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Working with OS course of in PHP

Generally you have to work with OS-level instructions out of your PHP utility. Let us take a look at how we will do that and see if we will make the Developer Expertise nicer.

Over the previous couple of years, I’ve been specializing in numerous features of how I write code and the way I can enhance it. I began by wanting into how I may make integrating with HTTP higher and extra object-oriented. I consider I discovered a method to obtain this and am now focusing my consideration elsewhere.

There are some events while you need to work with the OS CLI inside your purposes. Both in an online utility or one other CLI utility. Up to now, we have now used strategies like exec or passthru or shell_exec and system. Then alongside got here the Symfony Course of element, and we had been saved.

The Symfony course of element made it tremendous simple to combine with OS processes and get the output. However how we combine with this library remains to be a bit of irritating. We create a brand new course of, passing in an array of arguments that makes the command we want to run. Let’s have a look:

1$command = new Course of(

2 command: ['git', 'push', 'origin', 'main'],




What’s mistaken with this strategy? Effectively, in all honesty, nothing. However is there a method we enhance the developer expertise? For instance we swap from git to svn (not that probably I do know).

To enhance the developer expertise, first, we have to perceive the parts that logically go into creating an OS command. We will break these down into:


Our executable is one thing we work together with instantly, corresponding to php, git, brew, or every other put in binary on our system. Then the arguments are how we would work together; these could possibly be subcommands, choices, flags, or arguments.

So if we summary a bit of, we may have a course of and a command that takes arguments. We’ll use interfaces/contracts to outline our parts to manage how our workflow ought to work. Let’s begin with the Course of Contract:



3namespace JustSteveKingOSContracts;


5use SymfonyComponentProcessProcess;


7interface ProcessContract


9 public operate construct(): Course of;


We’re saying right here that every course of should have the ability to be constructed, and the results of the created course of must be a Symfony Course of. Our course of ought to construct a Command for us to run, so now allow us to take a look at our Command Contract:



3namespace JustSteveKingOSContracts;


5interface CommandContract


7 public operate toArgs(): array;


The primary factor we wish from our command is to have the ability to be returned as arguments that we will move right into a Symfony Course of as a command.

So sufficient about concepts, let’s stroll by an actual instance. We’ll use git for example, as most of us ought to have the ability to relate to git instructions.

First, allow us to create a Git course of that implements the Course of Contract that we simply described:

1class Git implements ProcessContract


3 use HandlesGitCommands;


5 personal CommandContract $command;


Our Course of implements the contract and has a command property that we are going to use the permit our course of to be constructed and executed fluently. Now we have a trait that can allow us to centralize how issues are constructed and made for our Git course of. Allow us to check out that:

1trait HandlesGitCommands


3 public operate construct(): Course of

4 {

5 return new Course of(

6 command: $this->command->toArgs(),

7 );

8 }


10 protected operate buildCommand(Git $kind, array $args = []): void

11 {

12 $this->command = new GitCommand(

13 kind: $kind,

14 args: $args,

15 );

16 }


So our trait reveals the implementation of the method contract itself and offers directions on how processes must be constructed. It additionally comprises a technique to permit us to summary constructing instructions.

We will create a course of and construct a possible command up up to now. Nonetheless, we have now but to make a command. We create a brand new Git Command within the trait, which makes use of a Git class for the kind. Let us take a look at this different Git class, which is an enum. I’ll present a cut-down model, although – as realistically, you need this to map to all of the git subcommands you want to help:

1enum Git: string


3 case PUSH = 'push';

4 case COMMIT = 'commit';


Then we move this by to the Git Command:

1ultimate class GitCommand implements CommandContract


3 public operate __construct(

4 public readonly Git $kind,

5 public readonly array $args = [],

6 public readonly null|string $executable = null,

7 ) {

8 }


10 public operate toArgs(): array

11 {

12 $executable = (new ExecutableFinder())->discover(

13 title: $this->executable ?? 'git',

14 );


16 if (null === $executable) {

17 throw new InvalidArgumentException(

18 message: "Can not discover executable for [$this->executable].",

19 );

20 }


22 return array_merge(

23 [$executable],

24 [$this->type->value],

25 $this->args,

26 );

27 }


On this class, we settle for the arguments from our Course of, which is at present being dealt with by our HandledGitCommands trait. We then can flip this into arguments that the Symfony Course of can perceive. We use the ExecutableFinder from the Symfony bundle to permit us to attenuate errors in paths. Nonetheless, we additionally need to throw an exception if the executable can’t be discovered.

After we put all of it collectively inside our Git Course of, it appears to be like a bit of like this:

1use JustSteveKingOSCommandsTypesGit as SubCommand;


3class Git implements ProcessContract


5 use HandlesGitCommands;


7 personal CommandContract $command;


9 public operate push(string $department): Course of

10 {

11 $this->buildCommand(

12 kind: SubCommand:PUSH,

13 args: [

14 'origin',

15 $branch,

16 ],

17 );


19 return $this->construct();

20 }


Now all that’s left for us to do is run the code itself in order that we will work with git properly inside our PHP utility:

1$git = new Git();

2$command = $git->push(

3 department: 'important',



6$outcome = $command->run();

The results of the push technique will permit you to work together with the Symfony Course of – which means you are able to do all kinds with the command out the opposite facet. The one factor we have now modified is constructing an object-oriented wrapper across the creation of this course of. This enables us to develop and preserve context properly and extends issues in a testable and extendable method.

How usually do you’re employed with OS instructions in your purposes? Are you able to consider any use circumstances for this? I’ve printed the instance code in a repo on GitHub so that you simply may use it and see if you happen to can enhance your OS integrations.

A wonderful instance of this must be SSH, MySQL, and even ansible or terraform! Think about if you happen to may effectively run MySQL dumps on a schedule from Laravel artisan with out utilizing third-party packages on a regular basis!



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