Installing v8js for PHP on a Mac

September 11th, 2013. Tagged: JavaScript, mac, php


Run JS code inside PHP. Just... because 🙂

I struggled for a while with this installation, so leaving a trail here for anyone looking.

What you need to accomplish?

Goal: run JS code inside a PHP script running on a webserver.

Already accomplished: Macs come with a webserver (Apache) and PHP.

To get there:
1. Install v8js extension for PHP
2. Let Apache handle .php requests (simple config changes)

Step 1 is the tough one. You need to install the v8js PECL package. So first you need to install PECL. To install PECL, first you need to install PEAR. V8JS only works with v8 up to a certain version. So you cannot install the latest v8. Oh, and the easiest way to install v8 is to use Homebrew.

So the path ahead: Homebrew, v8, downgrade v8, pear, pecl, v8js, config php and apache, hello world!


Very common, you probably have it already, but for the sake of completeness...

Follow the instructions on, which basically ask you to do this:

$ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

UPDATE Nov 10, 2014: this is now

$ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"


You might already have v8.

$ brew install v8

But it's probably the latest, you need to downgrade.

$ cd /usr/local
$ brew versions v8

UPDATE: Nov 10, 2014: brew versions is no more. But no bother, skip the versions command and use the git checkout... below.

You'll see lines like so:

3.16.14  git checkout 0671779 /usr/local/Library/Formula/v8.rb
3.15.11  git checkout cb30f36 /usr/local/Library/Formula/v8.rb
3.9.24   git checkout bb7fcab /usr/local/Library/Formula/v8.rb
3.8.9    git checkout 0bce8c4 /usr/local/Library/Formula/v8.rb

So do:

$ git checkout bb7fcab /usr/local/Library/Formula/v8.rb

... because I found this. But feel free to experiment with versions newer than 3.9.24


$ brew unlink v8
$ brew install v8
$ brew switch v8 3.9.24

BTW, at this time you should have a new console, which is always fun:

$ which v8

$ v8 
V8 version 3.9.24 [sample shell]
> var a = 1;
> 2 + a;


$ cd /usr/lib/php
$ sudo php install-pear-nozlib.phar
# you need to let PHP know where PEAR is by updating the include_path
$ sudo vi /etc/php.ini # include_path = ".:/usr/lib/php/pear"
$ sudo pear channel-update
$ sudo pecl channel-update
$ sudo pear upgrade-all

UPDATE Nov 10, 2014: Apache config is is now located in /private/etc/. Go there, copy php.ini.default to php.ini and move on


Now the planets are all aligned. This is the most important step that has been the ultimate goal:

$ sudo pecl install v8js-beta

UPDATE Nov 10, 2014: this failed. To fix:

$ brew install autoconf

Tell PHP about v8js:

$ vi /etc/php.ini

look for "extension=" and add somewhere:

Now v8js should be available on the php command line, maybe try:

$ php -i | grep v8js

Apache config

Do as says:

$ sudo vi /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Uncomment this line:

LoadModule php5_module libexec/httpd/

Add these lines in the httpd.conf to teach apache to handle .php requests:

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
    # If php is turned on, we respect .php and .phps files.
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
    AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps
    # Since most users will want index.php to work we
    # also automatically enable index.php
    <IfModule mod_dir.c>
        DirectoryIndex index.html index.php

Save the file, restart Apache:

$ sudo apachectl graceful

or just start it if it isn't running:

$ sudo apachectl start

Test it all

Go to /Library/WebServer/Documents/
Create file test.php

$v8 = new V8Js();
echo $v8->executeString('
  var hello = "Hellow, ";
  var world = "JS wrrrld";
  hello + world;

Point your browser to http://localhost/test.php and admire:


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