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PyHP is an (incomplete!) implementation of the PHP language using the RPython technology. It uses JIT transformer provided by the RPython library to achieve good performance.

PyHP stands for Python + PHP.

HippyVM is too built on top of RPython, and is a complete, working implementation.


  • all variable types like int, float, string, array, iterator
  • if, while, for, foreach statements
  • functions
  • pass by value or by reference to a function
  • global variables in function blocks using global
  • global constants using define()
  • (incomplete) standard library functions
  • unicode support for function/variable names and string values. PHP 6 compatible!

PHP 7 vs PyHP

Project structure

  • - main entry point
  • - parses a given PHP file using the grammar.txt definition, and produces an AST tree consisting of nodes
  • - turns the AST tree produced by into bytecode by calling compile() on the tree. Produces a ByteCode instance consisting of nodes
  • - execution frame. Contains the stack and the variables/functions map for the function or the global program. A frame instance is passed to execute method of a Interpreter instance as the only parameter
  • - loops over a list of bytecodes and evaluates a handler
  • grammar.txt - EBNF PHP grammar used by

Additional files:

  • - AST tree nodes
  • - class per each opcode. Each opcode has a eval(frame) method which gets called by the Interpreter.execute() method
  • - contains an optimized Map class used for symbols map in
  • - various PHP standard library methods like strlen
  • - all datatypes' box classes used to store the variables, like int, float, array, etc.


Build the container first

docker build -t juokaz/pyhp .

or pull from docker hup

docker pull juokaz/pyhp

Building the interpreter

make build

Or to build without JIT support

make build-nojit

Running the benchmark

make bench

Or run any PHP file

./build/pyhp bench.php

Starting the web server

./build/pyhp --server 8080

Accessible through http://localhost:8080/bench.php.

Printing the bytecode

./build/pyhp --bytecode bench.php

Printing the AST tree

./build/pyhp --ast bench.php

Debugging the interpreter

PYPYLOG=jit-log-opt:jit.txt ./build/pyhp bench.php

Plot the trace as a graph

PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/home/vagrant/pypy-src/ python ~/pypy-src/rpython/tool/ draw-time jit.txt --mainwidth=8000 filename.png

Running the tests

make tests

Or to run with coverage information

make tests-cov

Building the docker container

docker build -t juokaz/pyhp .

Attributions and inspirations

JavaScript on top of RPython

Example interpreter

Pascal on top of RPython

HippyVM - php on top of RPython


PyHP is an implementation of the PHP language with JIT support using the RPython technology.






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