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PHP-based CLI tool for managing DO servers
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Dolphin screenshot


Dolphin is a PHP-based command line tool for managing DigitalOcean servers. The deployer command uses Ansible as underlying mechanism for running automation tasks on Droplets.

This tool is experimental, use at your own risk.


  • PHP (cli)
  • Composer
  • Curl
  • Valid DigitalOcean API Key (R+W)
  • Ansible (required by deployer)


First, clone this repository with:

git clone

Now go to Dolphin's directory and set the permissions for the executable:

cd dolphin
chmod +x dolphin

Run composer install to install Dolphin's only dependency (minicli) and set up autoload:

composer install


A config.php file is created upon installation with Composer. Edit the contents of this file and adjust the values accordingly. You need to provide a valid R+W DigitalOcean api_token value:


return [

    // App configuration
    'app_path' => __DIR__ . '/app/Command',

    'theme' => 'unicorn',

    # Cache location relative to doc root
    'cache_dir' => 'var/cache',

    # Cache expiry time in minutes
    'cache_expiry' => 60,

    // DigitalOcean configuration
    'digitalocean' => [

        # DO API token
        'api_token' => '',

        # Default options when creating new Droplets
        'droplet' => [
            'D_REGION'   => 'ams3',
            'D_IMAGE'    => 'ubuntu-18-04-x64',
            'D_SIZE'     => 's-2vcpu-4gb',
            'D_TAGS'     => [

            # Optional - SSH key(s) to be included for the root user in new droplets.
            # Uncomment and add your own key(s) - ID or Fingerprint
            # You can list your registered keys with: ./dolphin available keys

            #'D_SSH_KEYS' => [
            #    ''

    // Ansible Configuration
    'ansible' => [

        # Default server group to use when generating Ansible inventory
        'default_server_group' => 'servers',

    // Deployer Configuration
    'deployer' => [

        # Where to look for playbooks
        'playbooks_path' => __DIR__ . '/var/playbooks',
        'ansible_user'   => 'sammy',
        'ansible_inventory' => __DIR__ . '/hosts.php',


Now you can execute Dolphin with:

./dolphin [command] [sub-command] [params]

For an overall look of commands and sub-commands, run ./dolphin help.

Installing Globally: (optional)

If you'd like to use dolphin out of any directory in a global installation, you can do so by creating a symbolic link to the dolphin executable on /usr/local/bin. Please notice this will only work for your current user, who owns the dolphin directory.

sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/dolphin /path/to/dolphin

Droplet Commands: dolphin droplet

The following commands can be used to manage droplets.

Listing Droplets

dolphin droplet list

This will show a list with your DigitalOcean droplets (ID, name, IP, region and size).

ID        NAME                        IP              REGION    SIZE
140295122 ubuntu-1804-01      ams3      s-1vcpu-2gb
140295123 ubuntu-1804-02     ams3      s-1vcpu-2gb
140295124 ubuntu-1804-03       ams3      s-1vcpu-2gb
142352633 mysql-wordpress     sgp1      s-2vcpu-4gb
142807570 ubuntu-s-1vcpu-1gb-ams3-01  ams3      s-1vcpu-1gb

Getting Information About a Droplet

dolphin droplet info id=DROPLET_ID

The output will be a JSON will all the available information about that droplet.

Creating a New Droplet

Uses default options from your config file, but you can override any of the API query parameters. Parameters should be passed as name=value items. If you don't provide a name, it will be automatically generated for you.

Creating a new droplet with default options and random name:

dolphin droplet create

You will see output like this:

Creating new Droplet...

Your new droplet "fine-shark" was successfully created. Please notice it might take a few minutes for the network to be ready.
Here's some info:

id        name       region    size         image             created at
155243337 fine-shark fra1      s-2vcpu-4gb  ubuntu-18-04-x64  2019-08-17T06:20:35Z

It will take a few moments before the network is ready and you're able to SSH or run ansible on that server. To get the IP address, run this command after a few seconds:

dolphin droplet list --force-update

This will show an updated list of your Droplets, including the newly created one.

Now let's say you want to use a custom name, region and droplet size:

dolphin droplet create name=MyDropletName size=s-2vcpu-4gb region=fra1

Check the DigitalOCean API documentation for more information on all the parameters you can use when creating new Droplets.

