Console applications are great for administrative tasks and code generation. With Aphiria, you can easily create your own console commands, display question prompts, and use HTML-like syntax for output styling.

If you're already using the skeleton app, you can skip to the next section. Otherwise, let's create a file called aphiria and paste the following code into it:

#!/usr/bin/env php

use Aphiria\Console\App;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\CommandRegistry;

require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$commands = new CommandRegistry();

// Register your commands here...

global $argv;
exit((new App($commands))->handle($argv));

Now, you're set to start running commands.

Running Commands

To run commands, type php aphiria COMMAND_NAME into a terminal from the directory that Aphiria is installed in.

Getting Help

To get help with any command, use the help command:

php aphiria help COMMAND_NAME

Creating Commands

In Aphiria, a command defines the name, arguments, and options that make up a command. Each command has a command handler, which is what actually processes a command.

Let's take a look at an example:

use Aphiria\Console\Commands\Command;
use Aphiria\Console\Input\{Argument, ArgumentTypes, Input, Option, OptionTypes};
use Aphiria\Console\Output\IOutput;

$greetingCommand = new Command(
    [new Argument('name', ArgumentTypes::REQUIRED, 'The name to greet')],
    [new Option('yell', 'y', OptionTypes::OPTIONAL_VALUE, 'Yell the greeting?', 'yes')],
    'Greets a person'
$greetingCommandHandler = function (Input $input, IOutput $output) {
    $greeting = "Hello, {$input->arguments['name']}";

    if ($input->options['yell'] === 'yes') {
        $greeting = strtoupper($greeting);


Your command handler can either be a Closure that takes the input and output as parameters, or it can implement ICommandHandler, which has a single method handle() that accepts the same parameters. If you pass in a Closure, it will be wrapped in a ClosureCommandHandler.

The following properties are available to you in Input:

$input->commandName; // The name of the command that was invoked
$input->arguments['argName']; // The value of 'argName'
$input->options['optionName']; // The value of 'optionName'

If you're checking to see if an option that does not have a value is set, use array_key_exists('optionName', $input->options) - the value will be null, and isset() will return false.

Note: $input->options stores option values by their long names. Do not try to access them by their short names.

Registering Commands

Before you can use the example command, you must register it so that the App knows about it. Your command handler should be wrapped in a parameterless closure that will return the handler. This allows us to defer resolving a handler until we actually need it. This is especially useful when your handler is a class with expensive-to-instantiate dependencies, such as database connections.

Note: If you're using the configuration library, refer to its documentation to learn how to register your commands to your app.

use Aphiria\Console\App;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\CommandRegistry;

$commands = new CommandRegistry();
    fn () => $greetingCommandHandler

// Actually run the application
global $argv;
exit((new App($commands))->handle($argv));

To call this command, run this from the command line:

php aphiria greet Dave -y

This will output:


Note: Aphiria uses opis/closure to serialize and deserialize closures. At this time, it does not support short closures. So, any manually registered command handler factories must use long-form closures.


Console commands can accept arguments from the user. Arguments can be required, optional, and/or arrays. You specify the type by bitwise OR-ing the different arguments types. Array arguments allow a variable number of arguments to be passed in, like "php aphiria foo arg1 arg2 arg3 ...". The only catch is that array arguments must be the last argument defined for the command.

Let's take a look at an example argument:

use Aphiria\Console\Input\Argument;
use Aphiria\Console\Input\ArgumentTypes;

// The argument will be required and an array
$type = ArgumentTypes::REQUIRED | ArgumentTypes::IS_ARRAY;
// The description argument is used by the help command
$argument = new Argument('foo', $type, 'The foo argument');

Note: Like array arguments, optional arguments must appear after any required arguments.


You might want different behavior in your command depending on whether or not an option is set. This is possible using Aphiria\Console\Input\Option. Options have two formats:

  1. Short, eg "-h"
  2. Long, eg "--help"

Short Names

Short option names are always a single letter. Multiple short options can be grouped together. For example, -rf means that options with short codes "r" and "f" have been specified. The default value will be used for short options.

Long Names

Long option names can specify values in two ways: --foo=bar or --foo bar. If you only specify --foo for an optional-value option, then the default value will be used.

Array Options

Options can be arrays, eg --foo=bar --foo=baz will set the "foo" option to ["bar", "baz"].

