how to install php 8 on debian

How to Install PHP 8 on Debian

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Let’s follow this step-by-step guide on how to install PHP 8.0 on Debian 10. PHP is an open-source general-purpose scripting language, mostly used by web developers as it can easily be embedded into HTML.

PHP version 8.0 was officially released on November 26, 2020, and it is the latest release of the PHP language. It is packed with lots of new improvements, features, and optimizations including named arguments, attributes, constructor property promotion, JIT (Just in Time Compiler), match expression, union types, null safe operator, better error handling, improvements in the type system, and better consistency.

Also, according to multiple tests, PHP 8.0 can handle much more requests per second compared to the older versions of PHP. If your PHP-based website or application is fully compatible with PHP 8.0 you should definitely consider upgrading to the latest version.


  • A Linux VPS or server running Debian 10.
  • SSH access
  • System user with sudo or root privileges

Login and Update the server

In order to start with the installation of PHP 8.0 on our Debian 10 server, we have to access the server via SSH. We will log in as the root user, but you can use any system user which has sudo privileges:

ssh root@IP_Address -p Port_number

IP_Address and Port_number should be replaced with the actual IP address and SSH port number.

Once the SSH connection is established and you are in, in order to have the latest bug fixes, new features, and security fixes of all installed packages, it is always a good idea to update the installed packages on the server.

apt update && apt upgrade

Add third party APT repository

Debian 10 by default has PHP 7.3 in its repositories. To check what PHP version is available in the Debian repositories, run the following command:

apt-cache policy php


Installed: 2:7.3+69
Candidate: 2:7.3+69
Version table:
*** 2:7.3+69 500
500 buster/main amd64 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Or if PHP is already installed on the VPS, check the installed version:

php -v


PHP 7.3.27-1~deb10u1 (cli) (built: Feb 13 2021 16:31:40) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.27, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.3.27-1~deb10u1, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

From the output above we can see that we can only install PHP 7.3 from the official Debian repositories, so if need the latest PHP 8.0 version, we will have to add a third-party repository. But first, let’s install some necessary packages:

apt -y install apt-transport-https software-properties-common gnupg2

Once the packages are installed, download the GPG key and add it to your server to verify the necessary PHP packages

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

Create a Personal Package Archives (PPAs) file with the new PHP repository

echo "deb buster main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/php.list

And finally, update the repositories and install PHP 8.

apt update && apt install php8.0

Once all dependencies are installed, check the version of PHP installed on your Debian 10 server, to confirm that PHP 8 is successfully installed

php -v


PHP 8.0.9 (cli) (built: Jul 30 2021 13:09:07) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v4.0.9, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v8.0.9, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

Install PHP 8 extensions

In order to enable some extra features, functionalities, or libraries, PHP has lots of additional extensions. To check the list of all available extensions for PHP 8.0, execute the following command:

apt search php8.0-*


php8.0-maxminddb/buster 1.10.1-1+0~20210802.2+debian10~1.gbp162f0b amd64
Reader for the MaxMind DB file format for PHP

php8.0-maxminddb-dbgsym/buster 1.10.1-1+0~20210802.2+debian10~1.gbp162f0b amd64
debug symbols for php8.0-maxminddb

php8.0-mbstring/buster 8.0.9-1+0~20210730.22+debian10~1.gbp99e7e9 amd64
MBSTRING module for PHP

php8.0-mbstring-dbgsym/buster 8.0.9-1+0~20210730.22+debian10~1.gbp99e7e9 amd64
debug symbols for php8.0-mbstring

php8.0-mcrypt/buster 3:1.0.4-5+0~20210223.3+debian10~1.gbp68347e amd64
PHP bindings for the libmcrypt library

If for some reason you need to install the PHP mbstring extension for example, you can easily do it with the following command:

apt -y install php8.0-mbstring

That’s all. If you closely followed the tutorial, you have successfully installed PHP 8 on your Debian 10 VPS from a third-party repository. If you need more specific details about this major update of PHP, you can check their release notes or their documentation.

Of course, you don’t need to install PHP 8.0 on Debian 10 yourself if you use our Linux server management plans, in which case you can simply ask our team of expert Linux admins to install and set this up for you. They are available 24/7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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