Composer needs PHP, what to do?

Hi all,

After I finished the Getting Started Guide from Vagrant I’m now looking at the Composer screencast from Roots.

At 3:16 there is a check if PHP is installed, because Composer requires PHP:

However, when I do this:

  1. What I wonder, in het command line tool he is just working on his local PC right? Not logged in to a guest machine that has PHP installed?
  2. Does that mean, if I’m correct with question 1, I need to download and install PHP on my PC, that same like I did with Vagrant, VirtualBox, Git that is now all installed on my PC? If yes, which download of PHP do I need for my Windows PC?

Kind regards,

Willem-Siebe Spoelstra

Perhaps windows users can chime in on what they recommend but has a pretty involved process documented:

So you confirm that I need to install PHP on my local PC? I find that hard to understand since my local PC does not function as a webserver, for that i’m using vagrant plus virtualbox. For example I could use the VVV vagrant setup and they seem to install lots of things. See upload. For the same reason I dont understand why I need PHP on my local PC I also dont understand why they seem to install Git on the webserver. Why would that be needed since I have git installed on my local PC. Hope somebody can provide some explenation.

Whether a computer is a web server has nothing to do with whether or not it should have PHP installed.

PHP is a popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development.

PHP is scripting language. If you want to run PHP scripts you have to have PHP installed. Composer relies on git to function.

So if you want to run the PHP script composer on your local PC you have to have PHP and Git installed on your local PC. Or you can run it in your vagrant box that has all that stuff installed. If you want to run the PHP script composer on your server you need PHP and Git installed.

Ok, but when I follow your link the first thing mentioned is I should read the manual installation steps, and I hope you understand that does not make it easy for me which download I should take since all situations are not where I need PHP for…

Download the PHP zip binary distribution from » PHP for Windows: Binaries and Sources. There are several different versions of the zip package - choose the version that is suitable for the web server being used:

If PHP is used with IIS then choose PHP 5.3 VC9 Non Thread Safe or PHP 5.2 VC6 Non Thread Safe;

If PHP is used with IIS7 or greater and PHP 5.3+, then the VC9 binaries of PHP should be used.

If PHP is used with Apache 1 or Apache 2 then choose PHP 5.3 VC6 or PHP 5.2 VC6.

So which specific download should I now install on my local PC?

Kind regards,


I managed to install PHP. For others:

  1. download latest non-thread-safe PHP download ZIP file from;
  2. unzip it somewhere on your PC where you save your programs or developer tools;
  3. download and install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 from (just download both x64 and x84, or find out which one you need)
  4. look for the php.ini-production file where you stored the PHP files from your PHP ZIP download, rename this to php.ini, then uncomment the lines extension_dir = “ext” and extension=php_openssl.dll.

After this I could run the install programm Composer for Windows without any errors, so hope I can continue with the screencast now :smile:.

Kind regards,


1 Like

glad you got it figured out!