Big day, the newest version of PHP has been released. It means we should update our local, stage, and production environments. I will present how we can install PHP 8 easily on Mac OS and switch between different versions. Let’s start!

I would have forgotten. Forget. Bellow is also a summary that shows how long the previous versions will be supported by PHP’s contributors. In other words, how many days do you have to upgrade your applications?


I assume that you know what brew is and how to install it. If you are not familiar with this tool, you can check my previous article: “Brew on macOS Explained In 1 Post“.

Current status of PHP

As you can see, my current version of PHP is 7.4.

% php --version
PHP 7.4.10 (cli) (built: Sep  3 2020 18:21:42) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.4.10, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

The command that is the most interesting for us is here:

% brew upgrade php

After execution of that command, you should see similar output:

==> Upgrading 1 outdated package:
php 7.4.10 -> 8.0.0
==> Upgrading php 7.4.10 -> 8.0.0 

==> Installing dependencies for php: openssl@1.1, c-ares, nghttp2, openldap, curl-openssl, unixodbc, freetds, freetype, libtiff, python@3.9, glib, gmp, krb5, libpq and oniguruma

==> Installing php
==> Pouring php-8.0.0.catalina.bottle.tar.gz
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set php_ini /usr/local/etc/php/8.0/php.ini system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set php_dir /usr/local/share/pear system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set doc_dir /usr/local/share/pear/doc system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set ext_dir /usr/local/lib/php/pecl/20200930 system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set bin_dir /usr/local/opt/php/bin system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set data_dir /usr/local/share/pear/data system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set cfg_dir /usr/local/share/pear/cfg system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set www_dir /usr/local/share/pear/htdocs system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set man_dir /usr/local/share/man system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set test_dir /usr/local/share/pear/test system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear config-set php_bin /usr/local/opt/php/bin/php system
==> /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0/bin/pear update-channels
==> Caveats
To enable PHP in Apache add the following to httpd.conf and restart Apache:
    LoadModule php_module /usr/local/opt/php/lib/httpd/modules/

    <FilesMatch \.php$>
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

Finally, check DirectoryIndex includes index.php
    DirectoryIndex index.php index.html

The php.ini and php-fpm.ini file can be found in:

To have launchd start php now and restart at login:
  brew services start php
Or, if you don't want/need a background service you can just run:
==> Summary
🍺  /usr/local/Cellar/php/8.0.0: 499 files, 77.8MB

Again, when I execute the first command that I will see this time PHP 8.0, like here:

% php --version
PHP 8.0.0 (cli) (built: Nov 26 2020 17:53:04) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v4.0.0-dev, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v8.0.0, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

Bonus: switching PHP versions

You can use the following command to switch between version:

% brew unlink php && brew link --overwrite php@7.2
% brew unlink php && brew link --overwrite php@7.3
% brew unlink php && brew link --overwrite php@7.4

Bonus: Supported versions of PHP

  • PHP 7.2  – active support unit 30 November 2019 (don’t use it!)
  • PHP 7.3 – active support until 6 December 2020 (you should migrate asap)
  • PHP 7.4 – active support until 28 November 2021 (good enough for a production)
  • PHP 8.0 – active support until 26 November 2022 (perfect for new products)

All described magic is possible because of