Command-line option parser for PHP
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OptionParser is a parser for command-line options for PHP. It supports both short and long options, optional and/or required parameter checking, automatic callback execution, and pretty printing of usage messages.


First create a parser object and then use it to parse your arguments. Examples explain it best:

$parser = new OptionParser;
// add a rule that looks for the short "a" flag
// add a rule that looks for the long "long-option" flag
// add a rule that looks for the short "b" flag or long "big" flag
// to indicate an optional parameter, use a colon after the flag name
// likewise, to indicate a required parameter use two colons
// add a description for a rule that can be used later in a usage message
$parser->addRule('e', 'The description for flag e');
// or use a user-defined callback function that will be called when that
// flag is used. the function will be passed the parameter that was given
// to the flag, or true if the flag is optional and no parameter was used
$parser->addRule('error-reporting', 'set_error_reporting');

Next, parse your arguments. This function can be called multiple times with the same parser to parse multiple sets of arguments if desired. Note: This function will throw an exception if the user has specified invalid flags. Also, if no arguments are specified here the global $argv argument will be used.

try {
} catch (Exception $e) {
    die("Error parsing arguments: " . $e->getMessage());

A more helpful error message might be to show the user the options that she can use to run your program:

$parser->addHead("Usage: myprog [ options ]\n");

try {
} catch (Exception $e) {


Scripts in the examples directory may be invoked using the PHP interpreter on the command line, like so:

$ php echo.php

A Unix-style executable is also provided for *nix users:

$ ./echo


OptionParser uses the PHPUnit unit testing framework to test the code. In order to run the tests, run the following command from the project root directory:

$ phpunit tests/OptionParser.php


OptionParser draws inspiration from several other option parsers including GNU getopt, Ruby's OptionParser, and Zend_Console_Getopt.


OptionParser requires PHP version 5 or greater.


OptionParser is released under the terms of the MIT license. Please read the LICENSE file for further information.