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WP-CLI Release v2.4.0

Just in time for the release of WordPress Core 5.3.0 we have a new release of WP-CLI as well. A team of 37 contributors has collaborated to get 159 pull requests merged.

Let’s go over some of the noteworthy changes in this release. Most of the work went into compatibility fixes, so there’s not many new toys to play around with, unfortunately. As always, you can also skip directly to the detailed changelog if you prefer.

WordPress 5.3 support

It should be obvious that WP-CLI supports the latest upcoming WordPress Core release, of course. However, there were quite a few changes that went into 5.3 that made it not only difficult to keep WP-CLI working across 5.3 and earlier versions at the same time, but also made it necessary to release WP-CLI in parallel to have a working option available.

The push to support more of the newer PHP features that became available due to the bump to the minimum PHP version of Core introduced changes to function signatures and class interfaces, which required a few adventurous fixes in some cases…

PHP 7.4 support

PHP 7.4 is not yet available in a stable release, but we’re slowly coming closer to the planned release date.

There have been quite a few fixes that went into WP-CLI to make sure it works correctly with PHP 7.4 once it’s available. It’s an ongoing process, still, as we’re working towards the first stable version. Tests are running for PHP 7.4 in the background as well for each package. These are still allowed to fail right now, but after this release, they will be switch to break on error.

Download a specific URL as Core

The core download command now accepts a URL to download a specific ZIP archive with a version of Core to use. This also allows you to use your own custom version easily. Just add the URL and you’re good to go: wp core download https://somesite/build.zip

Large image support

WP-CLI will properly deal with large images in the way that WP Core 5.3 was improved. It knows about the original source images as well so you can safely rebuild your thumbnails without losing quality.

Detailed Change Log


  • Allow patches from dependencies to be applied [#150]


  • Fix STDERR redirection example code [#342]
  • Add SiteDistrict to hosting-companies.md file [#341]
  • Update reference URLs. [#337]
  • Add WooCart to hosting-companies.md file [#336]
  • Add MinHost to hosting-companies.md file [#334]


  • Update romanian translation [#392]
  • Update link to wp-completion.bash [#391]
  • [pt_BR] Update to v2.3.0 + refresh sponsors [#390]
  • Update Turkish translation [#389]
  • Small adjustments for French translation [#388]
  • Update ja/index.md [#387]


  • Use version known to work for core download test [#136]
  • Support URL for core download [#135]
  • install changed to installation [#132]
  • On multisite-convert, don’t assume site_id is 1 [#122]


  • Fix tests for changes in WP Core 5.3 [#149]
  • Make db clean get all the tables with prefix [#152]
  • Fix output message for STDIN input [#151]


  • Fix minor PHPCS violation [#273]
  • Improve comment spam output [#272]
  • Reset user password send error when no user is found [#271]


  • Add second must-use plugin that is added with wp-cli-tests 2.1.6+ [#200]
  • Equalize theme folder naming conventions across Win/Mac/Linux [#196]


  • Adapt code to gettext v4.8 [#194]
  • Add --debug output for the file being processed. [#183]
  • Use correct argument name in warning message [#180]


  • Adapt to changes in WP 5.3 image handling to fix broken tests [#115]
  • Fix suffix of scaled large images [#118]


  • Required PHP version header [#238]
  • Fix deprecated whitelist code flag [#236]
  • Switch test prep feature from global PHPUnit to local PHPUnit [#235]
  • Add a minimum php requirement [#234]
  • Scripts added to plugin package.json [#225]


  • Adapt tests to make the widget expectations more flexible [#34]


@aommundsen, @azito122, @beaucollins, @burhandodhy, @connerbw, @derweili, @drzraf, @dz0ny, @felipeelia, @gitlost, @greatislander, @herregroen, @jrfnl, @l3ku, @localheinz, @marksabbath, @marty-crane, @maximejobin, @mcdwayne, @michaelzangl, @mustafauysal, @nxnjz, @nylen, @ocean90, @pdaalder, @raphael-concil, @sagarnasit, @schlessera, @siliconforks, @swissspidy, @tecking, @thrijith, @vladutilie, @wojsmol, @yousan, @zzap

#release, #v2-4-0

WP-CLI v2.4.0 release date

Version 2.4.0 of WP-CLI will be released on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, presumably around 15:00 UTC.

This places it in-between the release dry-run and the final release for WordPress Core 5.3, which is currently slated for November 12th at around 19:00 UTC.

