How to Get Country From 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.

Getting Country From IP With 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.

Sergei Korolev
Sergei Korolev
Web developer and the author of all articles on this site. With over 25 years of programming experience, he has specialized in web programming for more than 19 years. He is a Zend Certified Engineer in PHP 5.3. He is available for hire at a rate of $60 USD per hour. You can see his resume here. Please contact him via this contact form to get a quote. He currently lives in Belgrade, Serbia.

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