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I have found several instances where this question has been asked, but never answered. This is the part where the installation goes wrong

checking for Python files in default path... not found
configure: error: Please specify path to Python distribution files
ERROR: `/tmp/pear/temp/python/configure' failed

I find it slightly retarded that it asks me to specify a path, but doesn't tell me how. Also I'm working under the assumption that "path to Python distributed files" is /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages.

How do I specify that path in the command pecl install -f python (I had to add the -f because otherwise it refused to install an alpha package)

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The PECL python package hasn't been updated in over 3 years and it is still in alpha in the last release. What that error is resulting from is a hardcoded test in the config files that looks for Python.h in /usr/include/python2.5/ and /usr/local/include/python2.5/. You can remedy this by installing the 2.5 dev package:

apt-get install python2.5-dev

It still didn't compile completely for me, though. There are errors in the PECL python package's python_handlers.c which fail to complete when pecl runs make.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

For everyone's information, I've given up on this. Combining PHP and Python can apparently only be done by CLI.

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