Note: In case the scheduled release for WP 5.3 is adapted, we might also need to move the one for WP-CLI accordingly. In this case, I’ll send updates as needed.

There quite a few breaking “non-breaking changes” in the upcoming 5.3 release, and some of them have shown a weakness in the current packaging strategy regarding the framework package itself, which are the reason for this release to come on such short notice. Due to its very tight integration with Core, WP-CLI is very susceptible to these breaking changes, and the current packaging strategy does not always deal with this in the best way possible.

After 2.4.0, I will re-evaluate the current versioning policy regarding the framework package and how best to take interface changes in Core into account, that need us to modify signatures between Core versions to support.

We’re all looking forward to an awesome WordPress 5.3 release, so let’s make sure the ecosystem is ready for it! 👍

WP-CLI Release v2.3.0

This release v2.3.0 is, as already announced, rather unspectacular. The previous release was very taxing for several reasons, so we lowered the pace for a while to recover.

This version is mainly meant to finally get a few bug fixes out there that were not critical enough to warrant an immediate hotfix release but are nice to have eradicated at one point, nevertheless.

Overall, a team of 36 contributors has collaborated to get 129 pull requests merged. I’ll briefly go over some of the more noteworthy stuff, but as always, you can also skip directly to the detailed changelog if you prefer.

New command to fix image orientation

Some cameras and smartphones will automatically tag pictures to denote “which way is up”. This means that you will have these devices show you the pictures you took during your handstand in the correct orientation no matter what, even though the actual picture file is upside down.

The media command now has a new subcommand media fix-orientation that reads these special tags and properly applies them to your images. This way, the images will also be shown with the correct orientation on devices that do not support this tag.

You can now skip tables using wildcards

The --skip-tables flag for the search-replace command has learnt a new trick – it now lets you skip a group of tables in one go through wildcards.

You can use wildcards like 'wp_*options' or 'wp_post*' to make your life easier.

Add config settings to the end of the file

Up until now you always had to provide an anchor to attach changes to your wp-config.php to when using the config add command.

You can use this through the special anchor flag --anchor=EOF.

Optimized vagrant support

When you’re connecting to your vagrant VMs through WP-CLI’s special-case vagrant SSH connection scheme, you’ll notice that the operations are way faster now, as we’re caching the configuration across calls now.

Detailed Change Log


  • Permit use of php7.2-mysql and php7.3-mysql in Debian build [#130]


  • Make extraction more robust [#5261]
  • Improve “Adding deferred command…” debug output (Closes: #4893) [#5242]
  • Fix parse_url scheme bug [#5241]
  • Speed up vagrant scheme calls by caching vagrant ssh-config [#5235]
  • Remove bug-provoking test for a bug in WPDB that was fixed [#5220]
  • Fix return types [#5212]


  • Update handbook for release v2.3.0 [#333]
  • Add Fedora and CentOS to installation instructions [#328]
  • Add documentation to integrate Dash/Alfred [#327]


  • Add Romanian language [#329]
  • Update Brazilian Portugues translation [#328]
  • Update Japanese translation [#326]
  • Update French translation [#324]


  • Allow to opt-out from dumping specific sections [#61]
  • Reuse File_Writer for STDOUT support [#60]
  • Make load_export_api() public [#59]


  • Add theme status in wp theme get command [#177]
  • Fix issue with failing test cases due to version mismatch [#181]
  • Fix activation issue of installed plugin/theme [#180]


  • Skip broken test on PHP 7.3 [#178]
  • Investigate include/exclude oddities [#175]
  • Sort translation files by name to ensure same order on all systems [#173]
  • Workaround for parsing dynamic imports [#164]
  • Avoid throwing a notice about strpos(): Empty needle when going through include paths [#149]


  • Skip test for duplicate resizes for core trunk because of bug in current version [#112]
  • Clarify implications of using --skip-copy [#110]
  • Add media fix-orientation command [#108]


  • Adds wildcards support to --skip-tables parameter [#124]


  • Fix port number in example [#58]


  • Add EOF as special-case anchor [#23]


@afragen, @ajoah, @blackfile, @connerbw, @drzraf, @felipeelia, @fernandoherlo, @fuegas, @fullsteamlabs, @gitlost, @greatislander, @herregroen, @hofmannsven, @jrfnl, @l3ku, @localheinz, @maximejobin, @michaelzangl, @MikeWKrystal, @mustafauysal, @ocean90, @ovidiul, @pdaalder, @sagarnasit, @schlessera, @shadyvb, @shashank3105, @siliconforks, @swissspidy, @szepeviktor, @tecking, @thrijith, @vladutilie, @wojsmol, @yognsk, @yousan

#release, #v2-3-0

Release v2.3.0 postponed

The WP-CLI release v2.3.0 needs to be postponed.

