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Very little has been published in print form that is solely about PEAR. However, a plethora of PEAR information is freely available online. A search on "PEAR PHP" returns a myriad of results. Following are a few of the official or more popular places to look for information.

Mailing Lists/Newsgroups

The PEAR project hosts several mailing lists, each with a specific purpose and topic. However, only two lists are of importance to those with general questions about using PEAR or the development of packages. Each of the lists may be accessed either through email (as an electronic mailing list) or through a newsgroup interface (via news://

  • (php.pear.general) Discusses general topics related to PEAR. This is the mailing list all users should use when asking a question about installation issues or the use of a package.

  • ( This list is specifically for discussion among PEAR package developers. However, it is often a good read even for those who do not develop for PEAR, because it provides insights into the direction of packages, as well as information on package proposals.


Some resources available on the World Wide Web are the following:

  • Discussed earlier in this chapter, the PEAR website is the official home of PEAR. From documentation to package statistics to tutorial links, this site is a vital resource for anyone interested in PEAR.

  • This is the PEAR manual. Although not inclusive of every package included in the repository, this manual is an excellent resource to PEAR users, and it must be mentioned that those on the pear-general mailing list will often point users to the manual before answering a question. Look here first, then ask.

  • The New Maintainers' Guide was recently added to the PEAR manual and is the place to start if developing a package for PEAR.

  • The PEAR/PECL Weekly Summaries offered by Zend provides detailed information each week on developments in the PEAR and PECL communities, including a listing of package releases.

  • The PHPBarnstormer provides an alternative/supplement to Zend's PEAR/PECL Weekly Summaries. Written by Aaron Wormus for International PHP Magazine, the Barnstormer delivers a weekly summary of activity in and around PHP, PEAR, and PECL.


Another valuable resource is the chat room, where questions can be asked and answered in real-time. The PEAR website names such a resource on the Eris Free network (EFnet) for Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In the #pear IRC channel on EFnet, many of the leading package maintainers and PEAR Group members are available to offer help and assistance. Other IRC networks also have similar #pear channels.

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