I have installed XAMPP v1.8.3 for my PHP development. I am new to Ubuntu, so I don't know how to set environment variable for PHP which is located at /opt/lampp/bin/php.

I can run PHP scripts from localhost just fine, but I wanted to run them from the command line as well.

I want to set this variable for every user, since I am the only one who uses this system.

4 Answers 4


To open an interactive php shell, just type in a terminal:

php -a

As for opening a file, just:

php filename.php
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    The OP problem is: I don't know how to set environment variable for php which is located at /opt/lampp/bin/php . Apr 13, 2014 at 17:08
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    @darent Thanks. This was the first search result I got from Google and php -a was exactly what I looked for. Feb 25, 2015 at 16:52

Environment variables are set in /etc/environment. You will find the $PATH variable in this file. This variable stores the path to binaries in various locations.

To add /opt/lampp/bin to the location searched for binary files, just append this path preceded by a : to the path variable.

For example, if the $PATH variable was:


add /opt/lampp/bin to the end of it, so that it becomes:


After doing this, do a source /etc/environment.

  • @sud_the_devil: Just edited my answer.
    – jobin
    Apr 13, 2014 at 14:32
  • I opened the file by issuing sudo subl /opt/lampp/bin/php and then appended the location as you asked me to do . Here's the link to the opened file. PATH Do I need to restart my system after that?? Apr 13, 2014 at 14:38
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    No, you don't need to restart your system. Can you paste the output of echo $PATH after you have added the path and done a source /etc/environment and ls /opt/lampp/bin/php?
    – jobin
    Apr 13, 2014 at 14:41
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    @sud_the_devil you are required to edit the environment file and not the php executable. Your command should be sudo subl /etc/environment
    – Srihari
    Apr 13, 2014 at 14:47
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    @sud_the_devil Add only /opt/lampp/bin, not /opt/lampp/bin/php which is the executable file. Apr 13, 2014 at 14:48

As an alternative to /opt/lampp/bin/php, to run a php script from the command line, you just need to install php5-cli:

sudo apt-get install php5-cli

And run your script with:

php myscript.php

editor's note: depending on your version, you may need to install php7.0-cli etc instead

  • php5-cli is in a different package.
    – Wutaz
    Apr 13, 2014 at 15:30
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    @Wutaz On what planet? (hint)
    – e-sushi
    Jul 25, 2014 at 3:10
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    Doesn't work. Instead of execution a script it just prints file content like cat does
    – Green
    Jul 27, 2017 at 4:12

You can use

php /var/www/html/yourProjctFolder/yourFile.php

This will call your php file and output if you have written echo or print statement

  • No, wrong.It just prints file content like cat does. No execution
    – Green
    Jul 27, 2017 at 4:16
  • @Green It seems that you don't have proper set up of php on your system. Jul 27, 2017 at 17:54
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    It seems that you have to type -f between php and filename to make it work => php -f file.php
    – Green
    Jul 28, 2017 at 1:27

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