The code itself should reliably work right now. However, between Travis server connectivity issues and the Travis PHP environment not being able to connect to the wordpress.org servers, I have been unable to run successful tests over the resulting build (although all local tests pass without issues).

Next planned release date is Tuesday, August 13th. This gives me some time to work through the Travis curl issues and work on getting the project “into the green”.

Upcoming release v2.3.0

Just a quick heads-up regarding the next release for WP-CLI.

WP-CLI v2.3.0 is scheduled to be released on August 7th, 2019, which is a Wednesday according to the calendar I’m looking at.

It will be a pretty unspectacular release, as I will mostly focus on tying up a few loose ends in that particular release and wanted to get a few bug fixes out into the wild.

Expect v2.4.0 (November-ish) to be more feature-rich again… 😊

Thanks to the 2019 sponsors

Maintaining an open source project requires a substantial, ongoing commitment of time and energy. WP-CLI is a dependable tool loved by thousands because it’s actively maintained, which is made possible by the generosity of its sponsors.

For 2019, the following sponsors have stepped forward and directly support the WP-CLI project and ensure it can continue to save both time and headaches to its users:

Please note that, although we’re approaching the middle of the year, these sponsors had already been supporting the WP-CLI project for the majority of 2019 to pick up from the last sponsoring round that ended with 2018. Some legal details that had to be finalized behind the scenes kept delaying this announcement, unfortunately.

If you happen to meet any of their representatives during an event or see that they have a booth, please take a few seconds to say hi and let them know you value their support for the project! 🤗

WP-CLI Release v2.2.0

Phew, it’s finally here! Although there are not that many new features, we had a lot of work being done behind the scenes, to make future releases smoother. A lot of the processes have been improved, and we’ve managed to squash quite a few bugs while doing so.

A team of 57 contributors has collaborated on this release to get 347 pull requests merged. I’ll briefly go over some of the more noteworthy stuff, but as always, you can also skip directly to the detailed changelog or examine the breaking changes section if you’re impatient.

New Committer

  • Thrijith Thankachan (@thrijith) is from Surat, India. He works for rtCamp as a WordPress Engineer and he is the developer behind the two new commands alias and maintenance-mode.

WP-CLI code standard

Through the initiative of @jrf, and with the outstanding help from @thrijith, @wojsmol & @williampatton, we now have a WP-CLI code standard that we can enforce.

For any package, you can just run composer phpcs to verify that your code meets the CS requirements. Basic formatting issues can be automatically corrected through vendor/bin/phpcbf (a Composer script will soon follow for that).

The goal of this big effort is to reduce the back & forth on pull requests and thus reduce the maintenance burden. For most pull requests, whitespace issues and code style issues represent the bulk of the time and effort required by the maintainers. With enforced and automated coding standards, everyone saves time and the discussion more often revolves around the actual logic that solves the problem, instead of alignment issues and spacing rules.

This is all pretty fresh, so stay tuned while more extensive documentation and updates to the tooling will follow.

New command to manage aliases

The old wp cli alias has finally grown up and has become a complete CRUD interface for managing your WP-CLI aliases. You can alias list to retrieve your current configuration, alias get to retrieve an individual alias, and alias add|update|delete to make changes.

While experimenting with these commands, please remember that you need to work around the already active global parameters. This is why we had to add a prefix (--set-<flag>) to all the flags that let you configure the aliases. So, updating the SSH connection string for an alias is done through alias update <key> --set-ssh=<ssh>. If you would use --ssh instead to configure it, you’d actually immediately connect to that SSH target instead.

# List alias information.
$ wp cli alias list
@all: Run command against every registered alias.
  user: wpcli
  path: /Users/wpcli/sites/testsite

# Get alias information.
$ wp cli alias get @dev
ssh: dev@somedeve.env:12345/home/dev/

# Add alias.
$ wp cli alias add prod --set-ssh=login@host --set-path=/path/to/wordpress/install/ --set-user=wpcli
Success: Added '@prod' alias.

# Update alias.
$ wp cli alias update @prod --set-user=newuser --set-path=/new/path/to/wordpress/install/
Success: Updated 'prod' alias.

# Delete alias.
$ wp cli alias delete @prod
Success: Deleted '@prod' alias.

New command to control maintenance mode

WP-CLI now lets you enable or disable the WordPress maintenance mode with the two simple commands maintenance activate and maintenance deactivate. You can query the current status with maintenance status (for humans) or maintenance is-active (for easy shell scripting).

