A PHP Download Wrapper that supports ranges and minification

1.1.1 2018-03-16 13:07 UTC

This package is not auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-07-02 20:50:46 UTC


An advanced PHP download wrapper

This class provides a PHP wrapper between the client requests and the files on the server.

It handles most mime types intelligently and properly responds to client requests for partial content as well as requests to see if the client cached copy of the file is still valid.

Use of this class instead of letting the server just serve the file only makes sense when the file is outside the server document root or when there are conditions (such as age verification or other related things) that should be checked before the file is served.

The class supports partial content requests and client cache validation. With partial content requests, at this time only responds with the first partial content range specified, it ignores the other parts.

The class also supports requests from the client asking if the version of the file it has is up to date.

  1. Install
  2. Using the Class
  3. Example Usage
  4. Catchable Exceptions
  5. Extending the Class
  6. Unit Testing


You can add this to a composer project via:

"require": {
    "awonderphp/filewrapper": "^1.1"

As long as your composer.json allows the Packagist repository, that should pull in this library when you run the command:

composer install

Manual Installation

For manual installation, there are four class libraries you need to have where your auto-loader can find them:

  1. FileWrapper.php -- This is the class library.
  2. InvalidArgumentException.php -- An exception library.
  3. TypeErrorException.php -- An exception library.
  4. NullPropertyException.php -- An exception library.

All four libraries use the namespace \AWonderPHP\FileWrapper

RPM Installation

I have started a project called PHP Composer Class Manager but it is not yet ready for deployment, and as of today (March 06 2018) it will likely be awhile.

Using the Class

The class constructor has one required argument and four optional arguments. The required argument is first, the path on the filesystem to the file being served. The most basic way to use this class:

use \AWonderPHP\FileWrapper\FileWrapper as FileWrapper;
$obj = new FileWrapper('/srv/whatever/foo.mp4`);

The parameters the constructor takes:

  1. $path -- Required
    The path on the filesystem to the file being served. Always a string.
  2. $request -- Optional
    The name of the requested file that the client will see. This only matters if it is different than the name of the file on the filesystem and the file is being served as an attachment for the client to save to its local filesystem. Set it to null to just use the name of the file in $path, otherwise set it to a string. Default value is null.
  3. $mime -- Optional
    The MIME type the file should be served with. The class will attempt to sniff the correct MIME type if set to null but it is better to explicitly specify the MIME type. Use a string to specify a MIME type. To tell the class detect the mime type, set to null.
  4. $maxage -- Optional
    How long the client should cache the file for. This parameter can either be an integer representing number of seconds, an integer representing the UNIX timestamp when you want the cache to expire, a string that can be parsed by the strtotime() command specifying when you want the cache to expire, or a \DateInterval object specifying how long the browser should cache it for. The default value is 604800 seconds, which is one week.
  5. $attachment -- Optional
    Whether a header should be sent telling the client to save the file. Boolean default to false.

There are two public functions available once you have instantiated the class:


In some cases you may have a need to set the access-control-allow-origin header. This function allows you to set it. Note that if the class is serving a font, it automatically sets that header to * unless you specify otherwise.


This causes the file to be sent to the requesting client.

Example Usage

Image File

This example serves an image file:

use \AWonderPHP\FileWrapper\FileWrapper as FileWrapper;
$obj = new FileWrapper('/srv/images/image.jpg');

Assuming the file actually is a JPEG image, the class will figure out the file MIME type is image/jpeg and serve the file to the requesting client as such.

Audio Download

This example uses all five parameters to serve an audio file that the client save to disk:

use \AWonderPHP\FileWrapper\FileWrapper as FileWrapper;
$obj = new FileWrapper('/srv/media/549805.mka', 'waterfall.mka', 'audio/x-matroska', 0, true);

The file on the server filesystem is named 549804.mka which is not a very descriptive name, so we use the second argument to give a more descriptive file name the end user will benefit from.

The MIME type is explicitly set to audio/x-matroska which is helpful to the client knowing what type of file is being downloaded.

We set the seconds for caching the file to 0 since it is a download, though honestly that can be set to null as the cache time is not applicable to file download.

Finally, we use true as the last argument so that the server sends the right header to trigger the client to save the file to disk rather than open it in the browser window.

Catchable Exceptions

There are three catchable exception classes that accompany this class.


This exception class extends \InvalidArgumentException and is thrown when a parameter is of the correct type but does not make sense.

Currently it is only thrown when a negative $maxage parameter is used or when the $maxage is set using a string that the core PHP strtotime function is not able to parse.


This exception class extends \TypeError and is thrown when a variable set as a parameter is of the wrong type.


This exception class extends \ErrorException and is thrown when a class property is NULL that should not be.

This exception should never happen, if it happens it is due to a bug in the class.

Extending the Class

This class also contains some methods useful when dealing with text based files, such as conversion of non-UTF8 charsets to UTF8, minification of JavaScript/CSS files, and word-wrapping of plain text files. While those methods are in this class, they are not enabled, extend the class to enable them:

class TextWrapper extends \AliceWonderMiscreations\Utilities\FileWrapper
    public function __construct(string $path, $request = null, $mime = null, bool $minify = false)
        $this->toUTF8 = true;
        $maxage = 604800;
        if ($minify) {
            $this->minify = true;
        parent::__construct($path, $request, $mime, $maxage, false);

That extended class turns on conversion to UTF8 and gives the option to minify the files served with it automatically.

Unit Testing

I have not yet created any unit tests for this class.

My personal experience is that unit tests reveal bugs the developer did not know existed before writing the unit tests. That means there probably are some bugs in this class.

That being said, I have been using this class on Naughty.Audio for JS/CSS minification, as a file download wrapper, and for HTML5 media with partial content requests.

It “works for me”.

Yes, I do need to create actual unit tests. Researching how to do unit tests for a download wrapper is something I am currently doing, it is not trivial as it involves interpreting headers sent by the client.