Connecting to Oracle10g from PHP using OCI-8 (Linux)

This Article is based on Linux, for Solaris click here.


PHP (recursive acronym for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor") is a widely-used Open Source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

With PHP you are not limited to output HTML. PHP's abilities includes outputting images and PDF files generated on the fly. You can also output easily any text, such as XHTML and any other XML file.

One of the strongest and most significant features in PHP is its support for a wide range of databases. Writing a database-enabled web page is incredibly simple. In this article we extend and test the material found in the original article.

Software Components tested in this Article



GENTOO Linux 2004.1 Our Platform for Development
Apache 2.0.52 The PHP community still recommends Apache 1.3, specially for security reasons.
PHP-4.3.10 The latest PHP Release is 5.0.3.
Oracle for Linux x86 Oracle Database 10g Release 1 ( for Linux x86.
The Installation of Oracle is not shown in this article.
Instant Client Package - Basic Needed to run OCI, OCCI, and JDBC-OCI applications
Instant Client Package - SDK Additional header files and an example makefile for developing Oracle applications with Instant Client.
OCI8 Patch for PHP from Oracle If you are using PHP 4.3.10 you can save the patch to a file, e.g. php_oci8ic_buildpatch

Installing Apache-2.0.52

The installation and configuration of Apache is not explained in detail here, see original documentation. Download the sources, unpack and install them as follows:

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apache \
--enable-mods-shared=most \
--enable-ssl=shared \
--enable-mime-magic \
--enable-cern-meta \
--enable-proxy \
--enable-proxy-connect \
--enable-proxy-ftp \
--enable-proxy-http \
--enable-usertrack \
--enable-unique-id \

Edit the apache configuation file httpd.conf and add:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .phtml
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Installing PHP-4.3.10 with the OCI8 Extension

To add Oracle connectivity on Linux, PHP needs to be recompiled with the OCI8 Patch.

  1. Download PHP-4.3.10 and unpack it.
  2. Download the Basic and the SDK Instant Client packages from the Instant Client page on OTN.
    Collectively the two RPMs are about 30MB in size.
  3. Install rpm utility (GENTOO Linux has usually no rpm installed). Probably you will encounter blocking problems.

    emerge rpm

    Calculating dependencies ...done!

    !!! Error: the dev-libs/libelf package conflicts with another package.
    !!! both can't be installed on the same system together.
    !!! Please use 'emerge --pretend' to determine blockers.

    Okay, here is the problem: we can't emerge rpm because there is a conflict with the libelf (installed) package. Let's try to resolve the conflict.

    emerge -p rpm

    Calculating dependencies ...done!
    [blocks B ] dev-libs/libelf (from pkg dev-libs/elfutils-0.84)
    [ebuild N ] dev-lang/python-2.2.3-r5
    [ebuild N ] dev-libs/elfutils-0.84
    [ebuild N ] app-arch/rpm-4.2_pre069

    As you can see libelf is blocking rpm as [blocks B ] points.

    From emerge man pages:

    Blockers are defined when two packages will clobber each others files, or  otherwise
    cause some form of breakage in your system.  However, blockers usually do not need
    to be simultaneously emerged because they usually provide the same functionality.

    So to resolve the conflict proceed as follows:

    emerge unmerge libelf

    And there should be no blocking package now...

    emerge -p rpm

    Calculating dependencies ...done!
    [ebuild N ] dev-lang/python-2.2.3-r5
    [ebuild N ] dev-libs/elfutils-0.84
    [ebuild N ] app-arch/rpm-4.2_pre069

    Now proceed as usual...

    emerge xfree
  4. Install the RPMs as the root user. On GENTOO Linux, rpm is usually not there and can be in installed as follows.

    rpm -Uvh oracle-instantclient-basic-
    rpm -Uvh oracle-instantclient-devel-

    The first RPM puts the Oracle libraries in /usr/lib/oracle/ and the second creates headers in /usr/include/oracle/

    cd /usr/lib/oracle/
    ls -l

    -r--r--r-- 1 root root  1461081 Dec  2 21:03 classes12.jar
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       17 Jan 17 11:35 libclntsh.so -> libclntsh.so.10.1*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 13495923 Dec  2 21:03 libclntsh.so.10.1*
    -r-xr-xr-x 1 root root  2121849 Dec  2 21:03 libnnz10.so*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       15 Jan 17 11:35 libocci.so -> libocci.so.10.1*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root   913575 Dec  2 21:03 libocci.so.10.1*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 66159152 Dec  2 21:03 libociei.so*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root    96517 Dec  2 21:03 libocijdbc10.so*
    -r--r--r-- 1 root root  1397543 Dec  2 21:03 ojdbc14.jar

    cd /usr/include/oracle/
    ls -l

    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        32137 Dec  2 21:03 nzerror.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        84539 Dec  2 21:03 nzt.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        11587 Dec  2 21:03 occiAQ.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        36750 Dec  2 21:03 occiCommon.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        70671 Dec  2 21:03 occiControl.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        33996 Dec  2 21:03 occiData.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root         2115 Dec  2 21:03 occi.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        29156 Dec  2 21:03 occiObjects.h
    -r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root         7155 Dec  2 21:03 oci1.h*
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        10228 Dec  2 21:03 oci8dp.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root       404315 Dec  2 21:03 ociap.h
    -r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root         6055 Dec  2 21:03 ociapr.h*
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        43225 Dec  2 21:03 ocidef.h
    -r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root         4014 Dec  2 21:03 ocidem.h*
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        11331 Dec  2 21:03 ocidfn.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root         8954 Dec  2 21:03 ociextp.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root       132242 Dec  2 21:03 oci.h
    -r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root         6638 Dec  2 21:03 ocikpr.h*
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root         4464 Dec  2 21:03 ocixmldb.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        19099 Dec  2 21:03 odci.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root         6605 Dec  2 21:03 oratypes.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        15031 Dec  2 21:03 orid.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root       102726 Dec  2 21:03 ori.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root       157674 Dec  2 21:03 orl.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root        42626 Dec  2 21:03 oro.h
    -r--r--r--    1 root     root       116591 Dec  2 21:03 ort.h
    -r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root         9520 Dec  2 21:03 xa.h*
  5. Patch PHP-4.3.10

