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bdrem - Birthday reminder by mail

Birthday reminder that sends out e-mails.

It can also generate ASCII tables on your console, iCalendar files and normal HTML pages.


Data sources

  • Any SQL database.
    • Multiple date fields per record supported.
  • An LDAP server
  • Birthday reminder files (.bdf)

Output formats

  • ASCII table
  • HTML
  • Email (text + HTML parts)
  • iCalendar


Command line

After configuration, you can test and use bdrem via command line:

$ bdrem
Days  Age  Name                  Event      Date        Day
   0   32  Foo Bar               Birthday   20.03.1982  Do
   1   33  Andrea Milestone      Birthday   21.03.1981  Fr
   7   32  Hugh Success          Birthday   27.03.1982  Do
  12       Welt                  Scherztag  01.04.????  Di


To find out about all supported command line options, use --help:

  ./bin/bdrem.php [options]
  ./bin/bdrem.php [options] <command> [options]

  -n NUM, --next=NUM                Show NUM days after date
  -p NUM, --prev=NUM                Show NUM days before date
  -r renderer, --renderer=renderer  Output mode
  --list-renderer                   lists valid choices for option renderer
  -e, --stoponempty                 Output nothing when list is empty
  -d date, --date=date              Date to show events for
  -c FILE, --config=FILE            Path to configuration file
  -h, --help                        show this help message and exit
  -v, --version                     show the program version and exit

  readme  Show README.rst file
  config  Extract configuration file


To send birthday reminder e-mails, use the mail renderer:

$ bdrem --renderer=mail

If you only want an email if there is a birthday, use --stoponempty:

$ bdrem --renderer=mail --stoponempty

Make sure your config file contains $mail_from and $mail_to settings.


Exporting birthday events into an .ics file is easy:

$ bdrem --renderer=ical > birthdays.ics

It is possible to access the calendar via HTTP, too:

You can subscribe to it in your calendar or email application. Integration has been tested with Thunderbird's Lightning and Claws Mail's vCalendar plugin.

HTML page

Simply point your web browser to the .phar file, or index.php. You will get a colorful HTML table:



Copy data/bdrem.config.php.dist to data/bdrem.config.php and adjust it to your liking.

When running the .phar, extract the configuration file first:

$ php dist/bdrem-0.1.0.phar config > bdrem-0.1.0.phar.config.php

Birthday file

If you have a .bdf file from birthday reminder or birthday reminder 3, you can use it with bdrem.

Configure your source as follows:

$source = array('Bdf', '/path/to/birthday.bdf');

LDAP server

bdrem can read birthdays and other events from persons in an LDAP server. It is known to work fine with evolutionPerson objects. Attributes birthDate and anniversary are read.

Configure it as follows:

$source = array(
        'host'   => '',
        'basedn' => 'ou=adressbuch,dc=example,dc=org',
        'binddn' => 'cn=FIXME,ou=users,dc=example,dc=org',
        'bindpw' => 'FIXME'

SQL database

Events can be fetched from any SQL database supported by PHP's PDO extension - MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL and so on.

You may configure every little detail of your database:

$source = array(
        'dsn' => 'mysql:dbname=bdrem;host=',
        'user' => 'FIXME',
        'password' => 'FIXME',
        'table' => 'contacts',
        'fields' => array(
            'date' => array(
                //column name => event title
                'c_birthday' => 'Birthday'
            //column with name, or array with column names
            'name' => array('c_name'),
            //sprintf-compatible name formatting instruction
            'nameFormat' => '%s',

MS SQL server

Configure the date format in /etc/freetds/locales.conf:

    date format = %Y-%m-%d

Also set the charset to UTF-8 in /etc/freetds/freetds.conf:

    # TDS protocol version
    tds version = 8.0
    client charset = UTF-8

Restart Apache afterwards.

Use dblib in the DSN:



Note that the .phar file already includes all dependencies; you do not need to install anything.


bdrem is licensed under the AGPL v3 or later.


Written by Christian Weiske,

File: bdrem_readme.htm | last update: 2023-04-06 23:45:02 Valid XHTML Valid CSS