# Activate Maintenance mode.
$ wp maintenance-mode activate
Enabling Maintenance mode...
Success: Activated Maintenance mode.

# Deactivate Maintenance mode.
$ wp maintenance-mode deactivate
Disabling Maintenance mode...
Success: Deactivated Maintenance mode.

# Display Maintenance mode status.
$ wp maintenance-mode status
Maintenance mode is active.

# Get Maintenance mode status for scripting purpose.
$ wp maintenance-mode is-active
$ echo $?

WP-CLI “binaries”

The eval-file had a small, innocuous tweak. When it encounters a “shebang“, a first line in a file that starts with #!, it will strip that line and try to run the rest of the file through PHP’s eval().

For folks not used to working in Unix shells, that might sound rather useless, but this shebang is actually a construct that your shell understands, and that lets you tell the shell how to execute the file.

As an example, here’s a file that contains such a shebang and actually points to WP-CLI’s eval-file command:

#!/bin/env wp eval-file
echo get_bloginfo('name');

With that file structure, you can now rename that script file to something like blogname and make it executable. It now behaves like any other shell tool, and will use WP-CLI as a shell framework for retrieving the current blog’s name.

Have fun experimenting with this new functionality, and don’t forget to share the more interesting use cases you can think of with the rest of the community!

Breaking changes

Name changes

While going through the code to make it fit for actually enforcing our new WP-CLI coding standard, we decided to rename some of the more internal functions, methods and properties to make the experience more consistent.

Although we took great care to figure out what we could safely rename and what needed to stay intact, there might be some edge cases where people are nevertheless directly coupling to some bit of internal code.

This is mostly relevant if you extend one of the WP-CLI classes to override default behavior.

Removal of framework files from test package

The test package included a few framework files that were used to make the FeatureContext logic work. However, as wp-cli/wp-cli was a hard requirement for wp-cli/wp-cli-tests anyway, we removed these framework files and had the test package pull them in through the dependency.

In case you were directly coupling your code to these files as they were found in wp-cli/wp-cli-tests (which is unlikely), then you’ll have to change your code to refer to these same files in the wp-cli/wp-cli package. See the pull request for more details.

Consistent display of serialized meta values

Serialized data has been displayed very inconsistently, with some commands showing them as is (option list), and some commands unserializing them automatically for display (post meta list).

We’ve changed this so that they all show the values as they are stored, to avoid surprises.

This is a breaking change, however, and if you happened to rely on the automatic unserialization, you’ll be glad to hear that the affected commands now provide an optional --unserialize flag to get back to the old behavior. You can even put this flag into your global config to permanently stick with the old behavior.

Affected commands are: comment meta get|list, network meta get|list, post meta get|list, user meta get|list.

Complete change log

All repositories

  • Implement CS checking based on the WP_CLI_CS ruleset
  • Add PHP 7.3 to Travis CI build matrix
  • Move PHP 5.4 tests from WP_VERSION=latest to 5.1


  • Bundle new maintenance-mode command [#113]
  • Add a GitHub setting for label to dependencies.yml [#74]
  • Try removing “ignore-platform-reqs” from Dependencies.yml [#72]
  • Add dependencies.yml file to define auto-updates [#70]


  • Always reattach subcommands [#5203]
  • Add warning message to let the user know when WP_CLI_SSH_PRE_CMD is in use [#5197]
  • Add aliases subcommand for backwards compatibility [#5194]
  • Avoid double registration of commands [#5193]
  • Add default titles to release checklists [#5168]
  • Limit ranges of PHP versions in Composer [#5142]
  • Add checklists for regular and patch releases [#5141]
  • Add flags to include / exclude views in wp_get_table_names() [#5128]
  • Internalize array_column() shim, because package is abandoned [#5126]
  • Add command to manage aliases [#5122]
  • Introduce ability to override wp-config.php path with env var WP_CONFIG_PATH [#5119]
  • Support persistent MySQL connections [#5115]
  • Fixed documented return type for make_progress_bar() [#5112]
  • Fix FileCache::export() not ensuring parent directories exist for $target [#5103]
  • Switch ext-readline to ‘suggest’ instead of a hard requirement [#5102]
  • Update docblock for add_command() to properly reflect the return value [#5099]
  • Fix failing test under WP 5.1 [#5094]
  • Update parse_str_to_argv() regex to be more accurate [#5090]
  • Update ISSUE_TEMPLATE [#5078]
  • Ensure cache directories are accessible [#5068]
  • Add dependencies.yml file to define auto-updates [#5066]
  • Add WP_CLI::has_config() method [#5063]
  • Change to “Happy publishing.” per change in core [#5059]
  • Adapt outdated links in ISSUE_TEMPLATEfile [#5056]
  • Fix typo: Autolaoder => Autoloader [#5055]


