You've already learned how to use the command-line interface to do some things. This chapter documents all the available commands.
In the Libraries chapter we looked at how to create a
hand. There is also an
init command available that makes it a bit easier to
When you run the command it will interactively ask you to fill in the fields, while using some smart defaults.
$ php composer.phar init
install command reads the
composer.json file from the current
directory, resolves the dependencies, and installs them into
$ php composer.phar install
If there is a
composer.lock file in the current directory, it will use the
exact versions from there instead of resolving them. This ensures that
everyone using the library will get the same versions of the dependencies.
If there is no
composer.lock file, composer will create one after dependency
--prefer-source: There are two ways of downloading a package:
dist. For stable versions composer will use the
distby default. The
sourceis a version control repository. If
--prefer-sourceis enabled, composer will install from
sourceif there is one. This is useful if you want to make a bugfix to a project and get a local git clone of the dependency directly.
--dry-run: If you want to run through an installation without actually
installing a package, you can use
--dry-run. This will simulate the installation and show you what would happen.
--dev: By default composer will only install required packages. By
passing this option you can also make it install packages referenced by
In order to get the latest versions of the dependencies and to update the
composer.lock file, you should use the
$ php composer.phar update
This will resolve all dependencies of the project and write the exact versions
--prefer-source: Install packages from
- --dry-run: Simulate the command without actually doing anything.
--dev: Install packages listed in
The search command allows you to search through the current project's package repositories. Usually this will be just packagist. You simply pass it the terms you want to search for.
$ php composer.phar search monolog
You can also search for more than one term by passing multiple arguments.
To list all of the available packages, you can use the
$ php composer.phar show
If you want to see the details of a certain package, you can pass the package name.
$ php composer.phar show monolog/monolog name : monolog/monolog versions : master-dev, 1.0.2, 1.0.1, 1.0.0, 1.0.0-RC1 type : library names : monolog/monolog source : [git] http://github.com/Seldaek/monolog.git 3d4e60d0cbc4b888fe5ad223d77964428b1978da dist : [zip] http://github.com/Seldaek/monolog/zipball/3d4e60d0cbc4b888fe5ad223d77964428b1978da 3d4e60d0cbc4b888fe5ad223d77964428b1978da license : MIT autoload psr-0 Monolog : src/ requires php >=5.3.0
You can even pass the package version, which will tell you the details of that specific version.
$ php composer.phar show monolog/monolog 1.0.2
- --installed: Will list the packages that are installed.
- --platform: Will list only platform packages (php & extensions).
depends command tells you which other packages depend on a certain
package. You can specify which link types (
should be included in the listing. By default both are used.
$ php composer.phar depends --link-type=require monolog/monolog nrk/monolog-fluent poc/poc propel/propel symfony/monolog-bridge symfony/symfony
- --link-type: The link types to match on, can be specified multiple times.
You should always run the
validate command before you commit your
composer.json file, and before you tag a release. It will check if your
composer.json is valid.
$ php composer.phar validate
To update composer itself to the latest version, just run the
command. It will replace your
composer.phar with the latest version.
$ php composer.phar self-update
You can use Composer to create new projects from an existing package. There are several applications for this:
- You can deploy application packages.
- You can check out any package and start developing on patches for example.
- Projects with multiple developers can use this feature to bootstrap the initial application for development.
To create a new project using composer you can use the "create-project" command. Pass it a package name, and the directory to create the project in. You can also provide a version as third argument, otherwise the latest version is used.
The directory is not allowed to exist, it will be created during installation.
php composer.phar create-project doctrine/orm path 2.2.0
By default the command checks for the packages on packagist.org.
--repository-url: Provide a custom repository to search for the package,
which will be used instead of packagist. Can be either an HTTP URL pointing
composerrepository, or a path to a local
- --prefer-source: Get a development version of the code checked out from version control.
To get more information about a certain command, just use
$ php composer.phar help install
You can set a number of environment variables that override certain settings.
Whenever possible it is recommended to specify these settings in the
composer.json instead. It is worth noting that that the env vars
will always take precedence over the values specified in
By setting the
COMPOSER env variable it is possible to set the filename of
composer.json to something else.
$ COMPOSER=composer-other.json php composer.phar install
By setting this var you can make composer install the dependencies into a
directory other than
By setting this option you can change the
bin (Vendor Bins)
directory to something other than
http_proxy or HTTP_PROXY
If you are using composer from behind an HTTP proxy, you can use the standard
HTTP_PROXY env vars. Simply set it to the URL of your proxy.
Many operating systems already set this variable for you.
http_proxy (lowercased) or even defining both might be preferrable since
some tools like git or curl will only use the lower-cased
Alternatively you can also define the git proxy using
git config --global http.proxy <proxy url>.
COMPOSER_HOME var allows you to change the composer home directory. This
is a hidden, global (per-user on the machine) directory that is shared between
By default it points to
/home/<user>/.composer on *nix,
/Users/<user>/.composer on OSX and
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Composer on Windows.
This env var controls the time composer waits for commands (such as git commands) to finish executing. The default value is 300 seconds (5 minutes).