I develop primarily on Linux and wrote class_dicom.php with Linux in mind. This tutorial will be geared towards CentOS or Fedora as that is what I use on a day to day basis. I’ll try to include notes for Ubuntu/Debian when possible.

I’m going to assume you have at minimum, Linux installed on a PC and you can access the command line as root.

1. Let’s get your environment ready

We’re going to install all of the needed development tools, a web server, and MySQL. A web server and MySQL is not needed by class_dicom.php, but since most folks are going to want to use PHP from a web server, we might as well get it installed.


yum -y groupinstall "Web Server" 'Development Tools' "MySQL Database"

yum -y install wget php php-gd ImageMagick libjpeg zlib libpng libtiff libxml2 libpng-devel zlib-devel libjpeg-devel libtiff-devel libxml-devel libxml2-devel libwrap-devel libpng10-devel  php-mysql


sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

sudo apt-get install build-essential wget ImageMagick libjpeg zlib libpng libtiff libxml2 libpng-devel zlib-devel libjpeg-devel libtiff-devel libxml-devel libxml2-devel libwrap-devel libpng10-devel

All of the above will probably take a while to finish out. Note that the ^ in the Ubuntu command is not a typo and needs to be present.

2. Build and install DCMTK

DCMTK is what class_dicom.php uses to actually work with DICOM files. Among many other things, it is a collect of command line tools for working with DICOM files.

The process of building and installing is essentially the same between versions of Linux.

wget ftp://dicom.offis.de/pub/dicom/offis/software/dcmtk/dcmtk360/dcmtk-3.6.0.tar.gz 
tar zxvf dcmtk-3.6.0.tar.gz
cd dcmtk-3.6.0
./configure;make;make install

Depending on your computer, the DCMTK can take a long time to build.

3. Install class_dicom.php

Download a copy:

wget --no-check-certificate http://github.com/vedicveko/class_dicom.php/zipball/master
unzip master
mv vedicveko-class_dicom.php* class_dicom_php

and…. you’re done.

Lets make sure it works!

cd class_dicom_php/examples
./get_tags.php dean.dcm

You should see a header dump of dean.dcm printed to the screen.

The script below will look in the directory you specify in $temp_dir and send any images it finds to a DICOM host. When it is done sending it will move the DICOM file to a back up directory.



$temp_dir = '../temp';

$target_host = 'some IP address';
$target_port = '105';
$target_ae = 'BK';
$my_ae = 'BK';

if(!file_exists('bk')) {

$d = new dicom_net;

if($handle = opendir($temp_dir)) {
  while(false !== ($file = readdir($handle))) {
    if($file != "." &#038;& $file != "..") {

      print "Sending $file...\n";

      $d--->file = "$temp_dir/$file";
      $ret = $d-&gt;send_dcm($target_host, $target_port, $my_ae, $target_ae);
      if($ret) {
        print "Send Error: $ret\n";
      else {
        print "Good Send\n";
        print "Moving $temp_dir/$file\n";
        rename("$temp_dir/$file", "bk/$file");



I had the opportunity today to help someone get class_dicom.php working under windows. I was pretty surprised to learn that you do not have to modify the class much, but it does take some time to install the other prerequisite software.

If you’re using IIS, you can skip step #1. You will need to get a copy of PHP installed under IIS. PHP on IIS (http://php.iis.net/) will allow you to do that easily. If you are using IIS, change the file locations below as appropriate for your enviroment.

1. You’ll need a copy of PHP.

Since you’ll probably want to run your PHP scripts under a web server you might as well kill two (three) birds with one stone.  The Wamp (http://www.wampserver.com/)  package is an easy as pie installer that will install and configure Apache, mySQL, PHP, and several other handy tools at once.

Once installed, be sure to find it in the system tray, left click it, and then select Put Online to start it up.

You can then go to http://localhost to test your install out.

The files you’re serving are all under C:\wamp\www\

2. You’ll need the Windows binaries of the DCMTK.

Head on over to the DCMTK website (http://dicom.offis.de/dcmtk.php.en/) and under executable binaries, grab the zip file for Windows.

Unzip it an copy the result to C:\dcmtk so it’s easy to find.

3. Get a copy class_dicom.php.

You can download a zipped version from GitHub (https://github.com/vedicveko/class_dicom.php/zipball/master). Once downloaded unzip it to C:\wamp\www\class_dicom.

You should be able to visit your web server at http://localhost/class_dicom and see a directory listing.

We’re going to need to make some modifications to the class. Open C:/wamp/www/class_dicom/class_dicom.php in an editor.

Near the top of a file is a line that looks like this:

define('TOOLKIT_DIR', '/usr/local/bin');

We need to change that to point to where we installed DCMTK. Change the line to look like this:

define('TOOLKIT_DIR', 'C:/dcmtk/bin');

Save class_dicom.php and you’re done with it.

4. Finishing up

All of the scripts in the examples directory for class_dicom.php are meant to run on the UNIX command line. This won’t work out too well when you try to run them under a web server on Windows. We need to change up one of the examples to run in this environment so you can see that it works. Take the code below and copy it into the C:\wamp\www\class_dicom\examples\get_tags.php file.

# Prints out the DICOM tags in a file specified on the command line


$file = 'dean.dcm';

if(!file_exists($file)) {
  print "$file: does not exist\n";

$d = new dicom_tag;
$d->file = $file;
print "TEST: " . $d->load_tags();

print "<pre>";


$name = $d->get_tag('0010', '0010');
print "Name: $name\n";


Once that is done go to http://localhost/class_dicom/examples/get_tags.php. You’ll see a header dump of the dean.dcm sample DICOM file.

(Or skip all of that and open get_tags_webbased.php in your browser instead.)

You now have a functional install of class_dicom.php to work with!