Shell interattiva

Dal PHP 5.1.0, la CLI SAPI fornisce una shell interattiva quando si usa l'opzione -a se PHP è compilato con l'opzione --with-readline .

Utilizzando la shell interattiva si può digitare codice PHP ed eseguirlo direttamente.

Example #1 Esecuzione di codice con la shell interattiva

$ php -a
Interactive shell

php > echo 5+8;
php > function addTwo($n)
php > {
php { return $n + 2;
php { }
php > var_dump(addtwo(2));
php >

La shell interattiva fornisce anche il completamento automatic (tab completion) di funzioni, costanti, nomi di classe, variabili, metodi statici e costanti di classe.

Example #2 Tab completion

Premere il tasto Tab due volte quando ci sono molteplici possibilità di completamento visualizzerà un elenco di questi elementi:

php > strp[TAB][TAB]
strpbrk   strpos    strptime  
php > strp

Quando esiste un solo completamento possibile, una pressione sul tasto tab completa il resto della linea:

php > strpt[TAB]ime(

Il completamento funziona anche per il nomi che sono stati definiti durante la sessione corrente della shell:

php > $fooThisIsAReallyLongVariableName = 42;
php > $foo[TAB]ThisIsAReallyLongVariableName

La shell interattiva archiva lo storico che può essere consultato usando i tasti su e giù. Lo storico è salvato nel file ~/.php_history.

Da PHP 5.4.0, la CLI SAPI mette a disposizione le impostazioni php.ini cli.pager e cli.prompt. Il valore cli.pager permette ad un programma esterno (come less) di agire come un paginatore per l'output invece di visualizzarlo direttamente sullo schermo. Il parametro cli.prompt permette di cambiare il prompt php >.

In PHP 5.4.0 è stato reso possibile modificare le impostazioni di php.ini

Example #3 Impostare i valori del php.ini nella shell interattiva

Il parametro cli.prompt:

php > #cli.prompt=hello world :> 
hello world :>

Utilizzando gli apici inversi è possibile eseguire codice PHP nel prompt:

php > #cli.prompt=`echo date('H:i:s');` php > 
15:49:35 php > echo 'hi';
15:49:43 php > sleep(2);
15:49:45 php >

Impostazione del paginatore a less:

php > #cli.pager=less
php > phpinfo();
(output displayed in less)
php >

Il parametro cli.prompt ammette alcune sequenze di escape:

Sequenze di escape di cli.prompt
Sequenza Descriztione
\e Usata per aggiungere colori al prompt. Un esempio può essere \e[032m\v \e[031m\b \e[34m\> \e[0m
\v La versione del PHP.
\b Indica in che tipo di blocco si trova PHP. Per esempio /* indica che si è in un commento multilinea. L'ambito esterno è indicato da php.
\> Indica il caratter di prompt. L'impostazione predefinita è >, ma cambia quando la shell è all'interno di un blocco non terminato o una stringa. I caratteri utilizzabili sono: ' " { ( >


I file inclusi con auto_prepend_file e auto_append_file sono analizzati in questa modialità ma con qualche restrizione - es. le funzioni devono essere definite prima della chiamata.


L'Autoloading non è disponibile usando PHP in modalità interattiva CLI.

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User Contributed Notes 9 notes

Ryan P
3 years ago
Interactive Shell and Interactive Mode are not the same thing, despite the similar names and functionality.

If you type 'php -a' and get a response of 'Interactive Shell' followed by a 'php>' prompt, you have interactive shell available (PHP was compiled with readline support). If instead you get a response of 'Interactive mode enabled', you DO NOT have interactive shell available and this article does not apply to you.

You can also check 'php -m' and see if readline is listed in the output - if not, you don't have interactive shell.

Interactive mode is essentially like running php with stdin as the file input. You just type code, and when you're done (Ctrl-D), php executes whatever you typed as if it were a normal PHP (PHTML) file - hence you start in interactive mode with '<?php' in order to execute code.