Like arguments, option types can be specified by bitwise OR-ing types together. Let's look at an example:

use Aphiria\Console\Input\Option;
use Aphiria\Console\Input\OptionTypes;

$type = OptionTypes::IS_ARRAY | OptionTypes::REQUIRED_VALUE;
$option = new Option('foo', 'f', $types, 'The foo option');

Calling From Code

It's possible to call a command from another command by using App:

use Aphiria\Console\Input\Input;
use Aphiria\Console\Output\IOutput;

$commandHandler = function (Input $input, IOutput $output) use ($app) {
    $app->handle('foo arg1 --option1=value', $output);

    // Do other stuff...

// Register your commands...

Alternatively, if your handler is a class, you could inject the app via the constructor:

use Aphiria\Console\Commands\ICommandBus;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\ICommandHandler;
use Aphiria\Console\Input\Input;
use Aphiria\Console\Output\IOutput;

final class FooCommandHandler implements ICommandHandler
    private ICommandBus $app;

    public function __construct(ICommandBus $app)
        $this->app = $app;

    public function handle(Input $input, IOutput $output)
        $this->app->handle('foo arg1 --option1=value', $output);

        // Do other stuff...

If you want to call the other command but not write its output, use the Aphiria\Console\Output\SilentOutput output.

Note: If a command is being called by a lot of other commands, it might be best to refactor its actions into a separate class. This way, it can be used by multiple commands without the extra overhead of calling console commands through PHP code.

Command Annotations

Sometimes, it's convenient to define your command alongside your command handler so you don't have to jump back and forth remembering what arguments or options your command takes. Aphiria offers the option to do so via annotations.

Command Annotation Example

Let's look at an example that duplicates the greeting example from above:

 * @Command(
 *     "greet", 
 *     arguments={@Argument("name", type=ArgumentTypes::REQUIRED, description="The name to greet")},
 *     options={@Option("yell", shortName="y", type=OptionTypes::OPTIONAL_VALUE, description="Yell the greeting?", defaultValue="yes")},
 *     description="Greets a person"
 * )
final class GreetingCommandHandler implements ICommandHandler
    public function handle(Input $input, IOutput $output)
        // ...

Scanning For Annotations

Before you can use annotations, you'll need to configure Aphiria to scan for them. The configuration library provides a convenience method for this:

use Aphiria\Configuration\AphiriaComponentBuilder;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\Annotations\AnnotationCommandRegistrant;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\CommandRegistry;

// Assume we already have $container set up
$commands = new CommandRegistry();
$container->bindInstance(CommandRegistry::class, $commands);
$annotationCommandRegistrant = new AnnotationCommandRegistrant(['PATH_TO_SCAN']);
$container->bindInstance(AnnotationCommandRegistrant::class, $annotationCommandRegistrant);

(new AphiriaComponentBuilder($container))

If you're not using the configuration library, you can manually configure your app to scan for annotations:

use Aphiria\Console\Commands\Annotations\AnnotationCommandRegistrant;
use Aphiria\Console\Commands\CommandRegistry;

$commands = new CommandRegistry();
$annotationCommandRegistrant = new AnnotationCommandRegistrant(['PATH_TO_SCAN']);


Prompts are great for asking users for input beyond what is accepted by arguments. For example, you might want to confirm with a user before doing an administrative task, or you might ask her to select from a list of possible choices. Prompts accept Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\Question objects.


To ask a user to confirm an action with a simple "y" or "yes", use an Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\Confirmation:

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\Confirmation;
use Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\Prompt;

$prompt = new Prompt();
// This will return true if the answer began with "y" or "Y"
$prompt->ask(new Confirmation('Are you sure you want to continue?'), $output);

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice questions are great for listing choices that might otherwise be difficult for a user to remember. An Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\MultipleChoice accepts question text and a list of choices:

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Prompts\MultipleChoice;

$choices = ['Boeing 747', 'Boeing 757', 'Boeing 787'];
$question = new MultipleChoice('Select your favorite airplane', $choices);
$prompt->ask($question, $output);

This will display:

Select your favorite airplane
  1) Boeing 747
  2) Boeing 757
  3) Boeing 787

If the $choices array is associative, then the keys will map to values rather than 1)...N).


