How to Get Country By IP Address in PHP on Ubuntu 22.04

We’ll be using the GeoIP2 PHP library from Maxmind. They have 2 versions: free and paid. We’ll be using the free version here.

  • GeoIP Pros:
    • The databases are located locally (on your server). So everything works fast.
  • GeoIP Cons:
    • The free version is under the CC license. So it requires attribution.

Please notice: The other solution (to get your visitors country from their IP address), would be to use an external service. For example, Please see this post for a detailed solution.

But, in my experience, when an external service can not be accessed, and you are sending a server-side request from PHP, your site load time could increase significantly. I saw when the page load time increased to ~2 minutes.

An external service could be down or working slowly. Or maybe you have a network problem between your server and theirs.

With the GeoIP solution, described below, you wouldn’t have such problems.

Using GeoIP2

1. Create a free account.

2. Download the prefilled configuration file GeoIP.conf:

1) Log in to your account on Click the item Automatic Updates in the left navigation:

Automatic Updates
Automatic Updates

2) On the page that opens, download the pre-filled configuration file:

Download the Pre-filled Configuration File
Download the Pre-filled Configuration File

3. Install the GeoIP Update program:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maxmind/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install geoipupdate


Please notice: if the command

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maxmind/ppa

shows the error:

sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found

, it is necessary to install the software-properties-common Ubuntu package:

sudo apt install software-properties-common


4. After installation, the GeoIP configuration file will be located in: /etc/GeoIP.conf

In this file, replace (from GeoIP.conf downloaded by you on step #2) the following values:

  • AccountID
  • LicenseKey
  • EditionIDs

5. Run from the terminal:


After this, the directory /usr/share/GeoIP/ will contain 3 databases:

  • GeoLite2-Country.mmdb
  • GeoLite2-City.mmdb
  • GeoLite2-ASN.mmdb

Please notice: to avoid running the command


manually to update the databases, you can add a cronjob. For example, if you add this line to your crontab file:

30 0 * * * /usr/bin/geoipupdate

, the update will run daily at 0:30 am.

6. Add the GeoIP2 library to your PHP project via Composer:

composer require geoip2/geoip2:~2.0

If you do not know how to install Composer, you can find the information here.

7. Get the country code and country name:

require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';
use GeoIp2\Database\Reader;

try {
    $reader = new Reader('/usr/share/GeoIP/GeoLite2-City.mmdb');

    $record = $reader->city('');

    echo $record->country->isoCode . "\n"; // will output 'US'
    echo $record->country->name; // will output 'United States'
} catch (\Exception $e) {
    ; // Handle exceptions here


More examples could be found in the official documentation.

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