Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


PHP Command Line Interface ’CLI’


php [options] [ -f ] file [[--] args...]

php [options] -r code [[--] args...]

php [options] [-B code] -R code [-E code] [[--] args...]

php [options] [-B code] -F file [-E code] [[--] args...]

php [options] -- [ args...]

php [options] -a

add an example, a script, a trick and tips

: email address (won't be displayed)
: name

Step 2

Thanks for this example ! - It will be moderated and published shortly.

Feel free to post other examples
Oops ! There is a tiny cockup. A damn 404 cockup. Please contact the loosy team who maintains and develops this wonderful site by clicking in the mighty feedback button on the side of the page. Say what happened. Thanks!



php -r ’echo "Hello World\n";’

This command simply writes the text "Hello World" to standard out.

php -r ’print_r(gd_info());’

This shows the configuration of your gd extension. You can use this to easily check which image formats you can use. If you have any dynamic modules you may want to use the same ini file that php uses when executed from your webserver. There are more extensions which have such a function. For dba use:
php -r ’print_r(dba_handlers(1));’

php -R ’echo strip_tags($argn)."\n";’

This PHP command strips off the HTML tags line by line and outputs the result. To see how it works you can first look at the following PHP command ´php -d html_errors=1 -i´ which uses PHP to output HTML formatted configuration information. If you then combine those two ´php ...|php ...´ you’ll see what happens.

php -E ’echo "Lines: $argi\n";’

Using this PHP command you can count the lines being input.

php -R ’@$l+=count(file($argn));’ -E ’echo "Lines:$l\n";’

In this example PHP expects each input line being a file. It counts all lines of the files specified by each input line and shows the summarized result. You may combine this with tools like find and change the php scriptlet.

php -R ’echo "$argn\n"; fgets(STDIN);’

Since you have access to STDIN from within -B -R -F and -E you can skip certain input lines with your code. But note that in such cases $argi only counts the lines being processed by php itself. Having read this you will guess what the above program does: skipping every second input line.


Making Apache use compiled PHP instead of bundled package on Debian

Debian can actually help you here--apt-get has a mode for downloading the source and build-dependencies for a package, which you can then tweak and build yourself. In theory, the setup should be identical to what Debian's repository contains, so it ought to integrate well with your version of Apache.

I originally found this is PHP Magazine where they used it to customize the version of GD they were compiling with PHP. But you could use it for changing other build flags just as easily.

Since the original site isn't available any more (link above is through the Way Back Machine), I'm reproducing the instructions here:

# Install build tools, debian helpers and fakeroot
apt-get install build-essential debhelper fakeroot
# Get PHP source (it should go into /usr/src)
cd /usr/src
apt-get source php5
# Install all packages required to build PHP5
apt-get build-dep php5

#Now what we need is to update compile options,
# so we need to edit debian/rules file:
cd php5-5.2.6.dfsg.1
vim debian/rules
# locate the line having "--with-gd=shared,/usr --enable-gd-native-ttf \"
# replace with "--with-gd=shared --enable-gd-native-ttf \"
# that's remove reference to /usr so that bundled library is used

# compile (drink some coffee, walk you dog, see the latest House episode)
dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

# install the new php5-gd package
cd ..
dpkg -i php5-gd_5.2.6.dfsg.1-3ubuntu4.2_i386.deb

# finally restart apache
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Obviously, change the version number to match the version you're actually compiling, and replace the flags with the ones you actually want.


Unable to find php binary

Usually the binary is located here:

  • /usr/bin/php5

Sometimes it is also under

  • /user/sbin/php5

If the command is restricted to superusers only.

Probably the binary got deleted on your machine...


How to execute home directory shell script file in php

Check the value of return_var and display the value of output - this will probably tell you that you have the wrong permissions set on either /home, /home/scripts or on /home/scripts/


ubuntu 10.04 command "# type php" returns nothing

PHP comes in several forms (Server APIs): CLI, CGI, Apache, Java Servlet... Each of them has a separate binary.

