I'm using wp-cli 1.5.1. My server is running php7.2.

I'm not running suhosin. (Some people seem to think that suhosin may cause the same symptom)

When I issue wpcli commands within a non-wordpress directory I get the expected outcome: and error message saying "This does not seem to be a WordPress install."

However, when I run wpcli commands within wordpress directories,the prompt returns quickly without output.

This seems to apply to most variations of 'wpcli plugin', 'wpcli theme', 'wpci search-replace' and 'wp theme'. These are the ones that I've tested.

'wp --version' and 'wp --help' return the expected output'.

What could be happening here?

  • Are you connected via SSH? Are you connected as user or root? What are the permitions of this specific directory (WordPress installation)?
    – fat_mike
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Try the --skip-plugins flag with the problematic commands. Just as you experienced I’ve had wp-cli error out silently and do nothing, while frustratingly work for the simpler commands version/info commands.

My silent errors were due to a bad plugin. This plugin was using php short tags, which weren't enabled in php/x.x/cli/php.ini which wp-cli uses.

  • Hi Dave. Unfortunately this doesn't change my outcome. I'm now testing wpcli on an wordpress install that has no plugins and is using the twentysixteen theme. I'm still getting the same undesireable result.
    – bob
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 3:30

I had a similar issue and here is what I have found:

  • html_errors set Off would result in no output from wp-cli (when there were PHP errors such as PHP Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null)

  • apparently, this issue is known and there is a workaround already - https://github.com/wp-cli/wp-cli/issues/5422

    • in short, PHP 7.x produces lots of warnings; switching to nightly build allows to solve it: wp cli update --nightly

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