Interactive shell evaluates every expression as you complete it (with ; or }), reports errors without terminating execution, and supports standard shell functionality via readline (history, tab completion, etc). It's an enhanced version of interactive mode that is ONLY available if you have the required libraries, and is an actual PHP shell that interprets everything you type as PHP code - using '<?php' will cause a parse error.

Finally, if you're running on Windows, you're probably screwed. From what I'm seeing in other comments here, you don't have readline, and without readline there is no interactive shell.
spencer at aninternetpresence dot net
3 years ago
In Windows, press Enter after your ending PHP tag and then hit Ctrl-Z to denote the end-of-file:

C:\>php -a
Interactive mode enabled

echo "Hello, world!";
Hello, world!

You can use the up and down arrows in interactive mode to recall previous code you ran.
lee8oi at gmail dot com
3 years ago
I use git-bash in windows to connect to my servers via SSH. When I use the interactive mode via 'php -a' command I have to hit ctrl+d twice to execute the entered code. Example:
(<ctrl+d> denotes hitting ctrl & D)

-bash$ php -a
Interactive mode enabled
echo 'hello world';
?><br />
hello world<br />

Note: this still displays the <br /> tag but without the tag your output would likely be attached to your bash prompt like this:

hello world-bash$
4 years ago
Just a few more notes to add...

1) Hitting return does literally mean "execute this command".  Semicolon to note end of line is still required.  Meaning, doing the following will produce a parse error:

php > print "test"
php > print "asdf";

Whereas doing the following is just fine:

php > print "test"
php > ."asdf";

2) Fatal errors may eject you from the shell:

name@local:~$ php -a
php > asdf();

Fatal Error: call to undefined function...

3) User defined functions are not saved in history from shell session to shell session.

4) Should be obvious, but to quit the shell, just type "quit" at the php prompt.

5) In a sense, the shell interaction can be thought of as linearly following a regular php file, except it's live and dynamic.  If you define a function that you've already defined earlier in your current shell, you will receive a fatal "function already defined" error only upon entering that closing bracket.  And, although "including" a toolset of custom functions or a couple of script addon php files is rather handy, should you edit those files and wish to "reinclude" it again, you'll cause a fatal "function x already defined" error.
Shane Harter
1 year ago
If you've ever wanted to build your own interactive shell, I released a project recently that makes it insanely easy to build awesome shell apps in PHP. It blends features from Zend2 and Symonfy2 with things like regex routing, state management, etc. Check it out here:
4 years ago
It seems the interactive shell cannot be made to work in WIN environments at the moment. 

Using "php://stdin", it shouldn't be too difficult to roll your own.  You can partially mimic the shell by calling this simple script (Note: Window's cmd already has an input history calling feature using the up/down keys, and that functionality will still be available during execution here):


= fopen("php://stdin", "r");
$in = '';
$in != "quit") {
"php> ";
    eval (

Replace 'eval' with code to parse the input string, validate it using is_callable and other variable handling functions, catch fatal errors before they happen, allow line-by-line function defining, etc.  Though Readline is not available in Windows, for more tips and examples for workarounds, see
alexandrebr at gmail dot com
3 years ago
For those who (just like me) can't get it working, try to press CTRL+D after inserting some commands.

echo "Hello World!\r\n";
Hit CTRL+D here)
Hello World!

This is NOT interactive mode, but may help you.

To have the "-i" available, you'll need the following arguments while compiling PHP:
--with-readline e --with-libedit
elijah at elijahlynn dot net
6 months ago
Bug #55496 Interactive mode doesn't force a newline before the prompt =>

Fixed on July 24th, 2014 @;a=commit;h=71d3a69425449972f4efdf7228c6f7e49e090755

Until then, this will work:

php -dcli.prompt="\nphp> " -a
4 years ago
When building php on FreeBSD from ports one can add --with-readline option by manually editing the var CONFIGURE_ARGS in Makefile inside the php port directory and proceeding with build as usual.
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