Build and compile PHP from source on Debian with Lighttpd and PostgreSQL

Building PHP from source

Building PHP from source includes 3 main steps:

  • ./configure - this step creates so called Makefiles required to compile PHP source code based on the given configure options (--with-foo, --enable-bar, etc).
  • make - this step starts the actual compilation of the C files.
  • make install - this step copies built files to system folders.

To build PHP from source code you will need the following prerequisites first:

  • autoconf
  • gcc
  • g++
  • make
  • rc2

First let's get the PHP sources. You have multiple options here. You can download prepaired archive from the downloads section or you can download source code from the Git repository. Difference between the two options is that the prepared downloads come with the configure script.

PHP from the Git repository requires to create a configure script before proceeding. In the root folder there is a buildconf script which does that:


After that you can start with configuring your build with the configure script.

cd /usr/src/php
make install

See also

Install Lighttpd

sudo apt-get install lighttpd

Install PostgreSQL

sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-client

Development on localhost using built-in web server

If you're developing PHP applications on your local workstation, PHP also has a useful built-in web server for localhost development. It is not intended to be used for production environments.

Inside your project folder you can run it from the command line using PHP CLI SAPI:

php -S localhost:8000

Visit http://localhost:8000/ in your browser to access it.