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Sean Coates' Blog:
Use `env`
May 21, 2012 @ 11:58:34

Sean Coates has posted a reminder for PHP developers (and really anyone executing command-line scripts) to use "env" instead of hard-coding the path to the PHP interpreter.

These [support] scripts often run PHP in Gimme Bar land, and we make extensive use of the shebang syntax that uses common Unix practice of putting #!/path/to/interpreter at the beginning of our command-line code. Clearly, this is nothing special -lots of people do exactly this same thing with PHP scripts. One thing I have noticed, though, is that many developers of PHP scripts are not aware of the common Unix(y) environment helper, env.

The "env" alias makes use of your currently defined include path to track down a PHP binary to use to execute the script. Since there's only a "best practices" approach to places to put PHP on a server, the "env" usage makes your script more portable and it's one less thing to remember to change.

If you distribute a PHP application that has command-line scripts and shebang lines, I encourage you to adopt the practice of making your shebang line "#!/usr/bin/env php". Note that this doesn't just apply to PHP of course, but I've seen a definite lack of env in the PHP world.
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env environment include path find executable shebang

Johan Mares' Blog:
Running PHP CLI shell scripts
January 06, 2009 @ 08:47:57

Johan Mares has a recent post about using PHP on the command line:

I already knew how to run PHP scripts from the command line (CLI), although I never really used it. What was new to me was that there are 2 ways of doing this. The first one is by using the php command and the second, and new for me, is by adding a shebang on the first line of your script.

His first way is to run the PHP file through the interpreter directly (via a command line call to something like "php myfile.php"). The second it to actually include the path to the interpreter inside the PHP file itself and use the shell to execute the contents based on that (adding something like "#!/path/to/php" at the top). Then you just make the file executable and you can run it like any other binary file.

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cli commandline script method interpreter shebang

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