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Built-in web server

As of PHP 5.4.0, the CLI SAPI provides a built-in web server.

PHP applications will stall if a request is blocked.

This web server was designed to aid application development. It may also be useful for testing purposes or for application demonstrations that are run in controlled environments. It is not intended to be a full-featured web server. It should not be used on a public network.

URI requests are served from the current working directory where PHP was started, unless the -t option is used to specify an explicit document root. If a URI request does not specify a file, then either index.php or index.html in the given directory are returned. If neither file exists, then a 404 response code is returned.

If a PHP file is given on the command line when the web server is started it is treated as a "router" script. The script is run at the start of each HTTP request. If this script returns FALSE, then the requested resource is returned as-is. Otherwise the script's output is returned to the browser.

Standard MIME types are returned for files with extensions: .3gp, .apk, .avi, .bmp, .css, .csv, .doc, .docx, .flac, .gif, .gz, .gzip, .htm, .html, .ics, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .kml, .kmz, .m4a, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .odp, .ods, .odt, .oga, .ogg, .ogv, .pdf, .pdf, .png, .pps, .pptx, .qt, .svg, .swf, .tar, .text, .tif, .txt, .wav, .webm, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx and .zip.

MIME type support for .htm and .svg extensions was added in PHP 5.4.4. The .ogg, .ogv, and .webm extensions were added in PHP 5.4.11. The .pdf extension is recognized from PHP 5.5.5. The .3gp, .apk, .avi, .bmp, .csv, .doc, .docx, .flac, .gz, .gzip, .ics, .kml, .kmz, .m4a, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .odp, .ods, .odt, .oga, .pdf, .pptx, .pps, .qt, .swf, .tar, .text, .tif, .wav, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx and .zip extensions were added in PHP 5.5.7.

Example #1 Starting the web server

$ cd ~/public_html
$ php -S localhost:8000

The terminal will show:

PHP 5.4.0 Development Server started at Thu Jul 21 10:43:28 2011
Listening on localhost:8000
Document root is /home/me/public_html
Press Ctrl-C to quit

After URI requests for http://localhost:8000/ and http://localhost:8000/myscript.html the terminal will show something similar to:

PHP 5.4.0 Development Server started at Thu Jul 21 10:43:28 2011
Listening on localhost:8000
Document root is /home/me/public_html
Press Ctrl-C to quit.
[Thu Jul 21 10:48:48 2011] ::1:39144 GET /favicon.ico - Request read
[Thu Jul 21 10:48:50 2011] ::1:39146 GET / - Request read
[Thu Jul 21 10:48:50 2011] ::1:39147 GET /favicon.ico - Request read
[Thu Jul 21 10:48:52 2011] ::1:39148 GET /myscript.html - Request read
[Thu Jul 21 10:48:52 2011] ::1:39149 GET /favicon.ico - Request read

Example #2 Starting with a specific document root directory

$ cd ~/public_html
$ php -S localhost:8000 -t foo/

The terminal will show:

PHP 5.4.0 Development Server started at Thu Jul 21 10:50:26 2011
Listening on localhost:8000
Document root is /home/me/public_html/foo
Press Ctrl-C to quit

Example #3 Using a Router Script

In this example, requests for images will display them, but requests for HTML files will display "Welcome to PHP":

<?php
// router.php
if (preg_match('/\.(?:png|jpg|jpeg|gif)$/'$_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"])) {
    return 
false;    // serve the requested resource as-is.
} else { 
    echo 
"<p>Welcome to PHP</p>";
}
?>
$ php -S localhost:8000 router.php

Example #4 Checking for CLI Web Server Use

To reuse a framework router script during development with the CLI web server and later also with a production web server:

<?php
// router.php
if (php_sapi_name() == 'cli-server') {
    
/* route static assets and return false */
}
/* go on with normal index.php operations */
?>
$ php -S localhost:8000 router.php

Example #5 Handling Unsupported File Types

If you need to serve a static resource whose MIME type is not handled by the CLI web server, use:

<?php
// router.php
$path pathinfo($_SERVER["SCRIPT_FILENAME"]);
if (
$path["extension"] == "el") {
    
header("Content-Type: text/x-script.elisp");
    
readfile($_SERVER["SCRIPT_FILENAME"]);
}
else {
    return 
FALSE;
}
?>
$ php -S localhost:8000 router.php

Example #6 Accessing the CLI Web Server From Remote Machines

You can make the web server accessible on port 8000 to any interface with:

$ php -S 0.0.0.0:8000

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