created_at2021-04-04 13:47:53.607622
updated_at2023-10-12 08:30:11.825586
descriptionDerive macros for ext-php-rs.
Daniil Gentili (danog)




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Bindings and abstractions for the Zend API to build PHP extensions natively in Rust.


Export a simple function function hello_world(string $name): string to PHP:

#![cfg_attr(windows, feature(abi_vectorcall))]

use ext_php_rs::prelude::*;

/// Gives you a nice greeting!
/// @param string $name Your name.
/// @return string Nice greeting!
pub fn hello_world(name: String) -> String {
    format!("Hello, {}!", name)

// Required to register the extension with PHP.
pub fn module(module: ModuleBuilder) -> ModuleBuilder {

Use cargo-php to build IDE stubs and install the extension:

$ cargo install cargo-php
  Installing cargo-php v0.1.0
$ cargo php stubs --stdout
  Compiling example-ext v0.1.0
  Finished dev [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 3.57s

// Stubs for example-ext

 * Gives you a nice greeting!
 * @param string $name Your name.
 * @return string Nice greeting!
function hello_world(string $name): string {}
$ cargo php install --release
  Compiling example-ext v0.1.0
  Finished release [optimized] target(s) in 1.68s
Are you sure you want to install the extension `example-ext`? yes
$ php -m
[PHP Modules]
// ...
// ...

Calling the function from PHP:

var_dump(hello_world("David")); // string(13) "Hello, David!"

For more examples read the library guide.


  • Easy to use: The built-in macros can abstract away the need to interact with the Zend API, such as Rust-type function parameter abstracting away interacting with Zend values.
  • Lightweight: You don't have to use the built-in helper macros. It's possible to write your own glue code around your own functions.
  • Extensible: Implement IntoZval and FromZval for your own custom types, allowing the type to be used as function parameters and return types.


Our main goal is to make extension development easier.

  • Writing extensions in C can be tedious, and with the Zend APIs limited documentation can be intimidating.
  • Rust's modern language features and feature-full standard library are big improvements on C.
  • Abstracting away the raw Zend APIs allows extensions to be developed faster and with more confidence.
  • Abstractions also allow us to support future (and potentially past) versions of PHP without significant changes to extension code.


The library guide can be read here.

The project is documented in-line, so viewing the cargo documentation is the best resource at the moment. This can be viewed at docs.rs.


  • Linux, macOS or Windows-based operating system.
  • PHP 8.0 or later.
    • No support is planned for earlier versions of PHP.
  • Rust.
    • Currently, we maintain no guarantee of a MSRV, however lib.rs suggests Rust 1.57 at the time of writing.
  • Clang 5.0 or later.

Windows Requirements

  • Extensions can only be compiled for PHP installations sourced from https://windows.php.net. Support is planned for other installations eventually.
  • Rust nightly is required for Windows. This is due to the vectorcall calling convention being used by some PHP functions on Windows, which is only available as a nightly unstable feature in Rust.
  • It is suggested to use the rust-lld linker to link your extension. The MSVC linker (link.exe) is supported however you may run into issues if the linker version is not supported by your PHP installation. You can use the rust-lld linker by creating a .cargo\config.toml file with the following content:
    # Replace target triple if you have a different architecture than x86_64
    linker = "rust-lld"
  • The cc crate requires cl.exe to be present on your system. This is usually bundled with Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • cargo-php's stub generation feature does not work on Windows. Rewriting this functionality to be cross-platform is on the roadmap.

Cargo Features

All features are disabled by default.

  • closure - Enables the ability to return Rust closures to PHP. Creates a new class type, RustClosure.
  • anyhow - Implements Into<PhpException> for anyhow::Error, allowing you to return anyhow results from PHP functions. Supports anyhow v1.x.


Check out one of the example projects:


Contributions are very much welcome. I am a novice Rust developer and any suggestions are wanted and welcome. Feel free to file issues and PRs through Github.

Contributions welcome include:

  • Documentation expansion (examples in particular!)
  • Safety reviews (especially if you have experience with Rust and the Zend API).
  • Bug fixes and features.
  • Feature requests.

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.



Licensed under either of

at your option.

Commit count: 515

cargo fmt