Shell completion for Symfony Console based scripts

v1.5.5 2022-12-21 16:40 UTC


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Enables shell autocompletion for tools based on the Symfony Console (Symfony framework, Composer, PHPSpec, Behat, etc.)

screenshot of symfony-console-autocomplete in action: zsh autocompletion for composer (press tab two times)


  • Make sure the global composer project is configured properly with your shell. Notably, the composer global bin directory needs to be in your path. See for instructions on how todo that.
  • If you're using bash, you'll have to make sure programmable completion functions are available. Linux distributions usually ship it and enable it by default. On Mac OSX, you can install it with brew (brew install bash-completion) and enable it by adding source $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion at the end of your .bashrc.


Install the tool globally with Composer :

composer global require bamarni/symfony-console-autocomplete

Quick setup

Add the following line at the end of your shell configuration file (~/.bash_profile or ~/.zshrc) :

eval "$(symfony-autocomplete)"

Close / re-open your terminal window and you're ready to go!

Note that quick setup only works for supported tools.

Static setup

If you don't like all the magic from the quick setup and want to go with a more standard way, you can dump a static completion file for a given tool :

symfony-autocomplete composer

This will print the completion script for Composer to stdout. The output should be saved at a specific location depending on your OS / setup. Here are a few examples :

# BASH - Ubuntu / Debian
symfony-autocomplete composer | sudo tee /etc/bash_completion.d/composer

# BASH - Mac OSX (with Homebrew "bash-completion")
symfony-autocomplete composer > $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion.d/composer

# ZSH - Config file
symfony-autocomplete composer > ~/.composer_completion && echo "source ~/.composer_completion" >> ~/.zshrc

symfony-autocomplete --shell=fish composer > ~/.config/fish/completions/

If you are running an environment that does not have automatic execution of PHP scripts, then you will need to call PHP and the script in question :

symfony-autocomplete "php ./artisan"

General tips


To update the tool to a new version use :

composer global update bamarni/symfony-console-autocomplete

Symfony framework completion

In order to get completion running, you shouldn't prepend php at the beginning of the command :

app/console [TAB]

Tips for Bash users

Alias support

By default, completion for your aliases won't be enabled. If you're using aliases (e.g. "c" for "composer", "pspec" for "phpspec", etc.), you have to pass them explicitly :

symfony-autocomplete --aliases=c --aliases=pspec

Tips for Docker users

Defining the SHELL environment variable

If you connect to your container using something similar to docker exec -it container bash then you may find that the completions cannot be built due to an inability to locate the SHELL environment variable. This has been reported in #32

A solution is to supply the SHELL environment variable as part of the docker exec command:

docker exec -e SHELL=bash -it container bash

Supported tools

All tools using the Symfony Console component are supported.

However, quick setup only works if the entrypoint is named console or in the following list of tools: