During the process of setting up a new development workstation (Kubuntu 18.10), I discovered that the php-cli package was not installed. Nevertheless, all PHP scripts are working fine, whether they are run through the webserver or standalone (for example from cron).

I installed PHP using apt install php. This created a php.ini and a conf.d directory in /etc/php/7.2/cli. On the terminal, the path for the PHP executable is /usr/bin/php, which links to /etc/alternatives/php, which links to the actual binary, /usr/bin/php7.2. The MD5-sum of this file is the same with the php-cli package installed or removed.

I remember there used to be a time when php-cli was required for standalone scripts, but what does it do now? Is there any point in installing it, if the php package is already installed?

  • see github.com/splitbrain/php-cli
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 7, 2019 at 15:20
  • see github.com/splitbrain/php-cli
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 7, 2019 at 15:20
  • I don't think that's the same software. The description of the Ubuntu package reads "This package provides the /usr/bin/php7.2 command interpreter". But your comment did help me figure out what's actually going on.
    – Zilk
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:17
  • sure but it explains what it is ;)
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


I must be blind, sorry: php-cli depends on php7.2-cli, which was automatically installed when I installed the php package. I missed that when I filtered the packages using "php-".

So the answer is: no, there is no point in installing php-cli after php, as nothing new would be added. In theory, it might be useful if I ever uninstall php or libapache2-mod-php7.2, as the CLI part would still be kept.

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