Finding PHP latest release version

Updated Answer

When visiting, I noticed that on the right panel, it says:

Want a PHP serialized list of the PHP releases?

Add ?serialize to the url
Only want PHP 5 releases? &version=5
The last 3? &max=3

Want a JSON list of the PHP releases?

Add ?json to the url
Only want PHP 5 releases? &version=5
The last 3? &max=3

So whether you'd rather use a PHP serialized version or JSON, you might use or

If you want to only see Version 5.x.x, you could use: (If you'd like to use JSON, otherwise replace json with serialize)

Original Answer (Critical, see Nannes comment)

Parsing the HTML structure is of course a bad idea, since the structure of the tags could change when a new homepage of is introduced.

While searching for a solution, I came across this Atom feed:

Since this is a Atom feed, the strucutre will not change, as it is defined by a standard 1]. You can then use PHP's default XML functions 2] to parse feed > entry:first-child > php:version (CSS-Syntax for demonstration purpose. :first-child is the first child selector, > the direct child selector) and then use PHP's version_compare 3].

More information:

  • 1] Atom standard (RFC 4287)
  • 2] PHP XML functions
  • 3] version_compare

This is something of a proof-of-concept so YMMV. But you assuming you have curl available, you could query the GitHub API, to retrieve, filter and sort the latest tags from the GitHub PHP Mirror. Authentication is not required.

Alternatively you could retrieve all branches, but a cursory glance suggests the latest versions are tagged.

Here's some code to get you started:


$endpoint  = '';
$userAgent = 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; rv:36.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/36.0';

$curl = curl_init();

curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_URL, $endpoint);
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, $userAgent);
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

$json = curl_exec($curl);
$code = curl_getinfo($curl, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE);


if (200 !== $code) {
    throw new RuntimeException('HTTP response code %d encountered', $code);

$data = json_decode($json, true);
$tags = array_column($data, 'name');

// exclude all RC/alpha/beta and any tag not starting with php-*
$filtered = preg_grep('/^php-\d+.\d+.\d+$/', $tags);
rsort($filtered, SORT_NATURAL);


This yields something like:

array(10) {
  [0] =>
  string(10) "php-5.6.12"
  [1] =>
  string(10) "php-5.6.11"
  [2] =>
  string(10) "php-5.6.10"
  [3] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.9"
  [4] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.8"
  [5] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.7"
  [6] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.6"
  [7] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.5"
  [8] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.4"
  [9] =>
  string(9) "php-5.6.3"

Note that I am explicitly setting a User Agent because GitHub won't return a 200 response without one.

Once you have this, you can use it however you wish; e.g:

$latest = array_shift($filtered);
printf('The latest version of PHP is %s. You are using %s', $latest, phpversion());

The latest version of PHP is php-5.6.12. You are using 5.6.9

Hope this helps :)