Chapter 2. Using Remote CLI


Using the PHAR file

The traditional way to use Remote CLI is as a command line script running on your machine.

Remote CLI requires a command line version of PHP (a.k.a. PHP-CLI) to be installed on your machine. In the command line below, please substitute php with the full path to your PHP CLI executable file. On most Linux and Mac OS X systems, you don't need to specify a path, just php will do as the executable file is already in the path. On Windows, however, you most likely need to specify a full path.


The PHP project provides an installer of PHP for Windows which can install PHP for you and place the php.exe binary in your path. For sanity's sake, we recommend you to install PHP in c:\PHP and put remote.phar in there as well. This is the easiest way to be perfectly sure where everything is installed!


Remote CLI requires PHP 5.5 with the optional "phar" extension installed and activated. This is the default setup of PHP in most cases.

After downloading remote.phar (the Remote CLI executable PHP archive) from our site you can use Remote CLI from the command line of your operating system with a command like this:

php remote.phar actionName --host=hostName --secret=secretKey [options]

php is the path to your PHP CLI executable. If this is not in your path or you are not sure, please ask your host or your system administrator.

Using the Dockerized version

If you are using Docker you can make use of the Dockerized version of Remote CLI:

docker run --rm akeebaltd/remotecli actionName --host=hostName --secret=secretKey [options]

The Dockerized version is self-contained, using the latest version of PHP at the time we build the container image. It's much simpler to use since it does not require installing or configuring anything on your host machine. Moreover, it's self-updating. The command line above always tries to use the latest version of Remote CLI we have published in Docker Hub.


There's a caveat. You can NOT use the Dockerized version with local servers i.e. anything which resolves to an IP address only routable by the host machine. If you want to try our Remote CLI locally you have to use the PHAR file.

What are all these options?

hostName is the URL to your site's root, without a trailing slash, e.g. If you are using Akeeba Backup for WordPress the hostName must also include the path to Akeeba Backup's index.php file tasked with handling the JSON API, e.g. where is the URL to your site and akeebabackupwp is the name of the folder where the Akeeba Backup for WordPress plugin is installed.

secretKey is the Secret Key you have defined in the component Options (Akeeba Backup for Joomla!) or the System Configuration (Akeeba Backup for WordPress, Akeeba Solo) page of the backup application.

The options which are required for each action are described in the Options chapter of this documentation.

For practical examples, or if you want to find out how to automate backing up and downloading the backups of your site, please consult the Walkthrough chapter.

actionName can be one of:


Displays the license of the software and quits.


Tests whether Remote CLI can connect to your site. If it can not, it will tell you why.


Performs a backup. It can (optionally) download the backup archive and delete it from the server afterwards.


Downloads a backup archive and can optionally delete it from the server afterwards


Delete backup archives from the server


Deletes backup archives and the associated backup record from the server


Lists the latest backup records


Lists the profile IDs and descriptions


Shows detailed information about a backup record


Upgrades Akeeba Backup on the server, if there is an update available


You can also use the legacy --action=actionName syntax for backwards compatibility with version 1.x.


Before you can use Remote CLI with your site, you will need to enable the remote API in Akeeba Backup / Akeeba Solo. In order to do that, go to Akeeba Backup / Akeeba Solo and click on either the Options button in the toolbar (Akeeba Backup for Joomla!) or the System Configuration button towards the bottom of the page (Akeeba Backup for WordPress, Akeeba Solo). You will have to set Enable front-end and remote backup to Yes. You will also need to supply a Secret Key of your liking. This is the password to connect to your site over Akeeba Backup's Remote API. Due to several issues which have to do with server configuration, we strongly recommend using only alphanumeric characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9), dash and underscore in your Secret Key. Other characters may lead to inability to connect to your site. Use something long and complex.