A PHP script can be executed from the command line even without having any web server software installed.
To run the PHP script from the command line you should just have a PHP CLI (PHP Command Line Interface) installed on your system.
This note shows how to run the PHP script from the command line and how to get the PHP CLI installed on Windows, Linux and MacOS.
Cool Tip: How to find the location of the
php.ini file! Read more →
Run PHP Script From Command Line
Let’s say we have a
script.php file with the simplest PHP code:
<?php echo "Hello World!"; ?>
To run the
script.php from the command line, execute:
$ php script.php - sample output - Hello World!
Install PHP CLI
The messages as follows mean you are missing the
php-cli on your system and should install it first to be able to run the PHP scripts from the command line:
‘php’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file
– or –
php: command not found
To check whether
php-cli is installed, execute:
$ php -v - sample output - PHP 7.4.3 (cli) (built: Nov 25 2021 23:16:22) ( NTS ) Copyright (c) The PHP Group Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies with Zend OPcache v7.4.3, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
MacOS comes with PHP installed out of the box.
php-cli on Linux:
$ sudo apt install php-cli
To install PHP on Windows, download a ZIP package with the required version, extract it to
C:\php and add this folder to a
%PATH% environment variable.
For this, press the ⊞ Win keybutton to open the start menu and type in
envi to search for “Edit the system environment variables” or “Edit environment variables for your account” links.
Start the editor, search for the
Path variable name, click on “Edit” and add
To create the default PHP’s configuration file, that is initially missing on Windows, copy
C:\> copy C:\php\php.ini-development C:\php\php.ini
Finally, after getting the PHP installed, you should be able to run the
script.php from the command line without any issues.
C:\> php script.php - sample output - Hello World!