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Command Line Utilities

VuFind comes with several command-line utilities for manipulating its Solr index, maintaining its database, and performing other tasks without relying on the web interface.

Running the Tools

The command line tools are organized into categories and actions, similar to the web portion of the VuFind application. (See the VuFindConsole module of the code for the implementation details). The specific categories and actions are documented below. Once you know which one you need, you can run it following these instructions.

Using the Index Script

In VuFind 2.4 or newer, the most consistent way to run command line tools is to run them through VuFind's framework directly using the application's index.php script.

The “PHP scripts in directory” approach to command line utilities was designed for backward compatibility with the structure of early VuFind releases. However, the introduction of a formal framework in VuFind 2 allowed a route-based approach where all commands can be invoked through a single endpoint – the application's index.php script.

php $VUFIND_HOME/public/index.php [category] [action] [additional parameters]

The code was implemented using the Zend\Console package until release 7.0, when that package was deprecated and had to be replaced with Symfony\Console. Only the internals changed, so the process of running the scripts remained the same – see the blog post Moving from Laminas\Console to Symfony\Console for more history and details.

Using Legacy Wrapper Scripts

Prior to VuFind 2.4, the only way to access command line scripts was to run PHP scripts whose filenames corresponded with action names, and which were stored in directories corresponding with category names. These could be run like this:

php $VUFIND_HOME/category/action.php [additional parameters]


:!: When running command line tools, it is important to make sure that you have appropriate VUFIND_HOME, VUFIND_LOCAL_DIR and VUFIND_LOCAL_MODULES environment variables set so that the correct code and configuration is loaded.

:!: Many of VuFind's command-line tools make use of a disk-based cache to improve performance. This cache is most commonly found in the $VUFIND_LOCAL_DIR/cache/cli directory, unless you have custom configuration to use an alternate cache location. You should make sure that the user account running the tools has read and write permission for this cache directory.

Available Actions

A summary of all available actions can be viewed (in VuFind 2.4 or newer) by running:

php $VUFIND_HOME/public/index.php

Most of these actions are also summarized below, grouped by category. However, in case this documentation falls out of date, the index.php output is always the most current way of finding all available tools.

compile category

The compile category contains the theme compiler that was introduced in VuFind 4.1.

generate category

The generate category (introduced in release 2.4) contains code generation tools to help automate common VuFind customization tasks. It is documented in more detail on the code generators page.

harvest category

The harvest category contains tools for collecting and managing records prior to import into VuFind.


  • harvest_oai
    Tool for OAI-PMH harvesting.
  • merge-marc
    Tool for merging individual MARC records together into a single collection (useful for improving import speed after harvesting records).

import category

The import category contains tools for loading records into VuFind's Solr index.


  • import-xsl
    Tool for importing XML files into Solr using XSLT.
  • webcrawl
    Tool for populating the website index when indexing websites.

install category

Introduced in VuFind 7.0, the install category integrates the formerly stand-alone install.php script with VuFind's core console infrastructure.


  • install
    Run the install script to set up local modules, adjust Apache configuration, etc.

language category

The language category contains tools for managing VuFind's i18n language files.


  • addusingtemplate
    Create a new string by combining one or more existing strings using a template.
  • copystring
    Copy one language string to another in all of the language files.
  • delete
    Delete a language string from all of the language files.
  • normalize
    Normalize (sort/deduplicate/tidy) a directory of language files.

scheduledsearch category

The scheduledsearch category is used for tasks related to VuFind's Email Alerts functionality.


  • notify
    Send out new notification emails, as needed.

util category

The util category is a catch-all for a variety of useful utilities.


  • cleanup_record_cache
    Clean out the record cache, when used
  • commit
    Commit the Solr index.
  • createHierarchyTrees
    Populate the hierarchy cache when using hierarchies and collections.
  • cssBuilder
    Compile LESS files into CSS within all themes. (:!: Deprecated as of VuFind 8.0 and removed in VuFind 9.0; use “npm run build:css” instead)
  • dedupe
    Remove duplicate lines from a text file.
  • deletes
    Remove all of the records in a specified MARC or text file from the Solr index.
  • expire_auth_hashes
    Clean up expired authentication hashes (generated by Email authentication method).
  • expire_external_sessions
    Clean up the external_sessions database table, when used.
  • expire_searches
    Remove unwanted saved searches from the database.
  • expire_sessions
    Remove old session data from the database.
  • index_reserves
    Build a Solr index for course reserves.
  • lint_marc
    Check a MARC file for errors.
  • optimize
    Optimize the Solr index.
  • purge_cached_record
    Purge a cached record and optionally a resource from the database. (This command was added in release 9.0).
  • scssBuilder
    Compile SCSS files into CSS within all themes.
  • sitemap
    Generate a sitemap for use with search engines.
  • suppressed
    Delete all currently suppressed catalog records from the Solr index.
  • switch_db_hash
    Change the password hashing algorithm in the database and configuration.
administration/command_line_utilities.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/20 14:53 by demiankatz