Kirby command line interface

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1.5.0 2024-05-21 13:13 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-21 13:14:36 UTC


The Kirby command line interface helps simplifying common tasks with your Kirby installations.


Via Composer

composer global require getkirby/cli

Make sure to add your composer bin directory to your ~/.bash_profile (Mac OS users) or into your ~/.bashrc (Linux users).

Your global composer directory is normally either ~/.composer/vendor/bin or ~/.config/composer/vendor/bin. You can find the correct path by running …

composer -n config --global home

Afterwards, add the result to your bash profile …

export PATH=~/.composer/vendor/bin:$PATH

Did it work?

Check if the installation worked by running the following in your terminal.


This should print the Kirby CLI version and a list of available commands

Available core commands

- kirby backup
- kirby clean:content
- kirby clear:cache
- kirby clear:lock
- kirby clear:logins
- kirby clear:media
- kirby clear:sessions
- kirby download
- kirby help
- kirby install
- kirby install:kit
- kirby install:repo
- kirby make:blueprint
- kirby make:collection
- kirby make:command
- kirby make:config
- kirby make:controller
- kirby make:language
- kirby make:model
- kirby make:plugin
- kirby make:snippet
- kirby make:template
- kirby make:user
- kirby plugin:install
- kirby plugin:remove
- kirby plugin:upgrade
- kirby register
- kirby remove:command
- kirby roots
- kirby unzip
- kirby upgrade
- kirby uuid:generate
- kirby uuid:populate
- kirby uuid:remove
- kirby version

Writing commands

You can create a new command via the CLI:

kirby make:command hello

This will create a new site/commands folder in your installation with a new hello.php file

The CLI will already put the basic scaffolding into the file:


return [
    'description' => 'Nice command',
    'args' => [],
    'command' => static function ($cli): void {
        $cli->success('Nice command!');

You can define your command logic in the command callback. The $cli object comes with a set of handy tools to create output, parse command arguments, create prompts and more.

Global commands

You might have some commands that you need for all your local Kirby installations. This is where global commands come in handy. You can create a new global command with the --global flag:

kirby make:command hello --global

The command file will then be place in ~/.kirby/commands/hello.php and is automatically available everywhere.

Command environment

To load a custom environment config for a particular host, you can set an env variable

env kirby mycommand

Command plugins

Your Kirby plugins can define their own set of commands:

Kirby::plugin('your/plugin', [
  'commands' => [
    'your-plugin:test' => [
      'description' => 'Nice command',
      'args' => [],
      'command' => function ($cli) {
        $cli->success('My first plugin command');

Check for installed commands

You can always check back if your commands have been created properly by running kirby again


Removing commands

Once you no longer need a command, you can remove it with …

kirby remove:command hello

If you have a local and a global command, you can choose which one to delete.


Use the -d or --debug argument to run the command in debug mode:

kirby make:command hello --debug

Formatting Output

Sending messages to the terminal is super easy.


$cli->out('This is some simple text');


$cli->success('This is text in a nice green box');


$cli->error('This is red text for errors');


$cli->bold('This is some bold text');


// this will create a line break

For more available colors and formats, check out the CLImate docs:


Your commands can define a list of required and optional arguments that need to be provided by the user.


return [
    'description' => 'Hello world',
    'args' => [
        'name' => [
            'description' => 'The name for the greeting',
            'required'    => true
    'command' => static function ($cli): void {
        $cli->success('Hello ' . $cli->arg('name') . '!');

The command can now be executed by providing the name …

kirby hello Joe

If no name is provided, an error will be shown.

Argument docs

Arguments can be required, can set a default value and more. Check out the CLImate docs for additional options:


Instead of taking arguments from the command, you can also ask for them in a prompt:


return [
    'description' => 'Hello world',
    'command' => static function ($cli): void {
        $name = $cli->prompt('Please enter a name:');
        $cli->success('Hello ' . $name . '!');

As a third alternative you can either take the argument or ask for it if it is not provided:


return [
    'description' => 'Hello world',
    'args' => [
        'name' => [
            'description' => 'The name for the greeting',
    'command' => static function ($cli): void {
        $name = $cli->argOrPrompt('name', 'Please enter a name:');
        $cli->success('Hello ' . $name . '!');

Checkboxes Radios and more

The CLI also supports more complex ways to get input from users. Check out the CLImate docs how to work with user input:

Combining commands

You can reuse all existing commands in your custom commands to create entire chains of actions.


return [
    'description' => 'Downloads the starterkit and the plainkit',
    'command' => static function ($cli): void {

        $cli->command('install:kit', 'starterkit');
        $cli->command('install:kit', 'plainkit');

        $cli->success('Starterkit and plainkit have been installed');

What's Kirby?

  • – Get to know the CMS.
  • Try it – Take a test ride with our online demo. Or download one of our kits to get started.
  • Documentation – Read the official guide, reference and cookbook recipes.
  • Issues – Report bugs and other problems.
  • Feedback – You have an idea for Kirby? Share it.
  • Forum – Whenever you get stuck, don't hesitate to reach out for questions and support.
  • Discord – Hang out and meet the community.
  • YouTube - Watch the latest video tutorials visually with Bastian.
  • Mastodon – Spread the word.
  • Instagram – Share your creations: #madewithkirby.

© 2009 Bastian Allgeier · License agreement