The following examples use a composer install global command, as alternative use php composer.phar <command>.
Read the answer in the FAQ : What Composer command-line do you have to use ?

See the Composer documentation for further information

Technical pre-requisites

Composer requires PHP 5.3.2+ to run.

Useful Composer commands for System Administrators

Note : as usual with CLI, you can type

$> php composer.phar help [--xml] [--format="..."] [--raw] [command_name]

to get the help of the command.


You will find on this page some useful commands and an extract of the Composer Documentation. The interesting options part is an extract of available options


 The show command displays detailed information about a package, or lists all packages available.


 php composer.phar show [-i|--installed] [-p|--platform] [-a|--available] [-s|--self] [-N|--name-only] [-P|--path] [package] [version]


The require command adds required packages to your composer.json and installs them. If you do not want to install the new dependencies immediately you can call it with --no-update


php composer.phar require [--dev] [--prefer-source] [--prefer-dist] [--no-progress] [--no-update] [--update-no-dev] [--update-with-dependencies] [packages1] ... [packagesN]

Interesting options

 --prefer-sourceForces installation from package sources when possible, including VCS information.

Forces installation from package dist even for dev versions.


Do not output download progress.


Disables the automatic update of the dependencies.


Allows inherited dependencies to be updated with explicit dependencies.



 The search command searches for packages by its name.

Example :

$> php composer.phar search symfony composer

 can returns to you a list like this :


symfony/assetic-bundle Integrates Assetic into Symfony2
symfony/monolog-bundle Symfony MonologBundle
ezsystems/ngsymfonytools-bundle Bundle of the legacy netgen/ngsymfonytools extension
symfony-cmf/routing Extends the Symfony2 routing component for dynamic routes and chaining several routers
doctrine/doctrine-bundle Symfony DoctrineBundle
nelmio/cors-bundle Adds CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) headers support in your Symfony2 application
tedivm/stash-bundle Incorporates the Stash caching library into Symfony.
egulias/listeners-debug-command-bundle Symfony 2 console command to debug listeners
hautelook/templated-uri-router Symfony2 RFC-6570 compatible router and URL Generator
hautelook/templated-uri-bundle Symfony2 Bundle that provides a RFC-6570 compatible router and URL Generator.
symfony/swiftmailer-bundle Symfony SwiftmailerBundle
white-october/pagerfanta-bundle Bundle to use Pagerfanta with Symfony2
symfony/icu Contains an excerpt of the ICU data and classes to load it.
symfony/symfony The Symfony PHP framework
sensio/distribution-bundle The base bundle for the Symfony Distributions
symfony/symfony The Symfony PHP framework
symfony/console Symfony Console Component
symfony/filesystem Symfony Filesystem Component
symfony/finder Symfony Finder Component
symfony/process Symfony Process Component
symfony/yaml Symfony Yaml Component
symfony/translation Symfony Translation Component
symfony/debug Symfony Debug Component
symfony/routing Symfony Routing Component
symfony/icu Contains an excerpt of the ICU data to be used with symfony/intl.
symfony/config Symfony Config Component
symfony/validator Symfony Validator Component
symfony/stopwatch Symfony Stopwatch Component
symfony-cmf/symfony-cmf Symfony Content Management Framework


 The validate command validates a given composer.json


 $> php composer.phar validate [--no-check-all] [file]

Interesting options



Do not make a complete validation


Display timing and memory usage information
 --working-dir (-d)If specified, use the given directory as working directory.

Automate installation

Note that you can add some scripts to the Composer dependencies installation.

The available events are :

See the Composer documentation about scripts for more information