Windows Support

Support for long and UTF-8 path

If a web application is UTF-8 conform, no further action is required. For applications depending on paths in non UTF-8 encodings for I/O, an explicit INI directive has to be set. The encoding INI settings check relies on the order in the core:

  • internal_encoding
  • default_charset
  • zend.multibyte

Several functions for codepage handling were introduced:

  • sapi_windows_cp_set() to set the default codepage
  • sapi_windows_cp_get() to retrieve the current codepage
  • sapi_windows_cp_is_utf8()
  • sapi_windows_cp_conv() to convert between codepages, using iconv() compatible signature

These functions are thread safe.

The console output codepage is adjusted depending on the encoding used in PHP. Depending on the concrete system OEM codepage, the visible output might or might be not correct. For example, in the default cmd.exe and on a system with the OEM codepage 437, outputs in codepages 1251, 1252, 1253 and some others can be shown correctly when using UTF-8. On the same system, chars in codepage like 20932 probably won't be shown correctly. This refers to the particular system rules for codepage, font compatibility and the particular console program used. PHP automatically sets the console codepage according to the encoding rules from php.ini. Using alternative consoles instead of cmd.exe directly might bring better experience in some cases.

Nevertheless be aware, runtime codepage switch after the request start might bring unexpected side effects on CLI. The preferable way is php.ini, When PHP CLI is used in a console emulator, that doesn't support Unicode, it might possibly be required, to avoid changing the console codepage. The best way to achieve it is by setting the default or internal encoding to correspond the ANSI codepage. Another method is to set the INI directives output_encoding and input_encoding to the required codepage, in which case however the difference between internal and I/O codepage is likely to cause mojibake. In rare cases, if PHP happens to crash gracefully, the original console codepage might be not restored. In this case, the chcp command can be used, to restore it manually.

Special awareness for the DBCS systems - the codepage switch on runtime using ini_set() is likely to cause display issues. The difference to the non DBCS systems is, that the extended characters require two console cells to be displayed. In certain case, only the mapping of the characters into the glyph set of the font could happen, no actual font change. This is the nature of DBCS systems, the most simple way to prevent display issues is to avoid usage of ini_set() for the codepage change.

As a result of UTF-8 support in the streams, PHP scripts are not limited to ASCII or ANSI filenames anymore. This is supported out of the box on CLI. For other SAPI, the documentation for the corresponding server is useful.

Long paths support is transparent. Paths longer than 260 bytes get automatically prefixed with \\?\. The max path length is limited to 2048 bytes. Be aware, that the path segment limit (basename length) still persists.

For the best portability, it is strongely recommended to handle filenames, I/O and other related topics UTF-8. Additionally, for the console applications, the usage of a TrueType font is preferable and the usage of ini_set() for the codepage change is discouraged.


The readline extension is supported through the » WinEditLine library. Thereby, the interactive CLI shell is supported as well (php.exe -a).


PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN is now respected. If this environment variable is defined, the first php-cgi.exe process will exec the specified number of children. These will share the same TCP socket.


Added support for ftok()

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