tree: dd3fb8e75191d76cb9a8f030e469f3bae7d32598 [path history] [tgz]
  1. bin/
  2. docker/
  3. ext/
  4. lib/
  5. tests/
  6. .gitignore
  7. composer.json
  8. phpunit.xml


This directory contains source code for PHP implementation of gRPC layered on shared C library. The same installation guides with more examples and tutorials can be seen at gRPC PHP installation instructions for Google Cloud Platform is in



  • php: version 7.0 or above (PHP 5.x support is deprecated from Sep 2020).
  • pecl
  • composer
  • phpunit (optional)

Install the grpc extension

There are two ways to install the grpc extension.

  • Via pecl
  • Build from source

Install from PECL

$ [sudo] pecl install grpc

or specific version

$ [sudo] pecl install grpc-1.30.0

Please make sure your gcc version satisfies the minimum requirement as specified here.

Install on Windows

You can download the pre-compiled grpc.dll extension from the PECL website.

Build from source

Clone this repository at the latest stable release tag.

$ git clone -b RELEASE_TAG_HERE
$ cd grpc

Build the gRPC C core library

$ git submodule update --init

Build and install the grpc extension

Compile the grpc extension from source

$ grpc_root="$(pwd)"
$ cd src/php/ext/grpc
$ phpize
$ GRPC_LIB_SUBDIR=libs/opt ./configure --enable-grpc="${grpc_root}"
$ make
$ [sudo] make install

This will compile and install the grpc extension into the standard PHP extension directory. You should be able to run the unit tests, with the grpc extension installed.

Update php.ini

After installing the grpc extension, make sure you add this line to your php.ini file, depending on where your PHP installation is, to enable the grpc extension.

Composer package

In addition to the grpc extension, you will need to install the grpc/grpc composer package as well. Add this to your project's composer.json file.

    "require": {
        "grpc/grpc": "~1.30.0"

To run tests with generated stub code from .proto files, you will also need the composer and protoc binaries. You can find out how to get these below.

Protocol Buffers

gRPC PHP supports protocol buffers out-of-the-box. You will need the following things to get started:

  • protoc: the protobuf compiler binary to generate PHP classes for your messages and service definition.
  • grpc_php_plugin: a plugin for protoc to generate the service stub classes.
  • the protobuf extension runtime library.

protoc compiler

If you don't have it already, you need to install the protobuf compiler protoc, version 3.5.0+ (the newer the better) for the current gRPC version. If you installed already, make the protobuf version is compatible to the grpc version you installed. If you build from the souce, you can check the version of grpc inside package.xml file.

The compatibility between the grpc and protobuf version is listed as table below:


If protoc hasn't been installed, you can download the protoc binary from the protocol buffers Github repository. Then unzip this file and update the environment variable PATH to include the path to the protoc binary file.

If you really must compile protoc from source, you can run the following commands, but this is risky because there is no easy way to uninstall / upgrade to a newer release.

$ cd grpc/third_party/protobuf
$ ./ && ./configure && make
$ [sudo] make install

grpc_php_plugin protoc plugin

You need the grpc_php_plugin to generate the PHP client stub classes. This plugin works with the main protoc binary to generate classes that you can import into your project.

You can build grpc_php_plugin with cmake:

$ git clone -b RELEASE_TAG_HERE
$ cd grpc
$ git submodule update --init
$ mkdir -p cmake/build
$ cd cmake/build
$ cmake ../..
$ make protoc grpc_php_plugin

The commands above will make protoc and grpc_php_plugin available in cmake/build/third_party/protobuf/protoc and cmake/build/grpc_php_plugin.

Alternatively, you can also build the grpc_php_plugin with bazel:

$ bazel build @com_google_protobuf//:protoc
$ bazel build src/compiler:grpc_php_plugin

The protoc binary will be found in bazel-bin/external/com_google_protobuf/protoc. The grpc_php_plugin binary will be found in bazel-bin/src/compiler/grpc_php_plugin.

