I’m currently working out installation instructions for phix on Microsoft Windows before my sessions at PHPNW 11 and ZendCon in October … and I need your help, because it has been many years now since I used Windows.

If you do your PHP development using Windows on the desktop or laptop, where do you prefer to get your copy of PHP from?

… or somewhere else entirely?


  1. Nathan Collins says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I have used windows.php.net and MS Web Platform – the installer is fail, never works first time, don’t bother with it – biggest problem is getting the service to start, it’s mostly down to the service looking at the wrong php.ini.

  2. Cal Evans says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Stuart!

    I just went through this search myself. XAMPP used to be my default answer but they have so hosed that package that I’ve deleted it totally from my machine.

    Have you considered Zend Server Community Edition? Of all the things I tried, it pissed me off the least.


  3. skoop says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    The times I work with Windows are rare, but if I do, I always use Web Platform Installer. It’s (to me) the easiest way to get a good, high quality PHP installation up and running.

  4. Justin says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I get all my stuff directly from the publisher site. So I get my php distro right from the php website myself. I don’t generally care about ‘speed’, I care about quality.

  5. Marcelo says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I have used WAMP and EasyPHP.

  6. Daniel O'Connor says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Definately grab it from windows.php.net; grab the zip; fire up the manual installation page and we’re sorted.

    It’s trivial – an unzip; a small amount of apache configuration.

  7. Chris says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 1:57 am


    Considering other options though as the latest version on Win7 is definitely a step backwards from previous Xampp/XP installs

  8. Petah says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 4:56 am


  9. Pierre says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 7:51 am


    Some clarification:

    - easyphp and xampp uses windows.php.net binaries in its latest versions (the VC9 ones)

    - afair wamp uses windows.php.net binaries too but I did not get a reply from Romain about that

    - the MSFT Web Platform installer uses windows.php.net MSIs and wrap the msi to set the various options required for IIS/FCGI

    Basically for FastCGI or mod_php with Apache, the zip file is the most easiest way to update. For the 1st install, it may be easier to use the MSI, but usually not worth the pain of using MSIs.

    Also I’m trying to get in touch with various packages on windows to unify our binaries (worked with xampp, easyphp and webpi) so anyone can report bugs at bugs.php.net or update from windows.php.net. Only Zend Server did not do it so far (why we don’t support it).

  10. Jordi Boggiano says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 7:53 am

    XAMPP is outdated (5.3.1) and therefore unacceptable. WAMP has worked well in my experience if you want an out of the box thing that works.

    Nowadays I just build my own setup with an Apache from http://www.apachelounge.com/download/ (don’t touch the Apache official builds, they’re still built with VC6) + mod_fcgid + php-latest VC9 NTS (non thread safe). VC6 has weird bugs that won’t/can’t be fixed, so don’t lose time with that. It’s not as easy as WAMP, but allows me to have complete control over my setup (like running specific different PHP versions per VirtualHost).

  11. Peter O'Callaghan says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Back when I was using windows I used to use XAMPP, if I was to go back to it now I would probably opt for Zend Server CE, since that’s what I’ve been using on my two main development set-ups. 1 is a Mac Pro the other running Ubuntu, I might as well round out the set.

  12. Michael says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:06 am


    Although I highly prefer PHP on a LAMP-box :)

  13. Pierre says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:13 am

    @Jordi Boggiano

    Xampp is not, please double check what is happening there:

    Apache 2.2.21
    MySQL 5.5.16
    PHP 5.3.8
    phpMyAdmin 3.4.5
    FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.39

  14. Jordi Boggiano says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Ack, XAMPP on windows is up to date, it’s the OSX version that lags behind, my bad.

  15. AleFranz says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:28 am

    It’s always up to date. I have just to change a few bits in the config

  16. Pierre says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Btw, let me be more clear about why we don’t support ZendServer at php.net but only our binaries (custom patches, no control of what is being delivered, etc.).

    And I would suggest to anyone using it to ask them to actually use our binaries instead.

  17. PaulGeraghty says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 9:40 am

    My last 2 installs were:

    1) Just grab it from php.net and manually install with apache etc to align with LIVE server running an older copy of PHP.
    2) used easyWEMP to get a working copy of 5.3 and nginx

  18. mike harris says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    WAMP only

  19. Joe Lee says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 10:47 am

    wamp or xampp are the only two “usable” choices imho. I have used xampp but what I like about wamp is that you can install multiple versions of php which I cant seem to do reliably when I work on xampp. I also like the fact the latest versions of wamp (2.1) has xdebug also.

    My only gripe is that pear is a bit of a git to get working on my win 7 64bit machine for some reason.

  20. Alexandr says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I always use windows.php.net

  21. Eric James Soltys says:
    September 29th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    1) XAMPP for a Windows-only solution, but…
    2) VirtualBox on Windows (Host OS) running Ubuntu (Guest OS) preferred for development.

  22. Wil Moore III says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    For me, it depends on use case:

    (1) For just command-line (phpunit) needs, I go for http://windows.php.net/download/. This works _REALLY_ well.

    (2) For a full setup (apache + php), I go for Zend Server CE. This has worked very well especially because Zend Server CE is generally what goes to production in my environments.