Why CrowPHP?

PHP has grown a lot as a language it has a mature ecosystem and a vibrant community, for PHP to become a goto language for modern-microservices and container oriented ecosystem we lacked a way to deploy our web services in a stand-alone PHP, well not any more, with the advancements in asynchronous and concurrent PHP environment provided by platforms like SwoolePHP and ReactPHP it’s not a dream any more to run your web services on stand-alone PHP and here comes CrowPHP to provide an elegant and un-opinionated framework on top of SwoolePHP and ReactPHP HTTP servers.

Your First CrowPHP Microservice

Before we start with the crowPHP lets make sure you have the right system requirements.

  • PHP-CLI version 8 or above.
  • composer package manager for PHP
  • PHP pear package manager pecl
  • SwoolePHP latest version pecl install swoole

Docker Example

To follow this example I am assuming that you are familiar with docker and docker-compose and the latest versions are installed on your system.

Let’s start with a new composer.json file in your project.

    "name": "helloworld",
    "authors": [
        "name": "Your Name",
        "email": ""
    "require": {
      "crowphp/crow": "0.3.1"

Now let’s create a new PHP file in the root of your project index.php. In this file, we will be created a new CrowPHP server and a route that will serve our request.


require 'vendor/autoload.php';

use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface as RequestInterface;
use Crow\Http\Server\Factory as CrowServer;

$app = CrowServer::create(CrowServer::SWOOLE_SERVER);
$router = Crow\Router\Factory::make();

$router->get('/', function (RequestInterface $request, ResponseInterface $response) {
    $response->getBody()->write('Hello World!');
    return $response;

$app->on('start', function ($server) {
    echo "CrowPHP server is listening on port $server->host:$server->port " . PHP_EOL;

$app->listen(5000, "");

First, we have imported the generic vendor/autoload.php that will provide us with the resolutions of all the necessary namespaces and classes. We are using standard PSR request and response interfaces, which are supported by CrowPHP.

We are then creating an $app instance from the CrowServer::create method by passing a single integer constant CrowServer::SWOOLE_SERVER this is important because CrowPHP also supports ReactPHP server but for this example; we are going to stick with SwoolePHP as its more production-ready at the moment.

After that we are making a $router instance from the router factory i.e. Crow\Router\Factory::make, with router instance in the next step we call a get method to create a new route which accepts to parameters i.e. {path} and a {handler}. Handler is a callback function and it provides $request and $response instances that expect the instance of ResponseInterface to be returned.

Now the instance of the router is attached to the main app instance with the $app->withRouter method and we have attached a listener for the start event just to log in when the server is ready to accept new requests.

At last, we have called the listen method with 5000 port and as host since we are running in the Docker container.

Docker File

Now let’s create a new Dockerfile in the root your project with following contents, and ofcourse you can modify it to your liking :)

FROM php:8.0-cli-buster

RUN apt update && apt upgrade -y
RUN apt install zip unzip libzip-dev git -y
# Install PHP extensions
RUN pecl install swoole \
    && pecl install zip \
    && docker-php-ext-enable swoole zip

RUN mv /usr/local/etc/php/php.ini-development /usr/local/etc/php/php.ini
# Install Composer
RUN curl -sS | php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer


ADD /usr/bin/
EXPOSE 5000/tcp
ENTRYPOINT [ "/usr/bin/" ]

If you notice we are adding a file in our docker file lets create that file in the root of our project.

composer install
php index.php

It can’t be more simpler, we are installing composer when the container starts for the first time followed by execution of our PHP server.

Docker Compose File

Finally to make our project easier to manage for the next time we will be using docker-compose and this step is (optional). Let’s create a new docker-composer.yaml file in the root of the project.

version: "3"
    build: .
      - "5000:5000"
      - .:/code

Now, we can finally run our project with docker-compose up and our service should be ready to recieve requests on http://localhost:5000