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Commandline Usage via "sake"


SilverStripe can call controllers through commandline php just as easily as through a web browser. This can be handy to automate tasks with cron jobs, run unit tests and maintenance tasks, and a whole bunch of other scripted goodness.

The main entry point for any commandline execution is cli-script.php. For example, to run a database rebuild from the commandline, use this command:

cd your-webroot/
php framework/cli-script.php dev/build

Make sure that your commandline php version uses the same configuration as your webserver (run php -i to find out more).

GET parameters as arguments

You can add parameters to the command by using normal form encoding. All parameters will be available in $_GET within SilverStripe.

cd your-webroot/
php framework/cli-script.php myurl myparam=1 myotherparam=2

SAKE: SilverStripe make

Sake is a simple wrapper around cli-script.php. It also tries to detect which php executable to use if more than one are available.

If you are using a debian server: Check you have the php-cli package installed for sake to work. If you get an error when running the command php -v, then you may not have php-cli installed so sake won't work.


You can copy the sake file into /usr/bin/sake for easier access (this is optional):

cd your-webroot/
sudo ./framework/sake installsake

Note: This currently only works on unix-like systems, not on Windows.


Sometimes SilverStripe needs to know the URL of your site, for example, when sending an email. When you're visiting your site in a web browser this is easy to work out, but if you're executing scripts on the command-line, it has no way of knowing.

To work this out, you should add lines of this form to your _ss_environment.php file.

$_FILE_TO_URL_MAPPING['/Users/sminnee/Sites'] = 'http://localhost';

What the line says is that any Folder under /Users/sminnee/Sites/ can be accessed in a web browser from http://localhost. For example, /Users/sminnee/Sites/mysite will be available at http://localhost/mysite.

You can add multiple file to url mapping definitions. The most specific mapping will be used. For example:

$_FILE_TO_URL_MAPPING['/Users/sminnee/Sites'] = 'http://localhost';
$_FILE_TO_URL_MAPPING['/Users/sminnee/Sites/mysite'] = 'http://mysite.localhost';

Using this example, /Users/sminnee/Sites/mysite/ would be accessed at http://mysite.localhost/, and /Users/sminnee/Sites/othersite/ would be accessed at http://localhost/othersite/


Sake will either run ./framework/cli-script.php or ./cli-script.php, depending on what's available.

It's particularly useful for running build tasks...

cd /your/site/folder
sake dev/build "flush=1"
sake dev/tests/all

It can also be handy if you have a long running script.

cd /your/site/folder
sake dev/tasks/MyReallyLongTask

Running processes

You can use sake to make daemon processes for your application.

Step 1: Make a task or controller class that runs a loop. Because SilverStripe has memory leaks, you should make the PHP process exit when it hits some reasonable memory limit. Sake will automatically restart your process whenever it exits.

The other thing you should do is include some appropriate sleep()s so that your process doesn't hog the system. The best thing to do is to have a short sleep when the process is in the middle of doing things, and a long sleep when doesn't have anything to do.

This code provides a good template:

class MyProcess extends Controller {
    public static $allowed_actions = array('index');
  function index() {
    while(memory_get_usage() < 32*1024*1024) {
      if($this->somethingToDo()) {
      } else {

Step 2: Install the "daemon" command-line tool on your server.

Step 3: Use sake to start and stop your process

sake -start MyProcess
sake -stop MyProcess

Note that sake processes are currently a little brittle, in that the pid and log files are placed in the site root directory, rather than somewhere sensible like /var/log or /var/run.