How to install PHP 7 on Debian Linux 8.7/7.x [jessie/wheezy]


wanted to use PHP 7 on Debian 8.x. How do I install and configure PHP 7 on Debian Linux 8.x server? How do I install PHP 7 on Debian Linux 7.x “wheezy” VPS server hosted in cloud?


PHP 7 is a dynamic scripting langauge for delivering applications. You can get 2x faster performance and 50% better memory consumption than PHP 5.6, allowing you to serve more concurrent users without adding any hardware. However, PHP 7 not included with Debian 8.x stable version. In this tutorial, you will learn about installing PHP 7 on Debian 8.7 server. Please note that Debian 9.0 “Stretch” will include PHP 7 by default.

Related: How to install PHP 7 on Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS

Steps to install PHP 7 on Debian 8.7

First, remove old PHP 5.6

Configure dotdeb is an extra repository for PHP 7

Install PHP 7

Reconfigure web server

Restart web server

To list your Debian version, enter:

$ lsb_release -a

No LSB modules are available.

Distributor ID: Debian

Description: Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 (jessie)

Release: 8.7

Codename: jessie


Use the following syntax to save existing config files:

$ sudo tar zcvf /root/etc.backup.tar.gz /etc/

Step #1: Delete old php 5.6 (if installed)

First, list all installed old php 5.x packages, enter:

$ dpkg –list | grep php | awk  /^ii/{ print $2}


Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Debian Linux list installed PHP packages on the system


To delete old php 5.6 packages, enter:

$ x= $(dpkg –list | grep php | awk  /^ii/{ print $2} )

$ sudo apt-get –purge remove $x


Sample outputs:

Fig.02: Deleting old php 5.6 packages

Step #2: Configure dotdeb

Dotdeb is an extra repository providing up-to-date packages (such as PHP 7 and more) for your Debian servers. It supports both Debian 8.x “Jessie” and Debian 7.x “Wheezy”.

Configuration for Debian 8.x “Jessie”

Append the following two lines to /etc/apt/sources.list as root user::

$ sudo -s

# echo  deb jessie all  >> /etc/apt/sources.list

# echo  deb-src jessie all  >> /etc/apt/sources.list


Save and close the file. Here is my updated file:

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list


Sample outputs:

Fig.03: Updated /etc/apt/sources.list for Debian 8.x “jessie”.

Configuration for Debian 7.x “Wheezy”

Append the following two lines to /etc/apt/sources.list as root user:

$ sudo -s

# echo  deb wheezy all  >> /etc/apt/sources.list

# echo  deb-src wheezy all  >> /etc/apt/sources.list


Save and close the file.

As of 15/Feb/2017 the above instructions for Debian 7.x “Wheezy” are no longer working. Please use following instructions to compile PHP 7 from the source code:

$ sudo apt-get install git

$ cd /tmp

$ git clone

$ cd php-7-debian/

$ ./


It will take some time to download and compile everything. At the end you should see something as follows:

Generating phar.php

Generating phar.phar

PEAR package PHP_Archive not installed: generated phar will require PHP s phar extension be enabled.


Build complete.

Don t forget to run  make test .


Installing shared extensions:     /usr/local/php7/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20160303/

Installing PHP CLI binary:        /usr/local/php7/bin/

Installing PHP CLI man page:      /usr/local/php7/php/man/man1/

Installing PHP FPM binary:        /usr/local/php7/sbin/

Installing PHP FPM config:        /usr/local/php7/etc/

Installing PHP FPM man page:      /usr/local/php7/php/man/man8/

Installing PHP FPM status page:   /usr/local/php7/php/php/fpm/

Installing phpdbg binary:         /usr/local/php7/bin/

Installing phpdbg man page:       /usr/local/php7/php/man/man1/

Installing PHP CGI binary:        /usr/local/php7/bin/

Installing PHP CGI man page:      /usr/local/php7/php/man/man1/

Installing build environment:     /usr/local/php7/lib/php/build/

Installing header files:           /usr/local/php7/include/php/

Installing helper programs:       /usr/local/php7/bin/

program: phpize

program: php-config

Installing man pages:             /usr/local/php7/php/man/man1/

page: phpize.1

page: php-config.1

/tmp/php-7-debian/php-src/build/shtool install -c ext/phar/phar.phar /usr/local/php7/bin

ln -s -f phar.phar /usr/local/php7/bin/phar

Installing PDO headers:           /usr/local/php7/include/php/ext/pdo/

To install PHP 7 on Debian 7.x:

$ sudo ./


Sample outputs:

update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing

You can verify PHP version:

$ /usr/local/php7/bin/php –version

PHP 7.1.1 (cli) (built: Feb 15 2017 18:49:03) ( NTS )

Copyright (c) 1997-2017 The PHP Group

Zend Engine v3.1.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Zend Technologies

with Zend OPcache v7.1.1, Copyright (c) 1999-2017, by Zend Technologies


All PHP configuration files are stored under /usr/local/php7:





While the Debian init script is added to:


See this page for more info about using PHP 7 on Debian 7.x. The rest of the following instructions are for Debian version 8.x only.

