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PHP projects can manage most of their dependencies locally with composer. Some PHP extensions, however, need to be bundled with PHP at compile time.

Example Repo

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Adding PHP to your Project

Run devbox add php php83Packages.composer, or add the following to your devbox.json:

    "packages": [

If you want a different version of PHP for your project, you can search for available versions by running devbox search php. You can also view the available versions on Nixhub

Installing PHP Extensions

You can compile additional extensions into PHP by adding them to packages in your devbox.json. Devbox will automatically ensure that your extensions are included in PHP at compile time.

For example -- to add the ds extension, run devbox add php83Extensions.ds, or update your packages to include the following:

    "packages": [

PHP Plugin Details

The PHP Plugin will provide the following configuration when you install a PHP runtime with devbox add. You can also manually add the PHP plugin by adding plugin:php to your include list in devbox.json:

    "include": [


  • php-fpm

Use devbox services start|stop php-fpm to start PHP-FPM in the background.

Environment Variables


Helper Files

  • {PROJECT_DIR}/devbox.d/php81/php-fpm.conf
  • {PROJECT_DIR}/devbox.d/php81/php.ini

You can modify these files to configure PHP or your PHP-FPM server