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PHP 5.3 and PEAR Now Available in WebMatrix Beta 3 – How to Enable PHP in WebMatrix and PEAR Installation?

WebMatrix Beta 3 now has much better support for PHP. Specifically:

  • It’s now possible to enable PHP 5.3
  • PHP can now be enabled on an empty new site in WebMatrix
  • PEAR installation is now included when PHP is installed.

Enabling PHP in WebMatrix:

When you create a new web site in WebMatrix, by default PHP isn’t enabled. To enable, go to “Site” –>”Settings”, “Enable PHP” check box. You can choose between PHP 5.2 or 5.3. If selected PHP version isn’t yet installed, it’ll be downloaded and installed when you choose to enable it for a site.

(Note; Visual C++ Redistributable Package is installed as a depenency for PHP 5.3. This’s because WebMatrix and IIS use PHP 5.3 VC9 build, requires VC9 runtime installed).

In addition to making it easy to enable PHP for a site, WebMatrix also allows you to easily change major PHP version for a particular site. This’s useful when you develop a PHP app and want to test that it works correctly across PHP 5.2 /5.3. To change PHP version go back to “Site” –>”Settings”, enable “Change” link.

PEAR installation:

PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. Until recently PEAR wasn’t installed with PHP if installation was performed by Web Platform Installer. With WebMatrix (and WPI 3.0 Beta 3), PEAR installation scripts are installed when PHP is installed. This means that after you use WPI 3.0 to install PHP either for IIS or for WebMatrix, you can enable PEAR by following instructions described at Getting and installing the PEAR package manager.


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