  • Update example of wp config create [#317]
  • Update link of backwpup plugin [#315]
  • Update release checklist documentation to point to the issue templates [#306]
  • Add wp cli info as first environment info [#305]
  • Document the <scheme> part of the --ssh flag [#299]
  • Add documentation for the --foo[=<bar>]to command-cookbook.md [#293]
  • Document WP_CLI_CUSTOM_SHELLenvironment variable [#292]
  • Change references to paths being in .bash_profile to .bashrc [#290]
  • Update roadmap [#287]
  • Add instructions for checking additional configuration files for PHP memory_limit[#286]
  • Update the ‘using a custom PHP binary’ link [#285]
  • Update hosting-companies.md [#284]
  • Update link to command list in Quick Start [#282]
  • Add a note about potential connection issues when using MySQL >= 8.0. [#280]
  • Composer installation instructions are dated and incorrect [#279]
  • Update broken links on Command Cookbook page [#276]


  • Switch to githubusercontent per other submission [#322]
  • pt_BR – Version update and minor adjustments [#321]
  • Redirect blog to site [#320]


  • Make soft change detection more flexible [#41]
  • Add backslash to the regex for matching Windows paths correctly [#39]


  • Update template based on latest version [#88]
  • Change Happy blogging. to Happy publishing. in wp-config.php template [#82]


  • Replace instances of wp.dev with example.com [#115]
  • Change to “Happy publishing.” per change in core [#103]


  • Modify tests to correctly verify --force-regex flag [#50]


  • Allow deleting multiple options at once [#247]
  • Fix logic error in presence of ‘site meta’ check [#244]
  • Add count to post-type and taxonomy commands [#241]
  • Reset option value to default for privacy policy on site empty [#236]
  • Migrate term from a taxonomy to another one [#234]
  • Include ‘supports’ field when fetching a single post type [#233]
  • Check for STDIN if --post_content is used [#189]
  • Rename phpunit.xml to phpunit.xml.dist [#252]


  • Strips out #! /bin/bash and similar at the beginning of PHP files [#35]
  • Fix handling of __FILE__ and __DIR__constants in eval()‘d code. [#38]


  • Identify non-writable directory as such [#54]


  • Add the --page parameter to the theme search command [#167]
  • Allow deleting the currently active theme [#158]
  • Display warning in plugin list info if plugin version is higher than expected [#157]
  • Fix success message example on plugin uninstall [#148]
  • Handle extension activation for WP error or extension not found [#146]


  • Set Language header directly to prevent exceptions [#150]
  • Fix make-pot tests [#135]
  • Add script file name to JSON translation files [#134]
  • Improve language handling when creating JSON files [#133]
  • Add support for nested theme folders [#130]
  • Prevent possible PHP notice in IterableCodeExtractor [#129]
  • Extend PotGenerator to improve plural forms output [#128]
  • Remove project header comments for comments audit [#123]


  • Change LanguagePackUpgrader::download_packagesignature [#82]


  • Refactored aspects of the image collection and determination of sizes [#103]


  • Adapt framework requirement [#103]


  • Update success message position [#29]


  • Add --show-grant argument to cap list and --grant to cap add[#19]
  • Add --field=<field> support to listing roles [#17]


  • Prevent creating unregisterable blocks due to invalid plugin slug [#203]
  • Add dependencies.yml to plugin .distignore [#202]
  • Add DeployHQ .deployignore to ignored files in .distignore [#201]
  • Ignore various JavaScript config files in plugin .distignore [#200]
  • Update links to blocks documentation [#199]


  • Swapped out the .dev Google TLD for the .test RFC protected domain in doc examples [#107]


  • Better explain the --basic flag [#23]
  • Close already opened process while prompting [#36]
  • Add possibility to change the shell binary [#33]


  • Fix a bug where adding superadmins would crash if none existed before [#22]


  • Fix parsing of escaped quotes [#16]
  • Normalize the newline to prevent an issue coming from OSX [#14]
  • Change to “Happy publishing.” per change in core [#13]
  • Add .gitattributes file [#12]



#release, #v2-2-0

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