PHP Feature Check Final

Dependency management for easily deploying PHP applications

Managing dependencies in your PHP projects can be a real nightmare. The language depends on so many underlying system libraries and kernel features that in reality, PHP is almost more Linux and Apache than it is its own language. If you've ever worked in an environment where you need to deploy websites to multiple clients on various assorted hosting, you know how painful this
can be.

Enter PHPFeatureCheck - a utility which can run on almost any platform (really, any configuration of PHP so long as it's not running in safe mode) that allows you to create non-intrusive feature detection files as *.INI's which you can then run a script against to check that your application will work.


Simply create a featurecheck.ini file in any of your project's directories. The featurechecker script is invoked with a path to a directory to process - it will recurse all directories and run all checks in any featurecheck.ini files encountered.

php check.php /my/project/root,


featurecheck.ini Format

Format is that of regular *.ini files, with the following differences:

  • Header sections are used as the name of each requirement
  • Sections may specify the following parameters before their comment section:
    • optional (bool): specifies an optional requirement
    • category (string): specifies the name of a group to show this requirement under.
      Use the same category string for multiple requirements to group them together
    • allowwarning (bool): interprets a raised warning on this requirement as success
      rather than failure
    • anyincategory (bool): modifies the behaviour of all requirements assigned to
      this category so that only 1 must pass to validate. This parameter MUST
      be specified AFTER the category name.
  • Comments (lines starting with #) immediately following headers & params will
    display as the error text of the feature when it is not met
  • All non-comment lines before the next header section are PHP code to
    evaluate for the test. Generally this code should use 'return' to pass back
    the success status of the requirement.


optional = true
category = Remote HTTP requests
anyincategory = true
# cURL is required for performing remote HTTP requests
return function_exists('curl_init');

optional = true
category = Remote HTTP requests
anyincategory = true
# Sockets are required for performing remote HTTP requests
return function_exists('fsockopen');

# We need git installed (and in PATH) for some reason
return FeatureChecker::ProgramInstalled('git');

# Failures are not only detected by returning FALSE. Any errors also result in a fail.


FeatureCheck itself requires the following (fairly minimal) prerequisites:

  • PHP >= 4.0.0
    • however prior to 4.0.1 warnings cannot be differentiated from fatal errors
  • Not running in safe mode
  • Sockets enabled

Known Issues

When running requirement checks from CLI, any errors from the requirement checks will be output before the final results list.