TYPO3 v7 has reached its end-of-life November 30th, 2018 and is not maintained by the community anymore. Looking for a stable version? Use the version switch on the top left.

There is no further ELTS support. It is recommended that you upgrade your project and use a supported version of TYPO3.

TYPO3 CMS shell scripts (CLI mode)

Besides the backend, it is also possible to run some TYPO3 CMS scripts from the command line. This makes it possible - for example - to set up cronjobs. There are two ways to register CLI scripts:

  • using the cli_dispatch.phpsh command-line dispatcher.

  • creating an Extbase command controller.

The command-line dispatcher


Although still common and not officially deprecated, this way of doing things is considered old style. Using Extbase command controllers is now recommended (although Extbase command controllers are called via the dispatched itself).

Any given script can be registered with the cli_dispatch.phpsh command-line dispatcher. Registration takes places in an extension's ext_localconf.php file (example taken from the "scheduler" system extension):

// Register the Scheduler as a possible key for CLI calls
$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['GLOBAL']['cliKeys']['scheduler'] = array(
    function () {
        $schedulerCliController = \TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance(\TYPO3\CMS\Scheduler\Controller\SchedulerCliController::class);

The last part of the declaration ("scheduler") is the key with which the script can be called.

The registration takes a closure which instantiates the corresponding class and calls the run() method. The second argument is the backend user that TYPO3 CMS should use when running that script (here "_cli_scheduler"). If that user is not present in the system, the script will fail. It will also fail if that user is "Admin".

The script should simply implement the run() method and perform its logic according to the arguments received on the command line.

The dispatcher is run by using:

$ /path/to/php /path/to/webroot/typo3/cli_dispatch.phpsh

Calling the script without any argument will get you a list of available keys:

Oops, an error occurred: This script must have a command as first argument.

Valid keys are:


Calling the script again with a key but no further arguments will trigger the display of the script's help text.

Extbase command controllers

First of all, the command controller must be registered in an extension's ext_localconf.php file (example taken from the "lang" system extension):

// Register language update command controller
$GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['SC_OPTIONS']['extbase']['commandControllers'][] = \TYPO3\CMS\Lang\Command\LanguageCommandController::class;

The class itself must extend the \TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\Controller\CommandController class. Each action that should be available from the command line must be named following the pattern "[action name]Command". The PHPdoc information is directly used as help text (description of the action, what arguments it takes).

Here's an extract from the command controller class of the "lang" extension:

 * Language command controller updates translation packages
class LanguageCommandController extends \TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\Controller\CommandController

     * Update language file for each extension
     * @param string $localesToUpdate Comma separated list of locales that needs to be updated
     * @return void
    public function updateCommand($localesToUpdate = '')

This command would be called by using:

$ /path/to/php /path/to/webroot/typo3/cli_dispatch.phpsh extbase language:update fr

which would update translation packages for the French language.

The advantage of using Extbase command controllers are many:

  • you benefit from the Extbase-way of doing things, where actions are automatically dispatched to the proper method

  • display of help text is easy, since PHPdoc comments are used

  • the base command controller gives you access to many useful tools, in particular for outputting to the terminal, thanks to the integration of the Symfony console.