PHP is a popular scripting language that is especially suited for web development. It is often served by either apache or nginx

You can easily add it to your Lando app by adding an entry to the services top-level config in your Landofile.

Supported versions

Legacy versions

Using Unsupported PHP Versions

While you can currently use some EOL php version with Lando it's worth noting that we also do not support such versions so your mileage may vary. If you are having issues with unsupported versions and open a ticket about it, the most likely response you will get is "upgrade to a supported version".

You can still run these versions with Lando but for all intents and purposes they should be considered deprecated eg YMMV and do not expect a ton of support if you have an issue.

Patch versions

Because we use our own custom images for php specifying a patch version is not currently supported.

If you really need to lock down to a patch vesrion you could consider using either a custom compose service or a service overrides.


Here are the configuration options, set to the default values, for this service. If you are unsure about where this goes or what this means we highly recommend scanning the services documentation to get a good handle on how the magicks work.

Also note that the below options are in addition to the build steps and overrides that are available to every service.

    type: php:7.3
    via: apache:2.4
    ssl: false
    webroot: .
    xdebug: false
    composer: []
      php: SEE BELOW
      server: SEE BELOW
      vhosts: SEE BELOW

Choosing a server, or no server

By default php services will be served by the default version of our apache service but you can switch this to either nginx or cli.

Like with apache, nginx will use the the default version of our nginx service while cli will just spin up a php container without a webserver. The latter is useful if you just want to work on a CLI utility or lock down what version composer runs with.

With Apache (default)

    type: php
    via: apache

With nginx

    type: php
    via: nginx


    type: php
    via: cli

Toggling xdebug

You can enable the xdebug extension by setting xdebug: true. Lando will also automatically configure xdebug.remote_enable and xdebug.remote_host for you. This means that xdebug should be ready to receive connections out of the box.

Note that unlike in previous versions of Lando xdebug: false will now disable the xdebug extension instead of just disabling xdebug.remote_enable

Setting up your IDE for XDEBUG

While Lando will handle the server side configuration for you, there is often a considerable amount of pain lurking in the client side configuration. To that end here is some helpful info about a few popular clients.


Here is some example config for ATOM's php-debug plugin:

    ServerPort: 9000
    PathMaps: [

The first part of a pathmap will be the location of your code in the container. Generally, this should be /app. Also note that if your app is in a nested docroot, you will need to append that to the paths. The example above uses an app with a nested webroot called www.


Setup XDebug in Visual Studio Code Guide

Troubleshooting Xdebug

Problems starting XDEBUG

If you are visiting your site and xdebug is not triggering, it might be worth appending ?XDEBUG_START_SESSION=LANDO to your request and seeing if that does the trick.

If you have set xdebug: true in your recipe or service config and run lando rebuild but are still having issues getting xdebug to work correctly we recommend that you remove xdebug: true, run lando rebuild and then set the relevant xdebug config directly using a custom a php.ini (see examples above on how to set a custom config file). Your config file should minimally include something like below.

xdebug.max_nesting_level = 256
xdebug.show_exception_trace = 0
xdebug.collect_params = 0
xdebug.remote_enable = 1
xdebug.remote_host = YOUR HOST IP ADDRESS

You can use lando info --deep | grep IPAddress to help discover the correct host ip address but please note that this can change and will likely differ from dev to dev.

Installing global dependencies

You can also use the composer key if you need to require any global composer dependenices. This follows the same syntax as your normal composer.json except written as YAML instead of JSON.

Use composer.json if you can

While there are some legitimate use cases to globally install a composer dependency it is almost always preferred to install using your applications normal composer.json and then running either lando composer install or alternatively setting up a build step that will automatically run before your app starts up.

Note that both lando composer is not provided out of the box by the php service and need to be manually added by configuring your app's tooling.

Here is an example of globally installing phpunit/phpunit ^6.5

    type: php
      phpunit/phpunit: ^6.5

Here is an example of using a build step to automatically composer install your dependencies before your app starts.

    type: php
      - composer install

Using custom config files

You may need to override our default php config with your own.

If you do this you must use files that exists inside your applicaton and express them relative to your project root as below.

Note that the default files may change based on how you set both ssl and via. Also note that the vhosts and server config will be either for apache or nginx depending on how you set via. We highly recommend you check out both the apache and nginx if you plan to use a custom vhosts or server config.

If you set via: cli then, as you might suspect, vhosts and/or server is not going to do anything.

A hypothetical project

Note that you can put your configuration files anywhere inside your application directory. We use a config directory in the below example but you can call it whatever you want such as .lando.

|-- config
   |-- default.conf
   |-- nginx.conf
   |-- php.ini
|-- index.php
|-- .lando.yml

Landofile using custom php config

    type: php
      php: config/php.ini
      server: config/nginx.conf
      vhosts: config/default.conf

Path Considerations

Lando will set the following PATH hierarchy for this service.

  # The line below should be where your app's composer.json binaries live
  # The line below should be where global composer binaries live

This is useful to note if you are not using absolute paths in any tooling routes and are getting the unexpected version of a particular utility.

Installed Extensions

5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3
apc X X
apcu X X X X X X
bcmath X X X X X X X X
bz2 X X X X X X X X
calendar X X X X X X X X
Core X X X X X X X X
ctype X X X X X X X X
curl X X X X X X X X
date X X X X X X X X
dom X X X X X X X X
exif X X X X X X X X
fileinfo X X X X X X X X
filter X X X X X X X X
ftp X X X X X X X X
gd X X X X X X X X
gettext X X X X X X X X
hash X X X X X X X X
iconv X X X X X X X X
imagick X X X X X X X X
imap X X X X X X X X
intl X X X X X X X X
json X X X X X X X X
ldap X X X X X X X X
libxml X X X X X X X X
mbstring X X X X X X X X
mcrypt X X X X X X X X
memcached X X X X X X X X
mysqli X X X X X X X X
mysqlnd X X X X X X X X
OAuth X X X X X X X X
OPcache X X X X X X
openssl X X X X X X X X
pcntl X X X X X X X X
pcre X X X X X X X X
pdo_mysql X X X X X X X X
pdo_pgsql X X X X X X X X
pdo_sqlite X X X X X X X X
Phar X X X X X X X X
posix X X X X X X X X
readline X X X X X X X X
redis X X X X X X X X
readline X X X X X X X X
Reflection X X X X X X X X
session X X X X X X X X
SimpleXML X X X X X X X X
soap X X X X X X X X
sqlite3 X X X X X X X X
standard X X X X X X X X
tokenizer X X X X X X X X
xml X X X X X X X X
xmlreader X X X X X X X X
xmlwriter X X X X X X X X
zip X X X X X X X X
zlib X X X X X X X X

Note that xdebug is off by default but you can enable it on by setting your php services config to xdebug: true. Read more about this in "Configuration" above.

Adding or removing extensions

There are a few ways you can extend or modify our php images:

Consider the following example that uses build steps to install the memcached php extension.

    type: php
      - apt-get update -y
      - apt-get install libmemcached-dev -y
      - pecl install memcached
      - docker-php-ext-enable memcached

Note the usage of docker-php-ext-enable. Our images extend the official Docker php images which ship with a bunch of helpful utility scripts to manage php extensions.


If you are interested in a working example of this service that we test on every Lando build then check out

Additional Reading

Guides and Tutorials

Advanced Usage

Known Issues


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