CBOR Encoder/Decoder for PHP

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3.1.0 2024-07-18 08:37 UTC


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This library will help you to decode and create objects using the Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR - RFC8949).


Install the library with Composer: composer require spomky-labs/cbor-php.

This project follows the semantic versioning strictly.


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Object Creation

This library supports all Major Types defined in the RFC8949 and has capabilities to support any kind of Tags (Major Type 6) and Other Objects (Major Type 7).

Each object have at least:

  • a static method create. This method will correctly instantiate the object.
  • can be converted into a binary string: $object->__toString(); or (string) $object.

Positive Integer (Major Type 0)


use CBOR\UnsignedIntegerObject;

$object = UnsignedIntegerObject::create(10);
$object = UnsignedIntegerObject::create(1000);
$object = UnsignedIntegerObject::create(10000);
$object = UnsignedIntegerObject::createFromHex('0AFFEBFF');

echo bin2hex((string)$object); // 1a0affebff

Negative Integer (Major Type 1)


use CBOR\NegativeIntegerObject;

$object = NegativeIntegerObject::create(-10);
$object = NegativeIntegerObject::create(-1000);
$object = NegativeIntegerObject::create(-10000);

Byte String / Indefinite Length Byte String (Major Type 2)

Byte String and Indefinite Length Byte String objects have the same major type but are handled by two different classes in this library.


use CBOR\ByteStringObject; // Byte String
use CBOR\IndefiniteLengthByteStringObject; // Indefinite Length Byte String

// Create a Byte String with value "Hello"
$object = ByteStringObject::create('Hello');

// Create an Indefinite Length Byte String with value "Hello" ("He" + "" + "ll" + "o")
$object = IndefiniteLengthByteStringObject::create()

Text String / Indefinite Length Text String (Major Type 3)

Text String and Indefinite Length Text String objects have the same major type but are handled by two different classes in this library.


use CBOR\TextStringObject; // Text String
use CBOR\IndefiniteLengthTextStringObject; // Indefinite Length Text String

// Create a Text String with value "(。◕‿◕。)⚡"
$object = TextStringObject::create('(。◕‿◕。)⚡');

// Create an Indefinite Length Text String with value "(。◕‿◕。)⚡" ("(。◕" + "" + "‿◕" + "。)⚡")
$object = IndefiniteLengthTextStringObject::create()

List / Indefinite Length List (Major Type 4)

List and Indefinite Length List objects have the same major type but are handled by two different classes in this library. Items in the List object can be any of CBOR Object type.


use CBOR\ListObject; // List
use CBOR\IndefiniteLengthListObject; // Infinite List
use CBOR\TextStringObject;
use CBOR\UnsignedIntegerObject;

// Create a List with a single item
$object = ListObject::create()

// Create an Infinite List with several items
$object = IndefiniteLengthListObject::create()

Map / Indefinite Length Map (Major Type 5)

Map and Indefinite Length Map objects have the same major type but are handled by two different classes in this library. Keys and values in the Map object can be any of CBOR Object type.

However, be really careful with keys. Please follow the recommendation hereunder:

  • Keys should not be duplicated
  • Keys should be of type Positive or Negative Integer, (Indefinite Length)Byte String or (Indefinite Length)Text String. Other types may cause errors.

use CBOR\MapObject; // Map
use CBOR\IndefiniteLengthMapObject; // Infinite Map
use CBOR\ByteStringObject;
use CBOR\TextStringObject;
use CBOR\UnsignedIntegerObject;
use CBOR\NegativeIntegerObject;

// Create a Map with a single item
$object = MapObject::create()
    ->add(UnsignedIntegerObject::create(25), TextStringObject::create('(。◕‿◕。)⚡'))

// Create an Infinite Map with several items
$object = IndefiniteLengthMapObject::create()
    ->append(ByteStringObject::create('A'), NegativeIntegerObject::create(-652))
    ->append(UnsignedIntegerObject::create(25), TextStringObject::create('(。◕‿◕。)⚡'))

Tags (Major Type 6)

This library can support any kind of tags. It comes with some of the thew described in the specification:

  • Base 16 encoding
  • Base 64 encoding
  • Base 64 Url Safe encoding
  • Big Float
  • Decimal Fraction
  • Epoch
  • Timestamp
  • Positive Big Integer
  • Negative Big Integer

You can easily create your own tag by extending the abstract class CBOR\TagObject. This library provides a CBOR\Tag\GenericTag class that can be used for any other unknown/unsupported tags.


use CBOR\Tag\TimestampTag;
use CBOR\UnsignedIntegerObject;

// Create an unsigned object that represents the current timestamp
$object = UnsignedIntegerObject::create(time()); // e.g. 1525873787

//We tag the object with the Timestamp Tag
$taggedObject = TimestampTag::create($object); // Returns a \DateTimeImmutable object with timestamp at 1525873787

Other Objects (Major Type 7)

This library can support any kind of "other objects". It comes with some of the thew described in the specification:

  • False
  • True
  • Null
  • Undefined
  • Half Precision Float
  • Single Precision Float
  • Double Precision Float
  • Simple Value

You can easily create your own object by extending the abstract class CBOR\OtherObject. This library provides a CBOR\OtherObject\GenericTag class that can be used for any other unknown/unsupported objects.

Because PHP does not support an 'undefined' object, the normalization method will return 'undefined'.


use CBOR\OtherObject\FalseObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\NullObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\UndefinedObject;

$object = FalseObject::create();
$object = NullObject::create();
$object = UndefinedObject::create();



use CBOR\MapObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\UndefinedObject;
use CBOR\TextStringObject;
use CBOR\ListObject;
use CBOR\NegativeIntegerObject;
use CBOR\UnsignedIntegerObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\TrueObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\FalseObject;
use CBOR\OtherObject\NullObject;
use CBOR\Tag\DecimalFractionTag;
use CBOR\Tag\TimestampTag;

$object = MapObject::create()

The encoded result will be 0xa37428efbda1e29795e280bfe29795efbda129e29aa183f5f4c482211904d21907d0f66464617465c11a5e0be100.

Object Loading

If you want to load a CBOR encoded string, you just have to instantiate a CBOR\Decoder class. This class does not need any argument.


use CBOR\Decoder;

$decoder = Decoder::create();

If needed, you can define custom sets of Tag and Other Object support managers.


use CBOR\Decoder;
use CBOR\OtherObject;
use CBOR\Tag;

$otherObjectManager = OtherObject\OtherObjectManager::create()

$tagManager = Tag\TagManager::create()

$decoder = Decoder::create($tagManager, $otherObjectManager);

Then, the decoder will read the data you want to load. The data has to be handled by an object that implements the CBOR\Stream interface. This library provides a CBOR\StringStream class to stream the string.


use CBOR\StringStream;

// CBOR object (in hex for the example)
$data = hex2bin('fb3fd5555555555555');

// String Stream
$stream = StringStream::create($data);

// Load the data
$object = $decoder->decode($stream); // Return a CBOR\OtherObject\DoublePrecisionFloatObject class with normalized value ~0.3333 (1/3)


Requests for new features, bug fixed and all other ideas to make this project useful are welcome. The best contribution you could provide is by fixing the opened issues where help is wanted.

Please report all issues in the main repository.

Please make sure to follow these best practices.


This project is release under MIT licence.