  • The php command is the CLI version, intended only for running scripts on your shell. Apache/LAMP does not use it.

  • Apache uses the Apache module version, which comes in the libapache-mod-php5 package and does not have a visible command.

In other words, there is nothing wrong. You're just looking for a different PHP SAPI.


PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. This is the command line interface that enables you to do the following:

You can parse and execute files by using parameter -f followed by the name of the file to be executed.

Using parameter -r you can directly execute PHP code simply as you would do inside a .php file when using the eval() function.

It is also possible to process the standard input line by line using either the parameter -R or -F. In this mode each separate input line causes the code specified by -R or the file specified by -F to be executed. You can access the input line by $argn. While processing the input lines $argi contains the number of the actual line being processed. Further more the parameters -B and -E can be used to execute code (see -r) before and after all input lines have been processed respectively. Notice that the input is read from STDIN and therefore reading from STDIN explicitly changes the next input line or skips input lines.

If none of -r -f -B -R -F or -E is present but a single parameter is given then this parameter is taken as the filename to parse and execute (same as with -f). If no parameter is present then the standard input is read and executed.




Run PHP interactively. This lets you enter snippets of PHP code that directly get executed. When readline support is enabled you can edit the lines and also have history support.

--bindpath address:port|port

Bind Path for external FASTCGI Server mode (CGI only).



Do not chdir to the script’s directory (CGI only).



Quiet-mode. Suppress HTTP header output (CGI only).

--timing count

-T count

Measure execution time of script repeated count times (CGI only).

--php-ini path|file

-c path|file

Look for php.ini file in the directory path or use the specified file



No php.ini file will be used

--define foo[=bar]

-d foo[=bar]

Define INI entry foo with value bar


Generate extended information for debugger/profiler

--file file

-f file

Parse and execute file

--global name

-g name

Make variable name global in script.



This help



Hide script name (file) and parameters (args...) from external tools. For example you may want to use this when a php script is started as a daemon and the command line contains sensitive data such as passwords.



PHP information and configuration



Syntax check only (lint)



Show compiled in modules

--run code

-r code

Run PHP code without using script tags ’<?..?>’

--process-begin code

-B code

Run PHP code before processing input lines

--process-code code

-R code

Run PHP code for every input line

--process-file file

-F file

Parse and execute file for every input line

--process-end code

-E code

Run PHP code after processing all input lines



Output HTML syntax highlighted source



Version number



Output source with stripped comments and whitespace

--zend-extension file

-z file

Load Zend extension file


Arguments passed to script. Use ’--’ args when first argument starts with ’-’ or script is read from stdin




name Shows information about function name




name Shows information about class name




name Shows information about extension name




name Shows information about Zend extension name




name Shows configuration for extension name


Show configuration file names


Copyright © 1997-2010 The PHP Group

This source file is subject to version 3.01 of the PHP license, that is bundled with this package in the file LICENSE, and is available through the world-wide-web at the following url:

If you did not receive a copy of the PHP license and are unable to obtain it through the world-wide-web, please send a note to license[:at:]php[:dot:]net so we can mail you a copy immediately.



The configuration file for the CLI version of PHP.


The configuration file for the CGI version of PHP.


The configuration file for the version of PHP that apache2 uses.


You can use a shebang line to automatically invoke php from scripts. Only the CLI version of PHP will ignore such a first line as shown below:

// your script

version information

This manpage describes php, version 5.4.9-4ubuntu2.2.


You can view the list of known bugs or report any new bug you found at:

see also

For a more or less complete description of PHP look here:


The PHP Group: Thies C. Arntzen, Stig Bakken, Andi Gutmans, Rasmus Lerdorf, Sam Ruby, Sascha Schumann, Zeev Suraski, Jim Winstead, Andrei Zmievski.

Additional work for the CLI sapi was done by Edin Kadribasic, Marcus Boerger and Johannes Schlueter.

A List of active developers can be found here:

And last but not least PHP was developed with the help of a huge amount of contributors all around the world.

How can this site be more helpful to YOU ?

give  feedback