How to enable ZipArchive for PHP

Is your PHP saying that it cannot find the ZipArchive class? Then, this post will show you how to enable the ZipArchive module.

You may also want to read about: Laravel for Web Artisans.

You should see the following error:

PHP Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class 'ZipArchive' not found

Also, below is an example of the code you may be using:

$zip = new \ZipArchive();
$x = $zip->open($target_path);
if ($x === true) {
    $zip->extractTo($target_dir . $name[0]);

What does this error mean?

This error means that PHP could not find the ZipArchive class. Therefore, PHP needs to have the zip extension installed for the ZipArchive Class to be present.

You can check whether ZipArchive is installed by using a PHP info file.

See an example below:


Your PHP info file should return something like this:

Next, scroll down until you find the heading “Configuration” and then continue until you see the following:

You will know that the ZipArchive class is not enabled if you cannot see: “Zip” configuration “enabled”.

You can also check whether the Zip module is enabled using the CLI.

Show compiled in modules using: php -m.

user@server:/var/www/html# php -m
[PHP Modules]

[Zend Modules]

As the PHP module list can get quite large, consider using the grep command to filter your list:

php -m | grep -i zip

Or, you can use “php -m” to show the PHP information in the CLI.

How to enable ZipArchive on Windows

Windows users have it easy! You do not need to do anything if you are using PHP 5.3 or newer. So, don’t trust that the code written and evaluated on Windows will work on Linux.

As of PHP 5.3 this extension is built-in. Before, Windows users need to enable php_zip.dll inside of php.ini in order to use these functions.

Before you enable ZipArchive

You can enable Zip support during the installation of PHP as well as after the fact. This post will focus on an after-the-fact ZipArchive installation on Linux. Please read the installing Zip instruction from the PHP manual for more information.

Before you continue, note the following useful command to get your current version of PHP:

user@server:/var/www/html# php -v
PHP 7.4.2 (cli) (built: Feb  1 2020 19:39:30) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies

Note the version in the example above being: 7.4.2. We will, therefore, need to install the Zip module for PHP version 7.4. Please remember to change the version number so that it matches yours if the command requires it!

Also, make sure that your packages are up to date using the “apt-get update” command:

user@server:/var/www/html# apt-get update
Hit:1 buster/updates InRelease
Hit:2 buster InRelease
Hit:3 buster-updates InRelease
Reading package lists... Done

Lastly, you may need to determine the location of the loaded php.ini file. Please note that the CLI uses its version.

Use the following command to help you:

user@server:/var/www/html# php – ini
Configuration File (php.ini) Path: /usr/local/etc/php
Loaded Configuration File:         /usr/local/etc/php/php.ini
Scan for additional .ini files in: /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d
Additional .ini files parsed:      /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/docker-php-ext-pdo_mysql.ini,

How to enable ZipArchive on Docker

First, run the following command to install Zip and compile PHP correctly to run it.

apt-get install -y libzip-dev zip && docker-php-ext-install zip

Below you will see how to restart Apache or NGINX. Once you install, you have finished.

Note that you will get an “E: Package ‘php-XXX’ has no installation candidate” error if you try to install any of Debian’s PHP packages. This error is the default intended behavior of the official PHP Docker image.

You can see an example of this behavior below:

user@server:/var/www/html# apt-get install php-zip
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package php-zip is a virtual package provided by:
  php7.3-zip 7.3.14-1~deb10u1 [Not candidate version]
  php7.3-zip 7.3.11-1~deb10u1 [Not candidate version]

E: Package 'php-zip' has no installation candidate

You can also get the following error if you specify a specific version.

user@server:/var/www/html# apt-get install php7.0-zip
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package php7.0-zip
E: Couldn't find any package by glob 'php7.0-zip'
E: Couldn't find any package by regex 'php7.0-zip'

How to enable ZipArchive on Linux on Ubuntu

The install PHP Zip command:

sudo apt-get install -y php-zip

The output will result in something like this:

user@server:/home/user# sudo apt-get install php-zip
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  libzip5 php-common php7.3-common php7.3-zip
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libzip5 php-common php-zip php7.3-common php7.3-zip
0 to upgrade, 5 to newly install, 0 to remove and 48 not to upgrade.
1 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 1,003 kB of archives.
After this operation, 7,443 kB of additional disk space will be used.

Please note that you may need to specify the PHP version if you upgraded to a new version of PHP.

Don’t forget to restart your web server!

The configuration file (php.ini) is only read when PHP or when the web-server is started. Equally, the php.ini file is only read at invocation for the CGI and CLI versions.

You can restart Apache using:

service apache2 restart

Likewise, you can restart NGINX using:

service nginx restart

Wrapping up

It does not take much effort to get your website zipping files and avoid a fatal error. I hope that you now know how to enable ZipArchive for PHP. No one likes seeing a “Fatal error: Class’ ZipArchive’ not found in”.

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2 Comments on “How to enable ZipArchive for PHP”

  1. Was happy to see a picture with someone scratching his head in front of a Mac ….
    but couldn’t find anything on how this extension (and others) can be installed on the standard php install on Mac OS Big SUR.

    any clue ?

    great post btw !

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