PHP as FastCGI on Windows: Simple how-to setup PHP as a service

The official guide on setting up PHP as FastCGI on Windows
PHP-FastCGI on Windows | NGINX makes use of batch files.

After extensive research and some new information, I’ve managed to make
fairly simple guide on setting up PHP as a service on Windows, with full
start/stop/restart/status support.

The first thing that’s needed is the WinSW binary from
The “winsw-{VERSION}-bin.exe” needs to be saved to the folder containing
php-cgi.exe, and needs to be renamed “winsw.exe”

In the same folder as php-cgi.exe and winsw.exe, create an xml file
“winsw.xml” with the following content:

PHP PHP PHP C:\PATH\TO\php\php-cgi.exe C:\PATH\TO\php\php-stop.cmd C:\PATH\FOR\WINSW\LOGFILES roll -bPORT -cc:\PATH\TO\php.ini

As an example, I keep PHP in C:\SERVER\php, the PHP ini file in
C:\SERVER\config, and the logs in C:\SERVER\logs\php. PHP runs on port

PHP PHP PHP C:\SERVER\php\php-cgi.exe C:\SERVER\php\php-stop.cmd C:\SERVER\logs\php roll -b9123 -cc:\server\config\php.ini

In your PHP folder, alongside your php-cgi.exe, you need to make a file
called “php-stop.cmd” with the following contents:

taskkill /f /IM php-cgi.exe

Once this has all been accomplished, open the command prompt, switch to
folder containing php-cgi.exe, and execute the following command:

winsw install

At this point, you can open the Services (win+run>services.msc) and
PHP, or type “net start PHP”.
You can also type “winsw start”, “winsw stop”, “winsw status”, and

If having issues starting the service, verify it starts on its own by
opening the command prompt to the folder containing php-cgi.exe and
php-cgi -b(PORT) -cc:\PATH\TO\php.ini

Also, make sure the log folders referenced in the xml file exist.

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