What is exactly --enable-zend-multibyte option for when you ./configure PHP?


3 Answers 3


It is to be able to detect if PHP scripts are Unicode/Multibyte encoded or not (UTF-8 always works and does not need this setting).

I've found this information in this article http://devzone.zend.com/article/2693 (archived copy, the article itself is outdated).

  • "are Unicode encoded or not" is extremely vague. Are there details regarding its implementation?
    – Pacerier
    Oct 27, 2014 at 1:08
  • The link is dead Jun 12, 2015 at 7:18

It is a prerequisite for declare(encoding) handling.

Apart from that, I have filed a bug about the lack of documentation for this: http://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=52348


The configuration option --enable-zend-multibyte is part of the zend scripting engine and used for auto-detection of Unicode encoded scripts and files. It looks for BOM (byte order marks) in the begining of the file and uses that to figure out the encoding.

  • I don't think it is a part of Zend Framework actually. Because Zend Framework is a collection of PHP scripts ;) May 27, 2010 at 13:21

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