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Build cross-platform software with rich native GUIs using the combined power of the PHP language and the wxWidgets library.
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Build Status

Site: Documentation:

Table of Contents


wxPHP stands for "wxwidgets for PHP" and it is a binding for the great cross-platform library wxWidgets used to develop GUI applications. The purpose is to bring all the facilities available on PHP as easyness of programming to assist on the development of cross-platform desktop applications. The syntax used is very similar to the one used on original implementation of wxWidgets C++, making it easier for people already familiar with the library.

Building on Windows


  • Windows SDK 6.1
  • Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition
  • wxWidgets 3.0.0
  • PHP5 Sources
  • wxPHP source code
  • Read the README_MSW.txt

Install Windows SDK 6.1 and Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition

  1. Windows SDK 6.1 download links:

    Web Setup or DVD ISO

  2. Visual Studio download link:

    2008 Express Edition

Download and install wxWidgets 3.0.0

  1. Clone git sources:

    git clone wxWidgets.git
    git checkout tags/WX_3_0_0
  2. Open Windows SDK 6.1 CMD Shell:

    setenv /release /x86 /xp
    cd wxWidgets_Installation_Path
    cd build\msw
    nmake -f BUILD=release

Download and Install PHP sources

NOTE: Compilation has been tested against PHP 5.3 and 5.4 it should work with any 5.3.x - 5.4.x version of php it also works with 5.5 but there may be some issues that need to be fixed

  1. Download PHP 5:

    To check available versions for download:

    Direct download link for 5.5.7:

  2. Create the directory:

  3. Download PHP 5 binary tools:

  4. Extract the binary tools inside the directory c:\php-sdk leaving you with:

  5. Open the Windows SDK 6.1 CMD Shell and do the following:

    setenv /release /x86 /xp
    cd c:\php-sdk\
    bin\phpsdk_buildtree.bat php53dev
  6. Extract the php source files and place them on:

  7. Then compile the sources to see if everything is working:

    cd c:\php-sdk\php53dev\vc9\x86\php5.5.x
    configure --disable-all --disable-zts --enable-cli

Compile wxPHP

Note: Make sure to read the README_MSW.txt for some compilation and linking fixes

  1. Get wxPHP sources:

    git clone wxphp
  2. Put the source code in the ext folder of your php build folder:

  3. Open the Windows SDK 6.1 CMD Shell and do the following:

    setenv /release /x86 /xp
    cd c:\php-sdk\
    cd c:\php-sdk\php53dev\vc9\x86\php5.5.x
    configure --disable-all --disable-zts --enable-cli --with-wxwidgets=C:\wxWidgets_installation_path

Copy the resulting php_wxwidgets.dll file on the Release directory to the php extensions directory of your current PHP 5 VC9 X86 Non Thread Safety setup.

If you want the wxWidget extension to be automatically loaded, add the following lines to the end of your php.ini:


Building and Installing on Linux/Unix Environments

Install C/C++ compilers and autoconf tools

Ubuntu and Debian based distros:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Compile wxWidgets library and development packages

wxWebView, a web browser like control, was enabled on the wrapper, in order to compile wxWidgets with wxWebView support you will need to have libwebkitgtk development files and library. On ubuntu and debian based distros this could be done with:

sudo apt-get install libwebkitgtk-dev

Also wxMediaCtrl is binded so you need to install gconf and gstreamer development files on linux platforms:

sudo apt-get install libgconf2-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev

Download wxWidgets tar file and uncompress it on your directory of choice or git clone with:

NOTE: Remember to use tar.bz2 when downloading sources, using the zip file results on compilation errors under linux, since file line endings are formatted for windows.

git clone wxWidgets.git
git checkout tags/WX_3_0_0

NOTE: Currently we have tested with wxWidgets 3.0.0 version.