Destroying a Droplet

You can obtain the ID of a Droplet by running droplet list to list all your droplets.

dolphin droplet destroy id=DROPLET_ID

You can destroy multiple droplets by providing a list of IDs separated by commas:

dolphin droplet destroy id=DROPLET_ID,DROPLET2_ID,DROPLET3_ID

Checking for Information: dolphin fetch

To get a list of all available regions you can use when creating a new Droplet, use:

dolphin fetch regions
NAME             SLUG      AVAILABLE
New York 1       nyc1      1
San Francisco 1  sfo1      1
New York 2       nyc2      1
Amsterdam 2      ams2      1
Singapore 1      sgp1      1
London 1         lon1      1
New York 3       nyc3      1
Amsterdam 3      ams3      1
Frankfurt 1      fra1      1
Toronto 1        tor1      1
San Francisco 2  sfo2      1
Bangalore 1      blr1      1

To get a list of all available sizes you can use when creating a new Droplet, use:

dolphin fetch sizes
512mb        512MB     1         20GB      1TB       $5
s-1vcpu-1gb  1024MB    1         25GB      1TB       $5
1gb          1024MB    1         30GB      2TB       $10
s-1vcpu-2gb  2048MB    1         50GB      2TB       $10
s-1vcpu-3gb  3072MB    1         60GB      3TB       $15
s-2vcpu-2gb  2048MB    2         60GB      3TB       $15
s-3vcpu-1gb  1024MB    3         60GB      3TB       $15
2gb          2048MB    2         40GB      3TB       $20
s-2vcpu-4gb  4096MB    2         80GB      4TB       $20
4gb          4096MB    2         60GB      4TB       $40
c-2          4096MB    2         25GB      4TB       $40
m-1vcpu-8gb  8192MB    1         40GB      5TB       $40
s-4vcpu-8gb  8192MB    4         160GB     5TB       $40
g-2vcpu-8gb  8192MB    2         25GB      4TB       $60
gd-2vcpu-8gb 8192MB    2         50GB      4TB       $65
m-16gb       16384MB   2         60GB      5TB       $75
8gb          8192MB    4         80GB      5TB       $80
c-4          8192MB    4         50GB      5TB       $80
s-6vcpu-16gb 16384MB   6         320GB     6TB       $80
g-4vcpu-16gb 16384MB   4         50GB      5TB       $120

To get a list of all registered SSH Keys you can use when creating a new Droplet, use:

dolphin fetch keys
23937789  heidislab e7:51:a3:7e:e1:11:1b:d1:69:8e:98:3d:45:5f:7f:14


The deployer commands use Ansible to execute automation scripts on your droplets. Playbooks are not included with Dolphin, but you can use our ansible-playbooks repository to get started and create your own playbooks.

To do so, clone that repository into the var/playbooks folder:

cd var/playbooks
git clone community-playbooks

Then, adjust the playbooks_path setting inside your config.php file to point to the cloned repository folder:

'playbooks_path' => __DIR__ . '/var/playbooks/community-playbooks',

Run the list command to see the available playbooks:

dolphin deployer list
Playbooks Currently Available:

NAME                          DESCRIPTION                   
apache_ubuntu1804             apache for ubuntu1804         
docker_ubuntu1804             docker for ubuntu1804         
lamp_ubuntu1804               lamp for ubuntu1804           
lemp_ubuntu1804               lemp for ubuntu1804           
setup_ubuntu1804              setup for ubuntu1804          
wordpress-lamp_ubuntu1804     wordpress-lamp for ubuntu1804 

To run a playbook on a droplet:

dolphin deployer run [playbook] on [target]

Example For Deploying a new Wordpress on LAMP

  1. Create a new server with dolphin droplet create. Copy the server name.
  2. Run the Initial Server Setup as root: dolphin deployer run setup_ubuntu1804 server-name user=root
  3. Run the Wordpress on LAMP playbook: dolphin deployer run wordpress-lamp_ubuntu1804 server-name

Run dolphin droplet list to obtain the server IP. Access it from your browser and you should see the WP setup page.

Using the Dynamic Inventory with Ansible

The included hosts.php script works as a dynamic inventory script that can be used directly with Ansible commands.

ansible all -m ping -i hosts.php -u root
ansible-playbook -l server-name -i hosts.php playbooks/setup_ubuntu1804/playbook.yml -u root

Please check the community playbooks repository for more details and links to guides that explain how to use the playbooks included in the playbooks submodule.

Tips & Tricks

Manipulating Cache

To optimize API querying and avoid hitting resource limits, Dolphin uses a simple file caching mechanism.

To force a cache update, include the flag --force-update:

dolphin droplet list --force-update

If instead you'd like to enforce cache usage and not query for new results even if the cache timeout has been reached, you can use:

dolphin droplet list --force-cache
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