You’ll need a few things to install TwirPHP:

Protobuf compiler

protoc is used to generate code from protobuf definitions. The easiest way to install it is downloading the precompiled binary from the Github Releases page.

You can also install it via Homebrew on MacOS:

$ brew install protobuf

TwirPHP protoc plugin

Just like in case of protoc, the easiest way to install the plugin is downloading it from the Github Releases page.

Alternatively you can use the following oneliner to install the plugin:

curl -Ls | bash -b path/to/bin

Make sure to save the binary with the same name as it is found in the downloaded archive. Also, make sure you place the binary in your $PATH, otherwise you will have to tell protoc where you saved the plugin:

$ protoc --plugin=protoc-gen-twirp_php=path/to/protoc-gen-twirp_php ...

Alternatively you can install the plugin from source. For that you are going to need dep to be installed.

$ go get
$ cd $GOROOT/src/
$ dep ensure
$ go install

The commands above will put the binary in your $GOBIN path which is usually a good idea to be included in your $PATH prefix.

Protobuf PHP library

As described in the protobuf PHP library README there are two ways to install protobuf:

  • C extension
  • native PHP package

The C extension provides better performance obviously, so it is recommended to be used, on the other hand the PHP package provides better portability.

The extension can be installed from the linked repository above or via Pecl:

$ sudo pecl install protobuf-{VERSION}

The PHP package can be installed via Composer:

$ composer require google/protobuf

Shared PHP library

In order to make the generated code work (in a PHP project) you need to install the (minimal) shared library via Composer.

$ composer require twirp/twirp

HTTP Client and PSR-7 implementation

The generated code relies on the following standard HTTP interfaces:

Choosing the right implementations for your project is up to you. If you do HTTP stuff in your project, chances are that some of them are already installed.

An example set of dependencies for server usage:

$ composer require guzzlehttp/psr7 http-interop/http-factory-guzzle

And for client usage:

$ composer require guzzlehttp/psr7 http-interop/http-factory-guzzle php-http/guzzle6-adapter

You can find packages that implement the above interfaces on Packagist:


From the above guide it is clear that installing TwirPHP is not trivial. It has multiple components and external dependencies. To make installing these dependencies easier, there is a quickstart metapackage which can be installed via Composer:

$ composer require twirp/quickstart

It installs:

  • the protobuf runtime library
  • Guzzle PSR-7 (and it’s factories)
  • Guzzle HTTP Client