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Switch between multiple PHP versions on your mac

This article is a slimmed-down, firing-from-the-hips, get right to the action version based on the ones listed below. If you miss some background info or want a more spelled out version, please do visit these articles:

Install multiple PHP

If you want to install deprecated versions of PHP (< PHP7.2), then you’ll need to add this tap to homebrew:

brew tap exolnet/homebrew-deprecated
versions=(php@5.6 php@7.0 php@7.1 php@7.2 php@7.3 php@7.4) # in ZSH
#versions="php@5.6 php@7.0 php@7.1 php@7.2 php@7.3 php@7.4" # in bash
for version in $versions; do
    brew install $version
done

If you receive the error configure: error: Cannot find libz you need to install required libraries via XCode:

xcode-select --install 
brew upgrade

Install easy switch-script

To easily switch PHP versions, install the following script.

curl -L https://gist.githubusercontent.com/rhukster/f4c04f1bf59e0b74e335ee5d186a98e2/raw > /usr/local/bin/sphp
$ chmod +x /usr/local/bin/sphp

As I don’t add Apache on my host machine, change
apache_change=1 to apache_change=0 in the script.

vi `which sphp`

Switch PHP-version

Without arguments, this command returns useful information like which versions are installed and which is the active one right now:

$ sphp 7.4
If you need to enter your administrator password, then you probably need to disable the part where Apache is restarted (see chapter above).
Switching to php@7.4
Switching your shell
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php@5.6/5.6.40... 0 symlinks removed
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php@7.0/7.0.33... 0 symlinks removed
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php@7.1/7.1.33... 0 symlinks removed
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php@7.2/7.2.31_1... 0 symlinks removed
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php@7.3/7.3.19... 25 symlinks removed
Unlinking /usr/local/Cellar/php/7.4.7... 0 symlinks removed
Linking /usr/local/Cellar/php/7.4.7... 24 symlinks created

PHP 7.4.7 (cli) (built: Jun 12 2020 00:04:10) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.4.7, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

All done!

NOTE FOR XDEBUG: if you want to use xdebug you’re switch command needs to be expanded to:

sphp 7.4 && pecl uninstall -r xdebug && pecl install xdebug

Now you’ll see that xdebug is enabled for PHP:

php -v
                  
PHP 7.4.7 (cli) (built: Jun 12 2020 00:04:10) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Xdebug v2.9.6, Copyright (c) 2002-2020, by Derick Rethans
    with Zend OPcache v7.4.7, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

That’s it!

Again; take a look at the great, kept up-to-date, article of Andy Miller over at his website: https://getgrav.org/blog/macos-catalina-apache-multiple-php-versions

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