Bambalam PHP EXE Compiler/Embedder

Created by Anders Hammar 2006 Bambalam
Bug reports / feedback email:

Download Bamcompile 1.1 (win32) zip
Download Bamcompile 1.1 Source zip

   bamcompile [-options] infile.php [outfile.exe]
   bamcompile [-options] project_directory mainfile.php [outfile.exe]

   -w Hide console window for windowed applications
   -c Compress output exe (using UPX - must be available)
   -d Do not encode PHP files

Revision history:
Version 1.1 2006-06-09  Added the php_sockets extension to the static build + minor bugfixes

- What is it?
Bambalam PHP EXE Compiler/Embedder is a free command line tool to convert PHP applications to standalone Windows .exe applications. The exe files produced are totally standalone, no need for php dlls etc. The php code is encoded using the Turck MMCache Encode library so it's a perfect solution if you want to distribute your application while protecting your source code. The converter is also suitable for producing .exe files for windowed PHP applications (created using for example the WinBinder library, or with PHP-GTK). It's also good for making stand-alone PHP Socket servers/clients (the php_sockets extension is included in the static build).

It's NOT really a compiler in the sense that it doesn't produce native machine code from PHP sources, but it works!

- How does it work?
The converter embeds encoded PHP source files as resources in a generic statically compiled PHP launcher executable. It also has an option to compress the final exe using the UPX executable compressor. Simple console applications end up with an executable at a size of 500-600kb.

- Does "compiled" PHP applications run faster?
Theoretically it should. Having libraries linked statically and encoding files (Turck MMCache encodes PHP sources as PHP bytecode, I think) should contribute to faster applications. But I haven't done any decent tests on it.

- What about PHP applications with more than one source file?
No problem, the converter is able to embed a whole project directory.

- What about accessing the embedded files from php?
You can access the embedded files just as you're used to. The PHP runtime used has been modified so that when you're accessing a file it first tries to access it the usual way (by looking in the path outside the .exe) and if the files aren't found there it looks for it in the embedded filelist.

- So the INCLUDE statement works just as it should?
Yes, as long as you include stuff using relative paths.

- What PHP version is supported?
Currently, the converter uses a PHP runtime based on PHP 4.4.2

- What about PHP 5 support?
I haven't got around to it, but I probably will! But PHP 4.4.2 works in most cases, and the PHP 4 runtimes produces alot smaller standalone exe files than PHP 5 would do. But as I said, just wait for it.

- What libraries are included?
The following libraries are included in this version:
Turck MMCache

What libraries are included is probably going to change based on your feedback.
Email me at

- What about PHP.INI? Can I embed that as well?
Yes, just include the php.ini in your project directory. That way, you can add extensions to your application. The dll files for the extra extensions can't be embedded though. Make sure you set the extension_dir setting to something relative, extension_dir = "" works fine.

- What about PHP-GTK applications?
PHP-GTK apps should work just fine as long as you supply all the needed GTK extensions and libraries. Make sure you have the libraries for the correct PHP version (currently 4.4.2). PHP-GTK isn't statically included (it's way too complex), if you're developing for the windows platform only then maybe you should have a look at WinBinder instead.

- What about license? Just how free is this utility?
Well, I guess that the tool is released as open source under the PHP License. Sources are available on the website. I don't really know much about licensing :), let's just say that it's free, and I don't want to get sued. Ok?

This site copyright Bambalam