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PHPL: The Ultimate PHP Powerline

This is a highly customizable powerline prompt generator for PHP. While being 100% modular, the configuration is processed into a compact ready-to-use cache. Themes are extremely dynamic, making use of a CSS-like syntax to add styles to panels based on type, status or class, with 256-color/24-bit support. And everything can be configured from the command line.



The recommended method of installing is using the installer, or by using the script after cloning into a temporary directory. If phpl is already installed, it will be updated.


The initial prompt will display the directory and a status indicator:

~  $

To edit the prompt, use the phpl-config command. To make it a bit more boring:

$ phpl-config -i username --first --no-reload
$ phpl-config -i text --after username -s text="@" --no-reload
$ phpl-config -i hostname --after text

The prompt will now look like:

user  @  hostname  $


To make the prompt less fluffy, you can create a compact style. Create ~/.powerline/theme/compact.theme:

* {
    pad-before: 0;
    pad-after: 0;
status path {
    pad-before: 1;

Activate the theme using phpl-config:

$ phpl-config --theme compact

The prompt will now look like:

user@hostname ~ $

Colors and stuff

To add some color to the prompt:

username hostname {
    color: bright-blue;
text {
    color: white;
status:good {
    color: green;
status:bad {
    color: red;

This will have the following result:

  • The username and hostname parts will be colored bright blue
  • All text items will be colored white
  • The status indicator ($) will be colored green if the last command was successful, and red otherwise.

Class vs. Status

Some modules will signal a status, usually good or bad. This status can be used for theming, by prefixing it with a colon (:):

diskfree:bad   <-- when you are low on space
:good          <-- everything that is good

Some modules let you pick a class using options, others will use a fixed class. Some common are:

  • .system - Information about the system, disk, ram, cpu etc.
  • .user - Information about the user, name, etc.
  • .info - Generic information such as time, text etc.
  • .vcs - Information from VCS, such as git, svn, hg etc.

More commands

You can list all the available modules using phpl-config -L:

$  phpl-config -L
Available modules and options:
- command: Execute a command and display the output
    = exec<string> - Command to execute (default:'')
    = class<string> - The class to use (default:'system')
- diskfree: Show disk free space
    = si<boolean> - Use SI magnitudes (MiB,KiB etc) (default:true)
- git: Git VCS status
    = tag<boolean> - Show tag (default:false)
    = status<boolean> - Show branch and status (default:true)

You can also list the currently added items using phpl-config -l.

Adding multiples

To add more than one of a module, you need to name them differently. Do this using the -n or --name option when inserting the items:

$ phpl-config -i text -n hello -s text="hello"
$ phpl-config -i text -n world -s text="world"


You can add items to different parts of the prompt:

  • --before places the item before the specified name
  • --after places it after the specified
  • --first places it in the beginning of the prompt
  • --last places it in the absolute end of the prompt
  • --best places it as the second last item of the prompt

Updating themes

You can reload your theme by switching to it again using phpl-config, or by calling phpl-reload:

$ phpl-config --theme mytheme
$ phpl-reload --theme

Tweaks and fixes

Note: You need to call phpl-reload manually after changing this setting.

UTF-8 icons on physical terminal

PHPL will detect when it is running on an actual tty, to disable unicode icons as these rarely comes out as expected. If your tty supports UTF-8, or your terminal is mistaken for a tty you can override this behavior:

$ phpl-config -cterm.forceutf8=true

Enabling 256-color/truecolor mode

To enable 256-color mode, use the following:

$ phpl-config -cterm.colormode=1

Setting it to 0 will revert back to 16-color mode. For truecolor, instead use 2.


To use the prompt in other ansi-capable scenarios, you can call on phpl-generate. By default, escape sequences will be enclosed within a block of \[ .. \], but this can be disabled by passing -r. You can also specify the working directory with -d and exit code of last process with -s. To add a newline to the end of the output, use -n.

ToDo/Known Issues

Things that need improving:

  • Solarized theme need dark and light variants.


PHPL is a powerline style prompt for bash and more








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