PHP is a widely-used scripting language that is especially suited for web development. It is fast, flexible, and pragmatic. However, like any other software, it can sometimes throw errors that may seem daunting to fix. One such error is the PHP startup error: “Unable to load dynamic library”. This error often occurs when the PHP configuration file is referencing a Windows-specific extension file on a Linux system. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to resolve this issue.
To fix the PHP startup error "Unable to load dynamic library", you need to locate and open the PHP configuration file (php.ini), check for any references to Windows-specific extension files, install the correct package for the extension (e.g., php-mbstring), and enable the extension properly.
Understanding the Error
Before we delve into the solution, it’s important to understand the error itself. The full error message usually reads something like this:
PHP Warning: PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library '/usr/lib/php/20151012/php_mbstring.dll'
This error message is indicating that PHP is trying to load a dynamic library, specifically ‘php_mbstring.dll’, which it cannot find. The ‘php_mbstring.dll’ is a Windows-specific PHP extension file, and hence, cannot be loaded on a Linux system.
Locating the PHP Configuration File
The first step in resolving this error is to locate and open the PHP configuration file, also known as the
php.ini file. This file controls many aspects of PHP’s behavior. In most systems, you can find this file in the ‘/etc/php/7.2/cli/’ directory, but the location can vary depending on your PHP installation.
To open this file, you can use a command-line text editor like nano. The command would be:
sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini
In this command,
sudo is used to execute the command with root privileges,
nano is the text editor, and
/etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini is the path to the PHP configuration file.
Checking the PHP Configuration File
Once you have the
php.ini file open, look for a line that includes “extension=php_mbstring.dll” or something similar. If you find such a line, this is likely what’s causing the error.
Installing the Correct Package
The next step is to install the correct package for the mbstring extension. If you are using Ubuntu, you can do this by running the following command:
sudo apt-get install php-mbstring
In this command,
sudo again gives us root privileges,
apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu,
install is the command to install a package, and
php-mbstring is the package we want to install.
This package will enable the mbstring extension automatically.
Disabling and Enabling the Extension
Sometimes, you may need to manually disable and then enable the mbstring extension. You can do this using the following commands:
To disable the mbstring extension:
sudo phpdismod mbstring
To enable the mbstring extension:
sudo phpenmod mbstring
In these commands,
sudo gives us root privileges,
phpenmod are utilities to disable and enable PHP extensions, and
mbstring is the extension we want to disable or enable.
The PHP startup error “Unable to load dynamic library” can seem intimidating, but it’s usually quite straightforward to fix. By checking the PHP configuration file, installing the correct package, and enabling the extension properly, you should be able to resolve this error and get your PHP installation working smoothly again.
Remember, the specific PHP configuration file location and the correct package to install may vary depending on your system setup. Always make sure to reference the correct extension file in your PHP configuration file.
PHP is a popular scripting language used for web development. It is fast, flexible, and widely supported, making it a preferred choice for building dynamic websites and applications.
This error message indicates that PHP is trying to load a dynamic library that it cannot find. In most cases, this error occurs when the PHP configuration file references a Windows-specific extension file on a Linux system.
The PHP configuration file, also known as
php.ini, is typically located in the
/etc/php/ directory. However, the exact path may vary depending on your PHP installation. You can open the file using a command-line text editor like nano, using the command
sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini.
In the PHP configuration file, look for a line that includes "extension=php_mbstring.dll" or something similar. This line is likely causing the error and needs to be addressed.
If you are using Ubuntu, you can install the correct package for the mbstring extension by running the command
sudo apt-get install php-mbstring. This command uses the
apt-get package handling utility to install the package.
To disable the mbstring extension, use the command
sudo phpdismod mbstring. To enable the extension, use the command
sudo phpenmod mbstring. These commands utilize the
phpenmod utilities to disable and enable PHP extensions, respectively.