What is phar? Phar archives are best characterized as a convenient way to group several files into a single file. As such, a phar archive provides a way to distribute a complete PHP application in a single file and run it from that file without the need to extract it to disk. Additionally, phar archives can be executed by PHP as easily as any other file, both on the command line and from a web server. Phar is kind of like a thumb drive for PHP applications.