Grunt Php Spawn Enoent Error

Grunt Error: Fatal error: spawn ENOENT

I just switched computers, moving projects slowly to the new one as I've been working on them. I started working again in a front end project that uses Grunt to manage work-flow and the tool-chain. The peculiar thing about this project is that is a theme for a PHP framework. Instead of HTML all action happens in PHP files.

Using the gateway npm module you can render PHP files using php-cgi, and connect-modrewrite to do basic rewrites as a basic .htaccess substitute. Its a really nice work-flow and I have been using it quite extensively.

However, while running a grunt serve task I kept getting the following error:

Running "watch" task
Watching assets/js/{,*/}*.coffee
Watching test/spec/{,*/}*.coffee
Watching app/assets/css/*.{scss,sass}
Watching Gruntfile.js,app/{,*/}*.{html,php,js},app/themes/default/*.php,app/assets/css/*.css,.tmp/assets/css/*.css,{.tmp,app}/assets/js/{,*/}*.js,app/assets/images/{,*/}*.{png,jpg,jpeg,gif,webp,svg}
Fatal error: spawn ENOENT

As soon as the task had to serve the index.php file, the server would crash with a Fatal error: spawn ENOENT error, which basically means that is not finding a binary.

I was using the PHP that comes installed with MacOS, which does not install php-cgi which I was using to render PHP files with the gateway module, which enables you to specify CGI handlers for requests matching certain extensions:

 * PHP gateway, handle template files, yay!!
var gateway = require('gateway');
var phpGateway = function (dir){
    return gateway(require('path').resolve(dir), {
        '.php': 'php-cgi'

If I ran php-cgi in terminal, I would get a php-cgi command not found message.

Installing PHP-CGI with brew

It all came down to installing a new PHP version.

brew tap josegonzalez/homebrew-php
brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install --with-cgi php54

That was the fix!