Shell Friends Edit

As you advance upon your use of WP-CLI, you’ll find that a little bit of command line knowledge can have a huge impact on your workflow. Here are some of our favorite shell helper utilities.

You Should Know You Should Know

Search through your bash history Search through your bash history

Did you know that every command you run on your shell is saved to history? Search through your history with CTRL + R:

$ wp core download --version=nightly --force
bck-i-search: wp

When ‘bck-i-search’ appears, your keystrokes will search against commands saved in your bash history. Hit return to run the current selection.

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Combine WP-CLI commands Combine WP-CLI commands

In many cases, it can be extremely powerful to be able to pass the results of one command to another. Composability is a key philosophy of WP-CLI, and there are two common approaches for composing commands.

Command substitution passes the output of one command to another command, without any transformation to the output.

wp post list only lists posts; it doesn’t perform any operation on them. In this example, the command lists page ids as space-separated values.

$ wp post list --post_type='page' --format=ids
1164 1186

Combining wp post list with wp post delete lets you easily delete all posts. In this example, $() lets us pass the space-separated page ids to wp post delete.

$ wp post delete $(wp post list --post_type='page' --format=ids)
Success: Trashed post 1164.
Success: Trashed post 1186.

If you need a bit more flexibility, xargs lets you pass the output of one command to another command, while performing minor transformation on the output.

You may want to assign all editor capabilities to the author role. However, wp cap list lists capabilities separated by newlines, and wp cap add only accepts space-separated capabilities. Enter, xargs, whose default behavior is to split newline output into a space-separated list. Note the | shell operator, which passes the results of wp cap list to xargs. Without |, you’ll see a WP-CLI error.

$ wp cap list 'editor' | xargs wp cap add 'author'
Success: Added 24 capabilities to 'author' role.

wp user generate only generates users; it doesn’t perform supplemental operations. In this example, wp user generate passes user ids to xargs, which splits the space-separated ids into a list and calls wp user meta add for each.

$ wp user generate --count=5 --format=ids | xargs -0 -d ' ' -I % wp user meta add % foo bar
Success: Added custom field.
Success: Added custom field.
Success: Added custom field.
Success: Added custom field.
Success: Added custom field.

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Define aliases, short macros to common commands Define aliases, short macros to common commands

If you find yourself running the same commands quite often, you can define aliases to them for easier access.

Run all three status check commands with one check-all alias. In this example, running alias creates a check-all alias for the current shell session. Save the same statement to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc to always have it available.

$ alias check-all='wp core check-update && wp plugin list --update=available && wp theme list --update=available'
$ check-all
+-----------------+-------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| version         | update_type | package_url                                               |
+-----------------+-------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| 4.7-beta4-39322 | minor       | https://wordpress.org/nightly-builds/wordpress-latest.zip |
+-----------------+-------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
+-------------------------+----------+-----------+--------------+
| name                    | status   | update    | version      |
+-------------------------+----------+-----------+--------------+
| akismet                 | inactive | available | 3.1.8        |
| co-authors-plus         | inactive | available | 3.1.1        |
| wp-redis                | inactive | available | 0.2.2        |
| rest-api                | active   | available | 2.0-beta13.1 |
| wp-api-oauth1           | inactive | available | 0.2          |
+-------------------------+----------+-----------+--------------+
+----------------------+----------+-----------+---------+
| name                 | status   | update    | version |
+----------------------+----------+-----------+---------+
| p2                   | inactive | available | 1.4.2   |
+----------------------+----------+-----------+---------+

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Save command output Save command output

WP-CLI commands send output to both STDOUT and STDERR, depending on the nature of the message. You may not notice there are two destinations, because WP-CLI renders both inside your shell. However, if you want to capture your output to a file, the distinction matters.

Simply using > will capture STDOUT from the command to a file.

$ wp import wordpress.wxr --authors=create > import.log

Redirect STDERR to STDOUT with 2>&1, and then capture STDOUT to a log file.

$ wp import wordpress.wxr --authors=create 2>&1 import.log

When you’re capturing output to a file, you won’t see the output in your current shell session. However, you can open a second shell session and run tail -f <file> to see the output as it’s added to the file.

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Snippets Snippets

Master of bash or zsh? Share your tips here.

Take a look at the plugin changelog

Needs elinks to browse HTML.

wget -qO- https://api.wordpress.org/plugins/info/1.0/akismet|php -r '$seri=unserialize(stream_get_contents(STDIN)); echo $seri->sections["changelog"];'|elinks -force-html

Explanation

  • set wget quiet & query the WordPress.org Plugin API
  • unserialize with php, stream_get_contents(STDIN) means “get all from stdin
  • echo the changelog part from the API’s reply
  • fire up elinks (a console browser) to view the changelog

Start wp-cli with ABSPATH in the current dir and under the current dir’s owner

#!/bin/bash

sudo -u $(stat . -c %U) -- wp --path="$PWD" "$@"

Explanation

The stat command returns the owner of the current directory, WordPress root.

Install and Configure WordPress with WP-CLI

wp_install () 
{ 
    wp core download --path=$1;
    cd $1;
    read -p 'name the database:' dbname;
    wp core config --dbname=$dbname --dbuser=root --dbpass=awoods --dbhost=localhost;
    wp db create;
    wp core install --prompt
}

$ source ~/.bashrc
$ wp_install new-site

Explanation

Add this function to your ~/.bashrc are reload your shell (or open a new shell).
You’ll need to substitute these database credentials with your own.
When you need create a new wordpress install, call this function and specify the
name of the directory where you want to create the site. This emulates the
web-based install process.

List all image URL-s in posts

wp post list --field=ID|xargs -I % wp post get % --field=post_content|sed -ne 's;.*\(https\?\S\+\(jpe\?g\|png\|gif\)\).*;\1;gp'

Explanation

  • List all post ID-s
  • Get each content (xargs)
  • Display only image URL-s (sed)

Create a page from a file and flag it with the file name

wp post create new_page.html --post_type=page --post_title="New Page" --porcelain | xargs -I % wp post meta add % imported_from new_page.html
  • Create a page (–porcelain will return only the new post ID)
  • Create post meta with xargs using “-I %” to signify the placeholder template for the new post ID