Michael Gracie

Plugging GD into PHP, on Leopard 10.5.7

Every Mac web developer will at some time in their lives have to deal with images. Unfortunately, the PHP installation on the Leopard OS (5.2.8 as of OS X 10.5.7) doesn’t have GD compiled in by default. If you’ve tried testing web components like CAPTCHA on your Mac, and can’t render the images, that’s the reason.

First and foremost, I try to make things easy around here. Before you begin the somewhat arduous task of compiling GD (and the pre-reqs) for your Leopard-powered Mac, there is a simpler solution: the Entropy PHP Apache module from Mark Liyanage. I used Mark’s work extensively when on Tiger, and both his compilations and instructions are what I consider the gold standard in simplicity and efficiency. Unless you have XCode tools handy and are really comfortable with the terminal window, I highly recommend going that route instead. When I compiled mcrypt for dynamic loading the Entropy package wasn’t available yet, but it is now and includes mcrypt too.

For those who don’t want an additional PHP install floating around on their machine and/or like everything updated when Apple says so, here’s how you get GD running with PHP on Leopard 10.5.7…