If your PHP application is using Oracle DBMS, you will need to install OCI8 PECL extension. Sometimes it’s quite tricky to make it work. Let’s make our hand dirty.


Make sure met the following requirements:

  • Free account on Oracle website to download Oracle Instant Client and SDK files,
  • Full sudo access to your server,
  • PHP 5.6 and web server installed (tested with nginx and PHP-FPM).

Install Oracle Instant Client and SDK

Step 1

Download the Oracle Instant Client and SDK from Oracle website. Make sure you choose the correct architecture for your Ubuntu installation (32bit is x86, 64bit is x86_64). You’ll need to upload the files to your server using whatever method suits you.

Step 2

Create a new folder to store Oracle Instant Client zip files on your server.

mkdir /opt/oracle

Upload the Instant Clients files inside this folder.

Step 3

Now we need to extract the files.

cd /opt/oracle
unzip instantclient-basic-linux-
unzip instantclient-sdk-linux-

Step 4

Next, we need to create a symlink to Instant Client files.

ln -s /opt/oracle/instantclient_12_1/libclntsh.so.12.1 /opt/oracle/instantclient_12_1/libclntsh.so
ln -s /opt/oracle/instantclient_12_1/libocci.so.12.1 /opt/oracle/instantclient_12_1/libocci.so

Step 5

Add the folder to our ldconfig.

echo /opt/oracle/instantclient_12_1 > /etc/ld.so.conf.d/oracle-instantclient

Step 6

Update the Dynamic Linker Run-Time Bindings


Done. Now we can proceed to the next part.

Install Additional Packages

To install the OCI8 extension, we need to install some additional package on our server.

Step 1

Run these command:

apt-get install php-pear php5-dev build-essential libaio1

Step 2

Once installed, we need to get the OCI8 file.

pecl install oci8-2.0.10

When you are prompted for the Instant Client location, enter the following:


Step 3

We need to tell PHP to load the OCI8 extension.

echo "extension = oci8.so" >> /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini
echo "extension = oci8.so" >> /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

Step 4

Restart your PHP and nginx.

service php5-fpm restart
service nginx restart

Now you can connect to Oracle DBMS from your PHP applications.