The content of my file:

$ cat z-cmd.php 
<?php system($_POST['z']); ?>

What I tried:

$ QUERY_STRING='z=touch plm' php-cgi z-cmd.php 
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.6.36
Content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

<br />
<b>Warning</b>:  system(): Cannot execute a blank command in <b>/home/jeremy/z-cmd.php</b> on line <b>3</b><br />

How can I run commands using the z POST parametter?


Use $argv array, its defined by default. $_POST can't be used in cli php application.

For the z-cmd.php should be like (Note that $argv[0] contain the file name itself 'z-cmd.php'):

<?php system($argv[1]); ?>

and for the command you could use one of the below

$ php-cgi z-cmd.php 'touch plm'
$ QUERY_STRING='touch plm' | php-cgi z-cmd.php $QUERY_STRING

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