On the console change to the wxWidgets directory and:

./configure --prefix=/opt/wxWidgets
sudo make install

Install php5 development packages

Ubuntu and Debian based distros:

apt-get install php5-dev

Configure and build the extension

cd wxphp
./configure --with-wxwidgets=/opt/wxWidgets

Installing the extension

After make a file named will be generated on the modules directory. You can reduce the file size by stripping debugging symbols by using the strip utility:

strip modules/

Then you can copy the resulting file on the modules directory to the php extensions directory. PHP extensions directory is usually found on /usr/lib/php5/ On Ubuntu 10.04 - 12.04 this directory is /usr/lib/php5//

To automate the installation process just use:

sudo make install

If you want the wxWidget extension to be automatically loaded, add the following lines to your php.ini:

; load php wxwidgets module

If not, then enable dynamic loading on your php.ini usually on:


modify enable_dl = off to enable_dl = on

Creating a DEB Package

Before creating a deb package you need the following dependencies to be satisfied:

  • php5-dev
  • git
  • libwebkitgtk-dev
  • libgconf2-dev
  • libgstreamer0.10-dev
  • libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev

On the root wxphp source tree execute:


That should take care of building and creating a deb package. We aren't using upstream wxWidgets packages since they are sometimes compiled with less features and there aren't 3.0.0 packages of wxWidgets available on ubuntu or debian repositories.

Linking statically to wxWidgets on Linux/Unix/MacOSX

Statically linking is a good idea to package wxphp into rmp/deb files without dependencies on third party wxGTK packages that may be incompatible. On 64 bits static linking is impossible without the use of -fPIC or so that has been my experience, so here is the steps involved to achieve it.

  1. Compile wxWidgets with -fPIC

    CFLAGS="-fPIC -O2 -Wall -W" CXXFLAGS="-fPIC -O2" \
    ../configure --prefix=/opt/wxWidgets-static --disable-shared --enable-monolithic
  2. Run the generated wxphp configure script with custom ld flags

    LDFLAGS="-L/opt/wxWidgets-static/lib -pthread -lwx_gtk2u-3.0 -lwx_gtk2u_gl-3.0 -lwxregexu-3.0 -lwxscintilla-3.0 \
    ./configure --with-wxwidgets=/opt/wxWidgets-static --enable-wxwidgets-monolithic
  3. Strip debugging symbols for smaller library size

    strip modules/

If a smaller library size is wanted it could be achieved by playing with the GCC optimization flags, when compiling the wxWidgets library on the first step as on the second step. Some flags that could reduce the file size (a little bit) of final libraries as increase performance could be -Os and -s for example:

CFLAGS="-fPIC -Os -s" CXXFLAGS="-fPIC -Os -s"

Building on Mac OS X

The process of building on mac is the same as on linux the only differences are the way we configure wxWidgets build, as the applications needed. We have tested with the php version available on homebrew.

Note: In this example we will be building against Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9). If you are running a different version of Mac OS, then replace references to 10.9 with the version you are running. You can find this in "About This Mac"


  1. Xcode (for a working compiling environment)

  2. Homebrew (for PHP development environment and binaries)

Install PHP from Homebrew

This process could take a long time since homebrew downloads php sources and dependency sources and compiles.

brew install php55

Note: You may need to run brew tap homebrew/php for the PHP packages to be available in homebrew

Get wxWidgets sources and build

git clone wxWidgets.git
git checkout tags/WX_3_0_1
cd wxWidgets.git
mkdir mybuild
cd mybuild
../configure -with-osx_cocoa --disable-compat24 --with-macosx-version-min=10.9 --with-macosx-sdk=/Applications/ --prefix=/opt/wxWidgets CFLAGS="-arch x86_64" CXXFLAGS="-arch x86_64" CPPFLAGS="-arch x86_64" LDFLAGS="-arch x86_64" OBJCFLAGS="-arch x86_64" OBJCXXFLAGS="-arch x86_64"

