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MaxMind GeoIP Legacy PHP API

Important Note

This API is for the GeoIP Legacy format (dat). To read the MaxMind DB format (mmdb) used by GeoIP2, please see our GeoIP2 PHP API.


This module has no external dependencies. You only need a MaxMind GeoIP database. To download a free GeoLite Legacy Country database, please see our GeoLite Legacy page.

Install via Composer

We recommend installing this package with Composer.

Download Composer

To download Composer, run in the root directory of your project:

curl -sS | php

You should now have the file composer.phar in your project directory.

Install Dependencies

Run in your project root:

php composer.phar require geoip/geoip:~1.16

You should now have the files composer.json and composer.lock as well as the directory vendor in your project directory. If you use a version control system, composer.json should be added to it.

Require Autoloader

After installing the dependencies, you need to require the Composer autoloader from your code:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

Install without Composer

Place the '' file in the include_path as specified in your php.ini file or place it in the same directory as your PHP scripts.

IP Geolocation Usage

IP geolocation is inherently imprecise. Locations are often near the center of the population. Any location provided by a GeoIP database should not be used to identify a particular address or household.


Gets country name by hostname :


require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$gi = geoip_open("/usr/local/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat",GEOIP_STANDARD);

echo geoip_country_code_by_addr($gi, "") . "\t" .
     geoip_country_name_by_addr($gi, "") . "\n";
echo geoip_country_code_by_addr($gi, "") . "\t" .
     geoip_country_name_by_addr($gi, "") . "\n";


Memory Caching

To enable memory caching, pass GEOIP_SHARED_MEMORY or GEOIP_MEMORY_CACHE as the second argument of geoip_open.

GEOIP_SHARED_MEMORY requires php >= 4.0.4 compiled with --enable-shmop configure time. See ( In addition, you should call geoip_load_shared_mem before calling geoip_open. See sample_city.php for an example of shared memory caching.


This code is tested on PHP 5.3 and greater. Older versions of PHP may work.

This API also works and is tested with HHVM. The shared-memory mode does not currently work on HHVM as HHVM does not support PHP's shared memory functions.


For help with this API or our databases, please see our support page.

Copyright and License

This software is Copyright (c) 2016 by MaxMind, Inc.

This is free software, licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License version 2.1 or later.


Thanks to Jim Winstead.