Like a lot of people I do most of my development work on windows PC and locally run a web a server and database. Like a a lot of people I just downloaded and installed a server bundle. For the last few years I have used Apache2triad and it has generally been pretty painless, but I’ve recently been forced to abandon it. Unfortunately the development seems to have been abandoned about 2 years ago.

The reason I abandoned Apache2triad was PHP versions – I wanted to do some work with Google Base using the Zend Google Data Library which required PHP 5.1.4+.

Looking around at the various bundles I decided to go with XAMPP – a lot of people seem to use it and it seems to get pretty good feedback. I won’t say the process was entirely painless (it took a couple of goes to get everything up and running) but eventually it all seemed OK.

The fun started when I decided to do a bit of baking (generating scaffolding code for my CakePHP app from a command line interface). Nothing worked.

Looking into it I discovered more than I wanted to know about the PHP Command Line Interface (CLI) which I had happily used for years with no idea it actually existed, having assumed it was just there as part of PHP.

After a lot googleing and a lot of trial and error I got it all working again and this is how I did it.

My environment is Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2 with XAMPP installed on E:/

  1. Downloaded the latest version of PHP and replaced the entire contents of E:\xampp\php\.
  2. Added to the E:\xampp\php to my environment PATH.

At this stage PHP CLI wwas now working but there were nasty errors e.g. I was uanble to connect to MySQL from scripts. I discovered that this is because PHP CLI uses a different php.ini file to regular PHP.

To fix this I copied my php.ini from E:\xampp\apache\bin\php.ini (the default XAMPP ini file) to E:\xampp\php.

I then checked the PHP CLI again using php -v at a command prompt. There were now about 6 errors displayed, concerned with modules that could not be loaded or found. I believe that these concern modules just that aren’t meaningful in CLI mode. So I went through my new php.ini in E:\xampp\php and commented out the directives that were causing the errors until PHP CLI ran without errors.

2 thoughts to “XAMPP and the PHP CLI”

  1. That’s one of the reasons that I much prefer doing my web development on Linux. Oh, and I can use all the major browsers, either natively or through Wine (there’s just something wrong about using Safari for Windows on Linux).

  2. Well when I get a bit of spare cash I’m planning to get a nice fast, big hard drive for my laptop and was planning to go Linux too at that point. My home machine is dual core and pretty quick but it just gets slower and slower dying under the weight of windows updates etc. Like you say now Wine is 1.0 and everything I want seems to work, I figure its a good time to change.

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