Note: if non 64 bit architecture just remove the x86_64 flags from the configure command

sudo make install

Note: The location of your Mac OS X SDK may vary depending on your version of OS X. It is most likely to be located in /Applications/ but may also be located in /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.x.sdk

Compile wxPHP as usual

cd wxphp
./configure --with-wxwidgets=/opt/wxWidgets --enable-wxwidgets-macosx
make install

Running the examples

In order to run the examples provided you need to install php cli version. On ubuntu this is done by running:

sudo apt-get install php5-cli

To run the examples change on your console to the examples directory and run the php interpreter on each file as follows:

php thread.php

on windows you can also do

php-win thread.php

Third Party Tools

wxFormBuilder - a RAD tool for wxWidgets GUI design.

We worked on adding php support to this great forms designer. For more information visit the official website:

Also You can find the latest nightly builds for windows with PHP support at:

Integration of PHP support wouldn't be possible without the help of RedTide and the rest of wxFormBuilder team, Thanks a lot!


For those interested on helping improve this extension this section explains the basics of how it works. Almost every subdirectory contains a README file explaining its content so be sure to check them all ;)

Code is auto generated

Almost all the wxPHP extension source code is generated by a set of php scripts except app.h, app.cpp, references.h and references.cpp. Even at a certain point config files are re-generated to update the list of source files that need to be compiled. The PHP script that generates the source code uses as input the xml files produced by doxygen from the wxWidgets docs. This xml files are parsed by another tool and then converted into json files for easy mapping into php arrays using json_decode function.

XML Parser

On the tools directory you will find the script on charge of parsing the xml files and converting them to json files. This script uses the xml files on the xml directory as input. In order to regenerate this xml files with the most recent changes you would need a copy of wxWidgets source code then inside of the wxWidgets directory:

cd docs\doxygen
./ xml

This will produce hundreds of xml files that constitute the wxWidgets documentation. You would need to copy all the files on out/xml to the xml directory on the root directory of wxPHP. After you run the json_generator script with:

php tools/json_generator.php

Some json files will be generated on the json dir, this files are

classes.json, consts.json, global_variables.json, typedef.json
class_groups.json, enums.json, includes.json, class_variables.json,

NOTE: For some other details check the README file on the xml, json and tools directories.

Code Generator

Inside tools/source_maker directory resides the php script in charge of all the C/C++ code generation (code_generator.php) that forms the wxPHP extension. As said before this script depends on the json files generated by json_generator.php, you will find a copy of all these files. The source maker will read the json files and create a set of headers and source files wrapping the wxWidgets classes defined on classes.json

It starts by decoding all json files and cleaning methods with unsupported parameter types as other qualities not handled correctly by the generator. All the cleaning activity is logged on a file named discarded.log. Then it process each class using a php template system. The templates directory holds the source of what will form the skeleton of the wrapping code.

After generating the classes binding code it generates binding code to the global wxWidgets functions and store them on functions.cpp. Then it populates the files on source_templates directory with all the code needed to initialize each binded class, function, global variable, etc... At the final stage, it uses the config_templates directory to retrieve the configuration files skeleton and populate it with the list of files that need to be compiled.

Use the utility script to automate some of the steps necessary or script on the wxPHP root directory.

NOTE: For more information about the code generator check the README file on tools/source_maker directory.

Class/Methods Selector

An GUI utility on tools/source_maker/class_selector/selector.php was created using wxPHP itself in order to facilitate the selection of the class methods that are going to be binded. To use this utility you need to have a working wxPHP.

This utility uses the file named full_classes_set.json that is actually a copy of the classes.json generated by the xml parser. When saving the selected methods it creates a file named classes.json that is the one actually used by the code generator. This file automatically replaces the one on dumps directory each time the utility is ran to generate the code.

NOTE: For more information about the utility check the README file on source_maker/class_selector directory.


Any problems, please file an issue or visit the forums:

don't forget to also visit the project page at:

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