gmagick php extension on windows

gmagick is a PECL extension which branched off from imagemagick in 2002. Some developers prefer it as it is supposedly faster.

As of this writing, there is only one set of available dlls for gmagick on windows. This works only with PHP 5.3 If you are using PHP 5.4 (available on the new version of XAMP) it won’t work.

One has to use PHP5.3. To get it working I had to use WAMPserver, find the right php.ini (using phpinfo) and then add the extension to it.

Specifically in your php.ini:

Some key concepts to understand:
– The Visual C (VC) Version used for the extension DLL and your PHP installation must match. Common version mismatches are VC6 and VC9.
– PECL for Linux allows for automated download and building of PECL extensions, this feature is not available in windows, thus requiring one to specifically install Visual Studio and do the installs (do-able, but painful if you are not a VC developer)
– PHP windows builds are available at If you must use an extension (most likely to get someone else’s code working) and you can’t find the extension for the most recent version of PHP, best to downgrade PHP (use previous version dlls)


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