Locating the php.ini File in Linux/Unix Systems

In Linux and Unix systems, the php.ini file is a configuration file used by PHP to control various runtime settings. Here’s how you can find the php.ini file on your system:

Understanding the php.ini File

The php.ini file contains directives that configure PHP’s behavior, such as memory limits, error reporting levels, and file upload sizes. Locating this file is essential for customizing PHP settings based on your application’s requirements.

Finding the php.ini File

  1. Using phpinfo() Function:
  • Create a PHP file containing phpinfo() function:
    <?php phpinfo(); ?>
  • Save the file (e.g., info.php) in your web server’s document root directory.
  • Access this file through a web browser (http://localhost/info.php).
  • Look for the “Loaded Configuration File” row in the PHP configuration information displayed. This row specifies the path to the php.ini file currently in use by PHP.
  1. Using Command Line:
  • Open a terminal or SSH session.
  • Run the following command to search for php.ini files:
    php --ini
  • This command outputs the locations of php.ini files used by the PHP CLI and PHP-FPM (if installed and configured).
  1. Common Locations:
  • The default location for php.ini varies depending on the Linux distribution and PHP installation method.
  • Common paths include:
    • /etc/php/{version}/apache2/php.ini (for Apache server)
    • /etc/php/{version}/cli/php.ini (for PHP CLI)
    • /etc/php/{version}/fpm/php.ini (for PHP-FPM)
    • /etc/php.ini
    • /usr/local/etc/php.ini


Locating the php.ini file allows you to modify PHP settings crucial for your web applications or scripts. Whether through the phpinfo() function in a web browser or using command-line tools like php --ini, understanding where php.ini resides ensures effective configuration and optimization of PHP runtime environments on Linux and Unix systems.