Step #3: Fetch and install the GnuPG key (“jessie” only)

Type the following commands

$ cd /tmp

$ wget

$ sudo apt-key add dotdeb.gpg

$ rm dotdeb.gpg


Refresh apt database to include new packages:

$ sudo apt-get update


Sample outputs:

Get:1 jessie/updates InRelease [63.1 kB]

Ign stable InRelease

Get:2 jessie InRelease [9,840 B]

Hit jessie-updates InRelease

Hit stable Release.gpg

Get:3 jessie/all Sources [30.0 kB]

Get:4 jessie-updates/main amd64 Packages/DiffIndex [5,932 B]

Hit stable Release

Get:5 jessie/updates/main amd64 Packages [313 kB]

Hit jessie-updates/contrib amd64 Packages

Hit stable/main amd64 Packages

Get:6 jessie/all amd64 Packages [111 kB]

Get:7 jessie-updates/non-free amd64 Packages/DiffIndex [736 B]

Hit stable/contrib amd64 Packages

Get:8 jessie/updates/contrib amd64 Packages [2,506 B]

Hit jessie-updates/contrib Translation-en

Hit stable/non-free amd64 Packages

Get:9 jessie-updates/main Translation-en/DiffIndex [2,704 B]

Get:10 jessie/updates/non-free amd64 Packages [14 B]

Get:11 jessie/updates/contrib Translation-en [1,211 B]

Hit stable/contrib Translation-en

Get:12 jessie-updates/non-free Translation-en/DiffIndex [736 B]

Get:13 jessie/updates/main Translation-en [168 kB]

Hit stable/main Translation-en

Get:14 jessie/updates/non-free Translation-en [14 B]

Hit stable/non-free Translation-en

Ign jessie/all Translation-en_IN

Ign jessie/all Translation-en

Fetched 708 kB in 10s (69.8 kB/s)

Reading package lists… Done

Step #4: Install PHP 7 (“jessie” only)

You created a shell variable called $x in step #1. To install equivalent of php5 packages, enter:

$ y= $(sed  s/php5/php7.0/g  <<<$x)

$ echo Old PHP5 packages name: $x

Old PHP5 packages name: libapache2-mod-php5 php-pear php5 php5-cgi php5-cli php5-common php5-fpm php5-gd php5-json php5-mysql php5-readline

$ echo New PHP7 packages name: $y

New PHP7 packages name: libapache2-mod-php7.0 php-pear php7.0 php7.0-cgi php7.0-cli php7.0-common php7.0-fpm php7.0-gd php7.0-json php7.0-mysql php7.0-readline

$ sudo apt-get install $y


Sample outputs:

Fig.04: Installing PHP7 on my Debain 8.7 server

How do I search PHP7 packages (“jessie” only)?

$ apt-cache search php7.0-\*

$ apt-cache search php7.0-\* | grep -i mysql


Sample outputs from 1st command:

libapache2-mod-php7.0 – server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language (Apache 2 module)

libphp7.0-embed – HTML-embedded scripting language (Embedded SAPI library)

php-all-dev – package depending on all supported PHP development packages

php7.0 – server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language (metapackage)

php7.0-apcu – APC User Cache for PHP

php7.0-apcu-bc – APCu Backwards Compatibility Module

php7.0-bcmath – Bcmath module for PHP

php7.0-bz2 – bzip2 module for PHP

php7.0-cgi – server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language (CGI binary)

php7.0-cli – command-line interpreter for the PHP scripting language

php7.0-common – documentation, examples and common module for PHP

php7.0-curl – CURL module for PHP

php7.0-dba – DBA module for PHP

php7.0-dbg – Debug symbols for PHP7.0

php7.0-dev – Files for PHP7.0 module development

php7.0-enchant – Enchant module for PHP

php7.0-fpm – server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language (FPM-CGI binary)

php7.0-gd – GD module for PHP

php7.0-geoip – GeoIP module for PHP

php7.0-gmp – GMP module for PHP

php7.0-igbinary – igbinary serializer for PHP

php7.0-imagick – Provides a wrapper to the ImageMagick library

php7.0-imap – IMAP module for PHP

php7.0-interbase – Interbase module for PHP

php7.0-intl – Internationalisation module for PHP

php7.0-json – JSON module for PHP

php7.0-ldap – LDAP module for PHP

php7.0-mbstring – MBSTRING module for PHP

php7.0-mcrypt – libmcrypt module for PHP

php7.0-memcached – memcached extension module for PHP, uses libmemcached

php7.0-mongodb – MongoDB driver for PHP

php7.0-msgpack – MessagePack serializer for PHP

php7.0-mysql – MySQL module for PHP

php7.0-odbc – ODBC module for PHP

php7.0-opcache – Zend OpCache module for PHP

php7.0-pgsql – PostgreSQL module for PHP

php7.0-phpdbg – server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language (PHPDBG binary)

