Full Installation

  • how-to
    Installation instructions, and download archive for the Couchbase PHP Client.

    For release notes, download links, and installation methods for earlier releases of the Couchbase PHP Client, see below.

    The Couchbase PHP SDK generally tracks PHP’s own supported versions, and recommends the most recent "Active Support" version, except as specified in our documentation and especially the release notes.

    As of March 2024, these versions are PHP 8.3 (Latest Active Support), 8.2 (Active Support), and 8.1 (Security Support)  — see the table below for supported versions and dates.

    SDK Installation

    Installing on Mac and Linux systems

    Before installing the PHP SDK, the following dependencies must be installed. We recommend using OS specific utilities such as brew, apt-get, and similar package management utilities (depending on your environment):

    • cmake >= 3.20.0+

    • c++ compiler >= std_17

    • openssl >= 1.1+

    For more details regarding platform support refer to the Compatibility page.

    When installing OpenSSL via brew install on macOS, the command will not be sufficient to be able to build. The easiest way to fix this is to add the OPENSSL_ROOT_DIR env variable to your exports (e.g., .zshenv).

    $ export OPENSSL_ROOT_DIR=/usr/local/opt/openssl/

    If you have any issues setting this up, see the tips mentioned when you run brew info openssl.

    Now, install the Couchbase PHP SDK through your PHP distribution’s pecl command:

    $ pecl install couchbase

    Or install from the Couchbase repository:

    $ pecl install https://packages.couchbase.com/clients/php/couchbase-4.0.0.tgz

    Then follow the post-installation steps.

    New SDK Versions on Old Operating System Versions

    This SDK runs on top of the C++ core, Couchbase++, which requires a C++ 17 compiler, such as GCC 8.0, or more recent versions.

    Older versions of Debian and Ubuntu ship with an older version of GCC — and RHEL and CentOS also lack a supported version of PHP.

    Workarounds are available for installing a newer build chain for RHEL and CentOS with EPEL, but this may not be within your company’s policy, so also take a look at container options.

    Alpine Linux

    Alpine Linux is very slim and uses musl libc and the apk package manager. As a result, the installation is a little different from other Unix-Like systems, and pecl equivalent packages are used instead.

    Using apk, you would install your preferred php version, install libcouchbase, and then install the equivalent pecl package for the version of php that you’re using.

    $ apk add php81
    $ apk add php81-pecl-couchbase

    Then follow the post-installation steps.

    Installing on Microsoft Windows

    When using Microsoft Windows, instead of using PECL, download the pre-built binary package matching your environment. You may also download the php-couchbase source code for the SDK and build it directly in your environment if you have a complete build toolchain.

    From PHP SDK version 4.2.1 Windows binaries are available to download — see the Release Notes page for links to the binary built for your preferred PHP version.

    For older versions of the PHP 4.x SDK, there are no pre-built binaries for the Windows platform. Instead, you will need to follow these steps to build an extension along with the PHP interpreter. We recommend always running the latest version of the SDK.

    Post Installation for All Platforms

    Once the PHP SDK has been installed, you need to specify that the PHP interpreter should load the Couchbase PHP SDK as an extension. To do this:

    1. Locate your php.ini file. This can be done using the command php --ini

      $ php --ini
      Configuration File (php.ini) Path: /usr/local/etc/php/8.1
      Loaded Configuration File:         /usr/local/etc/php/8.1/php.ini
      Scan for additional .ini files in: /usr/local/etc/php/8.1/conf.d
      Additional .ini files parsed:      (none)
    2. Insert a line in the php.ini file specifying the extension to be loaded; this should be in the [PHP] section. If you don’t know where that is, simply search for existing commented or uncommented extension= entries in the file.

      extension=json      ; not needed with PHP 8.0.0+
      On PHP version 7.2.0 and up, simply using the extension name is preferred. Previously, you might have used couchbase.so or couchbase.dll, depending on your platform.

    PHP Composer

    Once the PHP extension is installed, it may be used as any other PHP library through composer as posted at packagist.org.

    Ensure that you have installed Composer successfully — you can verify your installation with:

    $ composer --version
    Composer version 2.3.5 2022-04-13 16:43:00

    To add Couchbase to your project’s dependency list, simply update your composer.json file with the following dependencies:

    "require": {
      "ext-couchbase": "^4.0",
      "couchbase/couchbase": "^4.0"

    Run composer update to lock the change in the generated composer.lock file.

    Note on Extension Dependencies

    The Couchbase SDK depends on the JSON extension, which must be loaded before the SDK. However, it is already included on PHP 8.0.0+ as a core extension.

    Older Releases