Plugin may use the new feature of the new protobuf version, thus please also make sure that the protobuf version installed is compatible with the grpc version you build this plugin.

protobuf runtime library

There are two protobuf runtime libraries to choose from. They are identical in terms of APIs offered. The C implementation provides better performance, while the native implementation is easier to install.

C implementation (for better performance)

Install the protobuf extension from PECL:

$ [sudo] pecl install protobuf

or specific version

$ [sudo] pecl install protobuf-3.12.2

And add this to your php.ini file:

PHP implementation (for easier installation)

Or require the google/protobuf composer package. Add this to your composer.json file:

    "require": {
        "google/protobuf": "~v3.12.2"

Generate PHP classes from your service definition

With all the above done, now you can define your message and service definition in a .proto file and generate the corresponding PHP classes, which you can import into your project, with a command similar to the following:

$ protoc -I=. echo.proto --php_out=. --grpc_out=. \
--plugin=protoc-gen-grpc=<path to grpc_php_plugin>

Unit Tests

You will need the source code to run tests

$ git clone -b RELEASE_TAG_HERE
$ cd grpc
$ git submodule update --init

Run unit tests

$ cd grpc/src/php
$ ./bin/

Generated Code Tests

This section specifies the prerequisites for running the generated code tests, as well as how to run the tests themselves.


Install the runtime dependencies via composer install.

$ cd grpc/src/php
$ composer install

Client Stub

The generate client stub classes have already been generated from .proto files by the ./bin/ script.

Run test server

Run a local server serving the Math service.

$ cd grpc/src/php/tests/generated_code
$ npm install
$ node math_server.js

Run test client

Run the generated code tests

$ cd grpc/src/php
$ ./bin/

Apache, PHP-FPM and Nginx

For more information on how you can run the grpc library with Apache, PHP-FPM and Nginx, you can check out this guide. There you will find a series of Docker images where you can quickly run an end-to-end example.

Misc Config Options

SSL credentials

Here's how you can specify SSL credentials when creating your PHP client:

$client = new Helloworld\GreeterClient('localhost:50051', [
    'credentials' => Grpc\ChannelCredentials::createSsl(
        file_get_contents('<path to certificate>'))

pcntl_fork() support

To make sure the grpc extension works with pcntl_fork() and related functions, add the following lines to your php.ini file:

grpc.enable_fork_support = 1
grpc.poll_strategy = epoll1

Tracing and Logging

To turn on gRPC tracing, add the following lines to your php.ini file. For all possible values of the grpc.grpc.trace option, please check this doc.


Make sure the log file above is writable, by doing the following:

$ sudo touch /var/log/grpc.log
$ sudo chmod 666 /var/log/grpc.log

Note: The log file does grow pretty quickly depending on how much logs are being printed out. Make sure you have other mechanisms (perhaps another cronjob) to zero out the log file from time to time, e.g. cp /dev/null /var/log/grpc.log, or turn these off when logs or tracing are not necessary for debugging purposes.

User agent string

You can customize the user agent string for your gRPC PHP client by specifying this grpc.primary_user_agent option when constructing your PHP client:

$client = new Helloworld\GreeterClient('localhost:50051', [
    'credentials' => Grpc\ChannelCredentials::createInsecure(),
    'grpc.primary_user_agent' => 'my-user-agent-identifier',

Maximum message size

To change the default maximum message size, specify this grpc.max_receive_message_length option when constructing your PHP client:

$client = new Helloworld\GreeterClient('localhost:50051', [
    'credentials' => Grpc\ChannelCredentials::createInsecure(),
    'grpc.max_receive_message_length' => 8*1024*1024,


You can customize the compression behavior on the client side, by specifying the following options when constructing your PHP client.

$client = new Helloworld\GreeterClient('localhost:50051', [
    'credentials' => Grpc\ChannelCredentials::createInsecure(),
    'grpc.default_compression_algorithm' => 2,
    'grpc.default_compression_level' => 2,

Possible values for grpc.default_compression_algorithm:

0: No compression
1: Compress with DEFLATE algorithm
2: Compress with GZIP algorithm
3: Stream compression with GZIP algorithm

Possible values for grpc.default_compression_level:

0: None
1: Low level
2: Medium level
3: High level