zesk.sh is a shell command for running PHP code in the application context. It "figures out" how to set up your Application configuration and settings, and then lets you run commands to manage or maintain your application.

How commands are run

Commands are run by one of three starting points:



zesk is a shell shortcut which just calls zesk.sh with all command line arguments passed through.


zesk.sh checks to see if php is within the the $PATH, then runs zesk-command.php with all command line argumentes passed through.


zesk-command.php processes the command line arguments to set up the initial state for the command, then searches from the current working directory up to the root to find a zesk application file which has the extension .application.inc, loads it, then processes additional arguments to the command.

When finding the application.inc file, if multiple files exist in same directory with the extension, it uses the first one alphabetically. (e.g. aardvarks.application.inc instead of zebra.application.inc)

This command understands a single parameter --search directory which switches to a different directory to begin the search for a zesk application file.

Runs your command in PHP. This command can take a variety of parameters, as follows:

--set name[=value]   Set a zesk global
--unset name         Unset a zesk global
--cd                 Change to a directory (uses to find *.application.inc files if --search is not specified)
--search             Search this directory for *.application.inc files
--config file        Load a configuration file
--*variable_name*    Toggle a zesk global as a boolean
/path/to/file        Include a file (determined by slash)
command              Run a Zesk command

Zesk Application File

The Zesk Application File configures the application and Zesk. The simplest one would look like this:

if (!defined('ZESK_APPLICATION_ROOT')) {
    define('ZESK_APPLICATION_ROOT', __DIR__ . '/');
if (!defined('ZESK_ROOT')) {
    define('ZESK_ROOT', dirname(ZESK_APPLICATION_ROOT) . "/zesk/");
$zesk = require_once ZESK_ROOT . 'zesk.inc';
$zesk->application_class = "MyApp";

Note that it defines ZESK_ROOT, includes zesk.inc and configures the application. All other application logic such as handling login or session management should be handled elsewhere.