Embed Composer into another application
Failed to load latest commit information.
src/Dflydev/EmbeddedComposer Removed call to private loadRepository May 7, 2016
.gitignore Initial drop. Dec 14, 2012
LICENSE add -2014 to license yearas Sep 17, 2014


Embedded Composer

Embed Composer into another application.


Through Composer as dflydev/embedded-composer.

Why Would I Want To Embed Composer?

Imagine a console application shipped as a phar. If it is desired for the application to be extensible based on which directory it is in (say one set of plugins should be used in one directory but an entirely different set of plugins used in another directory) one cannot simply define a composer.json in both directories and run composer install.

Why not? Because the application shipped with a specific set of dependencies. Composer cannot add more dependencies without running the risk of introducing conflicts. The answer is to embed Composer into the application so that Composer can merge the dependencies already installed for the application with the dependencies defined in a specific directory's composer.json.

The end result is a set of dependencies that satisfy the directory specific requirements while taking into account the dependencies already installed for the console application.

While this is required for a phar distributed application this technique can be applied to any globally installed application that needs to be runtime extensible.



The following is an example bin/myapp style script that can be used either installed via Composer (vendor/bin/myapp) or installed globally (/usr/local/bin/myapp).

myapp.php (bin)

A shared block of code to initialize Embedded Composer from an application.

// assume $classLoader is somehow defined prior to this block of
// code and contains the Composer class loader from the command
// see next two blocks of code

use Dflydev\EmbeddedComposer\Core\EmbeddedComposerBuilder;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\ArgvInput;

$input = new ArgvInput;

$projectDir = $input->getParameterOption('--project-dir') ?: '.';

$embeddedComposerBuilder = new EmbeddedComposerBuilder(

$embeddedComposer = $embeddedComposerBuilder


// application is now ready to be run taking both the embedded
// dependencies and directory specific dependencies into account.

myapp (bin)

Example bin script (bin/myapp) that requires the shared block of code after it locates the correct autoloader.

#!/usr/bin/env php

if (
    // Check where autoload would be if this is myapp included
    // as a dependency.
    (!$classLoader = @include __DIR__.'/../../../autoload.php') and

    // Check where autoload would be if this is a development version
    // of myapp. (based on actual file)
    (!$classLoader = @include __DIR__.'/../vendor/autoload.php')
) {
    die('You must set up the project dependencies, run the following commands:

    composer install



myapp-phar-stub (bin)

Example phar stub (bin/myapp-phar-stub) that can be used to bootstrap a phar application prior to requiring the shared block of code.

#!/usr/bin/env php

if (!$classLoader = @include __DIR__.'/../vendor/autoload.php') {
    die ('There is something terribly wrong with your archive.
Try downloading it again?');


What else ...

Find installed package by name

One can search for any package that Composer has installed by using the findPackage method:

$package = $embeddedComposer->findPackage('acme/myapp');

Composer does not currently install the root package in the installed.json that represents the local repository. There is a PR out for this to be added to Composer core but until then the following workaround can be used.

Add the following post-autoload-dump script to the root package's composer.json:

    "scripts": {
        "post-autoload-dump": "Dflydev\\EmbeddedComposer\\Core\\Script::postAutoloadDump"

This will write an additional repository to vendor/dflydev/embedded-composer/.root_package.json and Embedded Composer will automatically use it if it can be found. It is important to ensure that this file is a part of any phar built if the root package needs to be included in the distribution.

Create a Composer Installer instance

The Installer instance is suitable for processing install and update operations against the external configuration. It will take the internal (embedded) configuration into account when solving dependencies.

// requires creating an IOInterface instance
$installer = $embeddedComposer->createInstaller($io);

Create a vanilla Composer instance

// requires creating an IOInterface instance
$composer = $embeddedComposer->createComposer($io);




If you have questions or want to help out, join us in the #dflydev channel on irc.freenode.net.

Not Invented Here

Much of the work here has been supported by the Composer team and many people in #composer-dev.

The actual code started its life as a part of Sculpin and was spun out into a standalone project.