Outputs allow you to write messages to an end user. The different outputs include:

  1. Aphiria\Console\Output\ConsoleOutput
    • Used to write messages to the console
    • The output used by default
  2. Aphiria\Console\Output\SilentOutput
    • Used when we don't want any messages to be written
    • Useful for when one command calls another

Each output offers three methods:

  1. readLine()
    • Reads a line of input
  2. write()
    • Writes a message to the existing line
  3. writeln()
    • Writes a message to a new line
  4. clear()
    • Clears the current screen
    • Only works in ConsoleOutput


Formatters are great for nicely-formatting output to the console.


The Aphiria\Console\Output\Formatters\PaddingFormatter formatter allows you to create column-like output. It accepts an array of column values. The second parameter is a callback that will format each row's contents. Let's look at an example:

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Formatters\PaddingFormatter;

$paddingFormatter = new PaddingFormatter();
$rows = [
    ['George', 'Carlin', 'great'],
    ['Chris', 'Rock', 'good'],
    ['Jim', 'Gaffigan', 'pale']
$paddingFormatter->format($rows, fn ($row) => $row[0] . ' - ' . $row[1] . ' - ' . $row[2]);

This will return:

George - Carlin   - great
Chris  - Rock     - good
Jim    - Gaffigan - pale

There are a few useful functions for customizing the padding formatter:


ASCII tables are a great way to show tabular data in a console. To create a table, use Aphiria\Console\Output\Formatters\TableFormatter:

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Formatters\TableFormatter;

$table = new TableFormatter();
$rows = [
    ['Sean', 'Connery'],
    ['Pierce', 'Brosnan']

This will return:

| Sean   | Connery |
| Pierce | Brosnan |

Headers can also be included in tables:

$headers = ['First', 'Last'];
$table->format($rows, $headers);

This will return:

| First  | Last    |
| Sean   | Connery |
| Pierce | Brosnan |

There are a few useful functions for customizing the look of tables:

Progress Bars

Progress bars a great way to visually indicate to a user the progress of a long-running task, like this one:

[=================50%--------------------] 50/100
Time remaining: 15 secs

Creating one is simple - you just create a ProgressBar, and specify the formatter to use:

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Formatters\{ProgressBar, ProgressBarFormatter};

// Assume our output is already created
$formatter = new ProgressBarFormatter($output);
// Set the maximum number of "steps" to 100
$progressBar = new ProgressBar(100, $formatter);

You can advance your progress bar:


// Or with a custom step


Alternatively, you can set a specific progress:


To explicitly complete the progress bar, call


Each time progress is made, the formatter will be updated, and will draw a new bar.

Customizing Progress Bars

You may customize the characters used in your progress bar via:

$formatter->completedProgressChar = '*';
$formatter->remainingProgressChar = '-';

If you'd like to customize the format of the progress bar text, you may by specifying sprintf()-encoded text. The following placeholders are built in for you to use:

To specify the format, pass it into ProgressBarFormatter:

$formatter = new ProgressBarFormatter(
    '%bar% - Time remaining: %timeRemaining%'

Style Elements

Aphiria supports HTML-like style elements to perform basic output formatting like background color, foreground color, boldening, and underlining. For example, writing:


...will output "Hello!". You can even nest elements:

<u>Hello, <b>Dave</b></u>

..., which will output an underlined string where "Dave" is both bold AND underlined.

Built-In Elements

The following elements come built-into Aphiria:

Custom Elements

You can create your own style elements. Elements are registered to Aphiria\Console\Output\Compilers\Elements\ElementRegistry.

use Aphiria\Console\Output\Compilers\Elements\{Colors, Element, ElementRegistry, Style, TextStyles};
use Aphiria\Console\Output\Compilers\OutputCompiler;
use Aphiria\Console\Output\ConsoleOutput;

$elements = new ElementRegistry();
    new Element('foo', new Style(Colors::BLACK, Colors::YELLOW, [TextStyles::BOLD])
$outputCompiler = new OutputCompiler($elements);
$output = new ConsoleOutput($outputCompiler);

// Now, pass it into the app (assume it's already set up)
global $argv;
exit($app->handle($argv, $output));

Overriding Built-In Elements

To override a built-in element, just re-register it:

    new Element('success', new Style(Colors::GREEN, Colors::BLACK))