tarball.

tar xvf php-7.0.4.tar.gz

cd to the newly-created directory.

cd php-7.0.4/

Install dependencies.

sudo apt-get install libkrb5-devlibc-client2007e libc-client2007e-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libbz2-dev libjpeg-dev libmcrypt-dev libxslt1-dev libxslt1.1 libpq-dev build-essential git make

As you may already know, we must run a configure script to configure the compiling environment. But before that, I’d like to point out two errors I encountered during the configure phase and how to solve them.

Error #1

configure: error: Cannot find imap library (libc-client.a). Please check your c-client installation.

Solution: create a symbolic link and re-run the configure script.

sudo mkdir /usr/c-client/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libc-client.a /usr/c-client/

Error #2

error: Kerberos libraries not found.

Check the path given to --with-kerberos (if no path is given, searches in /usr/kerberos, /usr/local and /usr )

Solution: create a symbolic link and re-run the configure script.

sudo mkdir /usr/kerberos

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/mit-krb5/* /usr/kerberos

If you want to see the error for yourself, you can now run the below configure script. If you don’t like seeing errors, then create the above symbolic links and run the below configure script.

Here’s the common arguments for the configure script. Copy the following code and paste it in the Raspbian terminal, then hit Enter to start the configuration.

./configure \
--prefix=/opt/php-7.0.4                      \
--with-config-file-path=/opt/php-7.0.4/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=www-data                     \
--with-fpm-group=www-data                    \
--with-libdir=/usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf          \
--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. use -j4 option if your Raspberry Pi has a quadcore processor.

make   or     make -j4

On my low end single-core Raspberry Pi, this compilation process took about 5 hours to finish. A Pi 3 with quad-core processor takes much less time.

Once the compilation is completed, install PHP7.0.4 with the following command:

sudo make install

Upon finishing, it tells you where things are installed. This is very useful information.

Compile PHP7 From Source on Raspberry Pi

As you can see, the PHP-FPM binary is located at /opt/php-7.0.4/sbin/ and my PHP-FPM config dirctory is /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/. So if I start php-fpm with this command:


An error message spits out telling me php-fpm.conf is not found.

Compile PHP7 From Source on Raspberry Pi

We need to rename two conf files.

sudo mv /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.conf.default /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.conf

sudo mv /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf.default /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

And copy the php.ini-production file to the php-fpm config folder.

sudo cp /home/pi/php-7.0.4/php.ini-production /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/

Now start php-fpm again.

sudo /opt/php-7.0.4/sbin/php-fpm

Integrate with Nginx

To see how to compile Nginx from source on Raspbian Jessie, check out the following post. Of course, you can also install nginx on Raspbian Jessie from software repository with sudo apt-get install nginx.

How To Compile Nginx From Source and Install on Raspbian Jessie

In your Nginx server block, add these lines.

# pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
location ~ \.php$ {
            root           /usr/share/nginx/html;
            fastcgi_index  index.php;
            fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            include        fastcgi_params;

The document root directory on my Raspbian Jessie is /usr/share/nginx/html. You may need to change the document root directory. Save and close the file. Reload Nginx.

sudo sysemctl reload nginx

Then create a test.php file in your document root directory.

sudo nano /usr/share/nginx/html/test.php

Paste the following PHP code into the file.




Save and close the file. Now in your browser address bar, type


Replace ip-of-raspberrypi with the actual IP. You should see all your PHP installation information. If you can see this page, that means php-fpm is running happily with Nginx.

Compile PHP7 From Source on Raspberry Pi

Fine Tuning

Enable Error Log

Edit php-fpm.conf file

sudo nano /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.conf

Find the following line in this file.

;error_log = log/php-fpm.log

and change it to this:

error_log = /var/log/php-fpm.log

So now we can check php-fpm log in /var/log/php-fpm.log file.

Integrate with Systemd

Create a systemd service file for php-fpm.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/php-fpm.service

Copy and past the following text into the file.

Description=The PHP FastCGI Process Manager

ExecStart=/opt/php-7.0.4/sbin/php-fpm --nodaemonize --fpm-config /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.conf
ExecReload=/bin/kill -USR2 $MAINPID


Save and close the file. Now kill the current running php-fpm process and start it again with systemctl.

sudo pkill php-fpm

sudo systemctl start php-fpm

Check status

sudo systemctl status php-fpm

Compile PHP7 From Source on Raspberry Pi

Enable php-fpm automatically start when Raspberry Pi is powered on.

sudo systemctl enable php-fpm

Edit www.conf File

sudo nano /opt/php-7.0.4/etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Find the following two lines

;listen.owner = www-data
; = www-data
;listen.mode = 0660

Uncomment them. Then find this line.

listen =

Change it to

listen = /var/run/php7-fpm.sock

Save the file. Now edit your Nginx configuration file and change the value of fastcgi_pass to  /var/run/php7-fpm.sock

location ~ \.php$ {
            root           /usr/share/nginx/html;
            fastcgi_pass   unix:/var/run/php7-fpm.sock;
            fastcgi_index  index.php;
            fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            include        fastcgi_params;

Save and close the file. Then restart Nginx and php-fpm.

sudo systemctl restart nginx

sudo systemclt restart php-fpm

Congrats! You have successfully compiled PHP7 and installed it on Raspbian Jessie. Also we created a php-fpm.service file and can easily manage php-fpm with Systemd.

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