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PHP SDK (Legacy)

Last updated: May-20-2024

This is the legacy version of the PHP SDK (cloudinary_php v1.x).

This legacy SDK has reached its end of life. We no longer release new features for this version of the SDK. Support will still be available until further notice.

For documentation on the current version click here. See the PHP SDK migration guide for more information on migrating to the current version of the PHP SDK.


Cloudinary's PHP SDK provides simple, yet comprehensive image and video upload, transformation, optimization, and delivery capabilities that you can implement using code that integrates seamlessly with your existing PHP application.

Related topics
This guide relates to the previous released version of the Cloudinary PHP library.

For details on all features and fixes, see the CHANGELOG.

The library is based on generic code that can be used with PHP frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Zend, Symfony and others.

Quick example: Transformations

Take a look at the following transformation code and the image it delivers:

sample transformation

This relatively simple code performs all of the following on the original front_face.jpg image before delivering it:

  • Crop to a 150x150 thumbnail using face-detection gravity to automatically determine the location for the crop
  • Round the corners with a 20 pixel radius
  • Apply a sepia effect
  • Overlay the Cloudinary logo on the southeast corner of the image (with a slight offset). The logo is scaled down to a 50 pixel width, with increased brightness and partial transparency (opacity = 60%)
  • Rotate the resulting image (including the overlay) by 10 degrees
  • Convert and deliver the image in PNG format (the originally uploaded image was a JPG)

And here's the URL that would be included in the image tag that's automatically generated from the above code:

In a similar way, you can transform a video.

Learn more about transformations

Quick example: File upload

The following PHP code uploads the dog.mp4 video to the specified sub-folder using the public_id, my_dog. The video will overwrite the existing my_dog video if it exists. When the video upload is complete, the specified notification URL will receive details about the uploaded media asset.

PHP library features


Composer installation

Use Composer to manage your PHP library dependency, and install Cloudinary's PHP library directly from the Packagist repository.

  1. Update your composer.json file as follows:

  2. Automatically install dependencies including Cloudinary's PHP package:

Manual installation

Although Composer is the recommended method for installing the PHP library, if necessary you can also manually install the library as follows:

  1. Download the latest sources from:
  2. Copy the src folder and the autoload.php file into your PHP project and then include Cloudinary's PHP classes in your code:


To use the Cloudinary PHP library, you have to configure at least your cloud_name. An api_key and api_secret are also needed for secure API calls to Cloudinary (e.g., image and video uploads). You can find your product environment configuration credentials in the API Keys page of the Cloudinary Console.

In addition to the required configuration parameters, you can define a number of optional configuration parameters if relevant.

Setting the configuration parameters can be done globally, using either an environment variable or the config method, or programmatically in each call to a Cloudinary method. Parameters set in a call to a Cloudinary method override globally set parameters.

For backward compatibility reasons, the default value of the optional secure configuration parameter is false. However, for most modern applications, it's recommended to configure the secure parameter to true to ensure that your transformation URLs are always generated as HTTPS.

Setting the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable

You can configure the required cloud_name, api_key, and api_secret by defining the CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable. Copy the API environment variable format from the API Keys page of the Cloudinary Console Settings. Replace <your_api_key> and <your_api_secret> with your actual values, while your cloud name is already correctly included in the format. When using Cloudinary through a PaaS add-on (e.g., Heroku or AppFog), this environment variable is automatically defined in your deployment environment. For example:

Set additional parameters, for example upload_prefix and secure_distribution, to the environment variable:

Setting parameters globally

Here's an example of setting configuration parameters globally in your PHP application:

PHP capitalization and data type guidelines

When using the PHP SDK, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Parameter names: snake_case. For example: public_id
  • Classes: PascalCase. For example: CloudinaryField
  • Methods: snake_case. For example: cl_image_upload_tag
  • Pass parameter data as: array

Sample projects

For additional useful code samples and to learn how to integrate Cloudinary with your PHP applications, take a look at our Sample Projects.

  • Basic PHP sample: Uploading local and remote images to Cloudinary and generating various transformation URLs.
  • PHP Photo Album: A fully working web application that allows you to upload photos, maintain a database with references, list images with their metadata, and display them using various cloud-based transformations. Image uploading is performed both from the server side and directly from the browser using a jQuery plugin.

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