a modern alternative way to generate PHP Extension skeleton.
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a modern alternative way to generate PHP Extension skeleton.
Remember, it's just a skeleton generator, it will not write an entire PHP extension for you.


git clone git@github.com:7snovic/extSkel.git

then dump the autoload files

comoposer dump-autoload


php extSkel --proto="path/to/file" [--extension=extname] [--dest-dir=path]
            [--credits="author name"] [--dump-header] [--fast-zpp] [--php-arg="with|enable"]

  --proto=file              File contains prototypes of functions to create.
  --extension=extname       Module is the name of your extension.
  --dest-dir=path           Path to the extension directory.
  --credits=author          Credits string to be added to headers.
  --php-arg=enable          If your extension references something external, use with
                            Otherwise use enable.
  --help                    This message.
  --no-header               Dont Append header string to your extension.
  --fast-zpp                Use FastZPP API instead of zpp functions.
  --opt-file=path           Use an options file instead of command-line args.

Proto Files & Classes:-

Proto file is a php file contains a Classes definitions, all proto classes Must lives under extSkel\Extension namespace, so you will need to define it at the top of your proto file.

Currently there are two supported properties that you will need to declare in proto class:-

 * Declare the extension namespace.
 * @var $namespace
public $namespace = 'namespace';

 * Specify the proto class type.
 * @var $protoType
public $protoType = 'functions';

The $namespace property used to define a namespace for your extension.

The $protoType property is used to define your proto class type, which Must be declared in each proto class.

The current available proto types are : [functions, ini, class]

- Functions:-

When you define a proto class with a $protoType with a functions as a value, extSkel will generate an extension skeleton that contains all of the class defined methods.

No matters the concrete declaration of those methods, extSkel will only parse the function name and it's parameters, the function parameters can be Optional and type-hinted

if the parameter has no type-hint the extension by default will compile this parameter as ZVAL

The available parameters types :-

  • string
  • bool
  • float
  • int
  • if empty the parameter will compiled as zval

- Objects/Classes :-

As same as functions, it's a proto class that used to write a proto functions that will be stubbed into PHP extensions skeleton.

An example for class proto file

The additional property that the class proto file accepts is the $className property, that accepts a string value, in case if this property is not defined, the class name will be inhereted from the proto class name, in the previous example will be : extClass.

⚠️ extSkel does not support defining constructors and magic methods

- INI Entries:-

When extSkel parses a proto class with a ini as a value of $protoType, will consider only the value of $entries property, regardless of any other defined methods.

The $entries property is an associated array with key as an INI name, value as a INI value.


now you can provide a JSON file as an options file instead of using the command-line options.

you may set your opt-file as follows:

    "proto": "/path/to/proto/file",
    "extension": "extname",
    "credits": "author name",
    "php-arg": "enable|with",
    "dump-header": true,
    "fast-zpp": true

and pass this opt-file to extSkel using the --opt-file option.

for example:

php extSkel --opt-file='opts.json'

Note: this option will disable the command-line options entirely.


The package comes with a simple example , you can run this example to generate a simple skeleton with a three functions .

php extSkel --proto="examples/hello.php" --extension="helloWorld" --fast-zpp

this will create a directory with the extension name, and the following files :-

  • extension file : helloWorld.c .
  • extension header file : php_helloWorld.h .
  • config.m4 file.
  • config.w32 file.


  • Lint the output files.
  • Support objects and classes.
  • Support INI directives.
  • Support phpinfo handling.
  • Additional options.
    • PHP Arg [enable - with ]
    • Provide options as a JSON file instead of command-line options
  • Support Namespaces.
  • Release the .phar version.