php7.0-pspell – pspell module for PHP

php7.0-readline – readline module for PHP

php7.0-recode – recode module for PHP

php7.0-redis – PHP extension for interfacing with Redis

php7.0-snmp – SNMP module for PHP

php7.0-soap – SOAP module for PHP

php7.0-sqlite3 – SQLite3 module for PHP

php7.0-ssh2 – Bindings for the libssh2 library

php7.0-sybase – Sybase module for PHP

php7.0-tidy – tidy module for PHP

php7.0-xdebug – Xdebug Module for PHP

php7.0-xml – DOM, SimpleXML, WDDX, XML, and XSL module for PHP

php7.0-xmlrpc – XMLRPC-EPI module for PHP

php7.0-xsl – XSL module for PHP (dummy)

php7.0-zip – Zip module for PHP

How do I install PHP7 packages individually?

Alternatively, you can just install needed PHP7 packages. In this example, install php7, php-fpm, php7-mysql and php7-gd:

$ sudo apt-get install php7.0 php7.0-fpm php7.0-gd php7.0-mysql

Step #5: Reconfigure web server and php 7 (“jessie” only)

Your php7 config files are located in /etc/php/7.0/ directory as follows:

/etc/php/7.0/apache2/ – PHP 7 with Apache 2

/etc/php/7.0/fpm/ – PHP 7 fpm for Nginx/Lighttpd/Apache2 and other server.

/etc/php/7.0/mods-available/ – All php ini config file for PHP modules such as gd/mysql/memecached and others.

You need to edit files and configure a web-server as per your setup.

Examples: Configure Lighttpd web-server to use PHP 7

Edit the /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled/15-fastcgi-php.conf file, enter:

$ sudo vi /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled/15-fastcgi-php.conf


Append/edit as follows (note updated /run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock path):

fastcgi.server += (  .php  =>


bin-path  =>  /usr/bin/php-cgi ,

socket  =>  /run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock ,

max-procs  => 1,

bin-environment  => (




bin-copy-environment  => (



broken-scriptfilename  =>  enable



Save and close the file. Restart web-server as per step #6.

Examples: Configure Nginx web-server to use PHP 7

Edit the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default file, enter:

$ sudo vi /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default


First add the following at the top of file:

# Upstream to abstract backend connection(s) for PHP 7.

upstream myphpsevenbackend {

server unix:/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock;


Next, locate the server block and update/edit/append as follows:

# Pass all .php files onto a php-fpm/php-fcgi server. #

index index.php;

location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {

fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+?\.php)(/.*)$;

if (!-f $document_root$fastcgi_script_name) {

return 404;


# This is a robust solution for path info security issue and works with  cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1  in php.ini (default) #

include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;

fastcgi_index index.php;

fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

fastcgi_pass myphpsevenbackend;


Save and close the file. Restart web-server as per step #6.

Examples: Configure Apache 2 web-server to use PHP 7 (“jessie” only)

To enable PHP 7.0 FPM in Apache2, enter:

$ sudo a2enmod proxy_fcgi setenvif

Considering dependency proxy for proxy_fcgi:

Enabling module proxy.

Enabling module proxy_fcgi.

Module setenvif already enabled

To activate the new configuration, you need to run:

service apache2 restart


$ sudo a2enconf php7.0-fpm

Enabling conf php7.0-fpm.

To activate the new configuration, you need to run:

service apache2 reload


Restart web-server as per step #6.

Step #6: Restart web server

If you are using lighttpd web-server, enter:

$ sudo systemctl restart lighttpd.service


If you are using Nginx web-server, enter:

$ sudo systemctl restart nginx.service


If you are using Apache 2 web-server, enter:

$ sudo systemctl reload apache2.service

Test your setup

Create a file called test.php in your DocumentRoot (e.g. /var/www/html/test.php):


/* test.php */



Save and close the file. Fire a web-browser and type url:





Sample outputs:

Fig.05: phpinfo() in action displaying info about PHP 7

How do I stop/start/restart php7.0-fpm (“jessie” only)?

The syntax is as follows

$ sudo systemctl stop php7.0-fpm.service

$ sudo systemctl start php7.0-fpm.service

$ sudo systemctl restart php7.0-fpm.service

$ sudo systemctl reload php7.0-fpm.service

A note about php7.0-fpm configuration file (“jessie” only)

/etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini – PHP 7 configuration file.

/etc/php/7.0/fpm/php-fpm.conf – PHP 7 FPM Configuration file.

/etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf – Default pool for PHP 7 FPM. Here you can define user/group, FastCGI request path, process manager and children values, php error file, memory limit and much more.

Whenever you made changes to any one of the above file(s), reload/restart php7.0-fpm.service using the following syntax:

$ sudo systemctl reload php7.0-fpm.service

So there you have it, a PHP 7 enabled and configured on Debian Linux 7.x or 8.x server successfully.



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