Using PHP in administration scripts

Delivering Commands

Article from Issue 50/2005

Most admins tend to use the shell, Perl,or Python if they need a system administration script. But there is no need for web programmers to learn another language just to script a routine task. PHP gives admins the power to program command-line tools and even complete web interfaces.

PHP scripts written for the console are basically the same as scripts written for the web: programmers can use the whole range of PHP features. To allow simple, program name based execution of scripts on the command-line, you need to specify the PHP interpreter in the first line of the script following #!. If you do not know the path to the interpreter, you can type which php to find out. Also, the script file needs to be executable. Let’s take a look at the ubiquitous “Hello, World” example in PHP: #!/usr/bin/php -q <?php echo "Hello, World\n"; ?>

PHP tools are typically all you need for any kind of text manipulation, such as modifying configuration files, log files, user management entries, and the like. If you need to access operating system functions for tasks such as process management, you will need to add a few Linux commands.

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