    Apply the patch to PHP's ext/oci8/config.m4. The patch line numbers are based on PHP 4.3.9.
    If you are using PHP 4.3.10 you can save the patch to a file, e.g. php_oci8ic_buildpatch, and install it using:

    cd php-4.3.10/ext/oci8
    patch -u config.m4 php_oci8ic_buildpatch

    The patch creates a new PHP configuration parameter: --with-oci8-instant-client[=DIR]. On Linux, by default, it uses the latest version of the Instant Client installed from the RPMs. A directory to the Oracle libraries can be specified to use a different version. In either case, the correct SDK headers will automatically be used. The new parameter is mutally exclusive with the existing --with-oci8 parameter.
  6. Rebuild the configure script in the top-level PHP directory.

    cd php-4.3.10
    rm -rf config.cache
    ./buildconf --force

  7. Rebuild PHP

    ./configure \
    --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs \
    --with-oci8-instant-client \

    make install

    cp php.ini-dist /usr/local/lib/php.ini

    Note, that a new PHP4 module was created in /usr/local/apache/modules

    cd /usr/local/apache/modules
    ls -l  libphp4.so

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 6113514 Jan 17 12:01 libphp4.so
  8. Set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /usr/lib/oracle/ and restart Apache.

    If a tnsnames.ora file is used to define Oracle Net service names, set TNS_ADMIN to the directory containing the file.
    It is important to set all Oracle environment variables before starting Apache. A script helps do that:

    cd /etc/init.d
    cat apache2


    ORACLE_HOME=/opt/oracle/product/10.1.0; export ORACLE_HOME
    TNS_ADMIN=/home/oracle/config/10.1.0 export TNS_ADMIN
    LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/oracle/; export LD_LIBRARY_PATH

    opts="${opts} reload"

    depend() {
            need net
            use dns logger netmount
            after sshd

    start() {
            ebegin "Starting apache2"
            [ -f /var/log/apache2/ssl_scache ] && rm /var/log/apache2/ssl_scache
            env -i PATH=$PATH /sbin/start-stop-daemon --quiet \
                    --start --startas /usr/local/apache2/bin/httpd \
                    --pidfile /var/run/apache2.pid -- -k start ${APACHE2_OPTS}
            eend $?

    stop() {
            ebegin "Stopping apache2"
            /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl stop >/dev/null
            start-stop-daemon -o --quiet --stop --pidfile /var/run/apache2.pid
            eend $?

    reload() {
            ebegin "Gracefully restarting apache2"
            /usr/local/apache2/bin/httpd -t ${APACHE2_OPTS} &>/dev/null
            if [ "$?" = "0" ]
                    if [ -f /var/run/apache2.pid ]
                            kill -USR1 $(</var/run/apache2.pid)
                            eend $?
                            eend $?
                    if [ -f /var/run/apache2.pid ]
                    /usr/local/apache2/bin/httpd -t ${APACHE2_OPTS}
                    eend 1

    ./apache2 stop
    ./apache2 start

    To confirm the extension is configured, create a simple PHP script test.php where the web server can read it.

    Load the script into a browser using a URL similar to "http://localhost/test.php".
    The browser page should contain an "oci8" section saying "OCI8 Support enabled".

Connecting to Oracle

Oracle connection information is passed to OCILogon() to create a connection. Tools linked with Instant Client are always "remote" from any database server and an Oracle Net connection identifier must be used along with a username and password. The connection information is likely to be well known for established Oracle databases. With new systems the information is given by the Oracle installation program when the database is set up. The installer should have configured Oracle Net and created a service name.

Here is a simple PHP script: oci-test.php


// Set Oracle Environment

// Try to connect to Oracle
if ($conn = OCILogon("system", "manager", "AKI1")) {

   // Prepare the Query
   $query = "SELECT osuser,machine,program FROM v\$session ORDER BY osuser, machine";
   $stid = OCIParse($conn, $query);

   // Fetch the Rows
   if (OCIExecute($stid)) {
      $numcols = OCINumCols($stid);
      echo "<table border=\"1\" cellpadding=\"3\" bgcolor=\"#F0F0F0\">\n";
      echo "<caption>".OCIServerVersion($conn)."</caption>\n";
      echo "<tr><th>".OCIColumnname($stid,1)."<br>".OCIColumnType($stid,1)."</th>";
      echo "<th>".OCIColumnname($stid,2)."<br>".OCIColumnType($stid,2)."</th>";
      echo "<th>".OCIColumnname($stid,3)."<br>".OCIColumnType($stid,3)."</th></tr>\n";
      while (OCIFetchInto($stid, &$result, OCI_ASSOC)) {
         echo  "<tr><td>";
         echo  $result['OSUSER'];
         echo  "</td><td>";
         echo  $result['MACHINE'];
         echo  "</td><td>";
         echo  $result['PROGRAM'];
         echo  "</td></tr>\n";
      echo  "</tr></table>\n";
      echo  "<p>\n";
} else {
   $err = OCIError();
   echo "Oracle Connect Error " . $err[text];

Load the script into a browser using a URL similar to "http://localhost/oci-test.php".


PHP has built in support for OCI8 - but to make it work smoothly, PHP4 must be patched as shown in this article.