Learn how to install the bcmath extension in CentOS.

It's pretty anoying to implement something special that requires function related to math in your task and that suddenly such feature is available locally but not on your production server. The bcmath extension help you to avoid arbitrary precision errors in PHP, the functions included in this extension allow you to run calculations on numbers of any size and precision because they are represented as strings.

In order to install bcmath in CentOS, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Install with the cli

You can install the bcmath extension with the command line via yum:

yum install php-bcmath

Yum will install automatically the bcmath extension associated to the version of PHP that you have installed, in our case we had the PHP 5.3 version running. Once you execute the command you will get an output similar to:

yum install php-bcmath
Loaded plugins: priorities
Setting up Install Process
PLESK_17_5_3-extras                                      | 2.9 kB     00:00
PLESK_17_PHP56                                           | 2.9 kB     00:00
base                                                     | 3.7 kB     00:00
extras                                                   | 3.4 kB     00:00
plesk-migrator                                           | 2.9 kB     00:00
plesk-migrator-tp                                        | 2.9 kB     00:00
plesk11-base                                             | 2.9 kB     00:00
plesk11-thirdparty                                       | 2.9 kB     00:00
plesk11-updates                                          | 2.9 kB     00:00
http://apt.sw.be/redhat/el6/en/x86_64/rpmforge/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] P                                                                                                                     YCURL ERROR 6 - "Couldn't resolve host 'apt.sw.be'"
Trying other mirror.
rpmforge                                                 | 1.9 kB     00:00
updates                                                  | 3.4 kB     00:00
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package php-bcmath.x86_64 0:5.3.3-49.el6 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package             Arch            Version                Repository     Size
 php-bcmath          x86_64          5.3.3-49.el6           base           40 k

Transaction Summary
Install       1 Package(s)

Total download size: 40 k
Installed size: 29 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
php-bcmath-5.3.3-49.el6.x86_64.rpm                                                                                                                                            |  40 kB     00:00
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing : php-bcmath-5.3.3-49.el6.x86_64                                                                                                                                                    1/1
  Verifying  : php-bcmath-5.3.3-49.el6.x86_64                                                                                                                                                    1/1

  php-bcmath.x86_64 0:5.3.3-49.el6


Remember that the command will automatically install the version associated to your current version of PHP (available from the command line).

2. Restart apache/httpd service

After installing the extension, you need to restart the apache service using the following command:

service httpd restart

Happy coding !

Senior Software Engineer at Software Medico. Interested in programming since he was 14 years old, Carlos is a self-taught programmer and founder and author of most of the articles at Our Code World.