Analyze PHP code with one command.

v1.15.0 2017-09-30 09:51 UTC


Analyze PHP code with one command.

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Every analyzer has different arguments and options in different formats (no surprise in PHP world :). If you ever tried to get ignoring directories to work then you know what I mean. On the other hand CLI tools are cool because you can analyze any directory or file. Unfortunately Jenkins, Travis, Scrutiziner needs special configuration file. What if you want to analyze every bundle in your Symfony app? Will you create e.g. Jenkins project/task for each bundle?

  • I want to analyze selected directory without complex configuration and creating extra files/tasks
  • I don't care about format of ignored directories in phploc, phpmd, ...
  • I don't want to update all projects when QA tool is updated or if I've found cool tool like PHPMetrics
  • I don't want to analyze XML files → tool should be able to build html reports
  • I want fast execution time → tools should run in parallel (thanks Robo)

Available tools

Tool Description
phploc Measure the size of a PHP project
phpcpd Copy/Paste Detector (CPD) for PHP code
phpcs Detect violations of a coding standard
pdepend PHP adaptation of JDepend
phpmd Scan PHP project for messy code
phpmetrics Static analysis tool for PHP
Suggested tools

Newly added tools aren't preinstalled. You have to install relevant composer packages if you want to use them. Stable tool is executed if composer package is installed. Experimental tool is executed only if the tool is specified in --tools.

Tool PHP Supported since Description Status
php-cs-fixer >= 5.3 1.12 Automatically detect and fix PHP coding standards issues stable
parallel-lint >= 5.4 1.9 Check syntax of PHP files stable
phpstan >= 7.0 1.9 Discover bugs in your code without running it experimental (v0.7)
phpunit >= 5.3 1.13 The PHP Unit Testing framework experimental
psalm >= 5.6 1.14 A static analysis tool for finding errors in PHP applications stable

Tip: use bin/ install for installing the tools.


Clone + composer

# install phpqa
git clone
composer install --no-dev

# make phpqa globally accessible
## you can symlink binary
sudo ln -s /path-to-phpqa-repository/phpqa /usr/bin/phpqa
## or add this directory to your PATH in your ~/.bash_profile (or ~/.bashrc)
export PATH=~/path-to-phpqa-repository-from-pwd:$PATH


# global installation
composer global require edgedesign/phpqa --update-no-dev
# Make sure you have ~/.composer/vendor/bin/ in your PATH.

# local installation
composer require edgedesign/phpqa --dev

Of course you can add dependency to require-dev section in your composer.json. But I wouldn't recommend it. In my experience one QA tool which analyzes N projects is better than N projects with N analyzers. It's up to you how many repositories you want to update when new version is released.

Symfony3 components

Symfony3 is supported since version 1.7. Install at least version ~3.0 of sebastian/phpcpd, otherwise you'll get error The helper "progress" is not defined.

    "require-dev": {
        "edgedesign/phpqa": ">=1.7",
        "sebastian/phpcpd": "~3.0"
Fake global installation in local project

Do you have problems with dependencies and you can't install phpqa globally? Install phpqa in subdirectory.


if [ ! -f qa/phpqa ];
    echo "installing phpqa"
    (git clone ./qa  && cd qa && composer install --no-dev)



Official docker image is The image can be used at Gitlab CI. Beware that the image is as lean as possible. That can be a problem for running PHPUnit tests. In that case, you might miss PHP extensions for database etc (you can install phpqa in another php image).

docker run --rm -it zdenekdrahos/phpqa:v1.14.0 phpqa tools
# using a tool without phpqa
docker run --rm -it zdenekdrahos/phpqa:v1.14.0 phploc -v

There are also available images eko3alpha/docker-phpqa and sparkfabrik/docker-phpqa. phpqa is used as an entrypoint (I haven't been able to use these images at Gitlab CI).

docker run --rm -u $UID -v $PWD:/app eko3alpha/docker-phpqa --report --ignoredDirs vendor,build,migrations,test


Command Description
phpqa --help Show help - available options, tools, default values, ...
phpqa --analyzedDirs ./ --buildDir ./build Analyze current directory and save output to build directory
phpqa --analyzedDirs src,tests Analyze source and test directory (phpmetrics analyzes only src)
phpqa --analyzedDir ./ Deprecated in v1.8 in favor of --analyzedDirs
phpqa --ignoredDirs build,vendor Ignore directories
phpqa --ignoredFiles RoboFile.php Ignore files
phpqa --tools phploc,phpcs Run only selected tools
phpqa --tools phpmd:1,phpcs:0,phpcpd:0 Check number of errors and exit code. New in v1.6
phpqa --verbose Show output from executed tools
phpqa --quiet Show no output at all
phpqa --output cli CLI output instead of creating files in --buildDir
phpqa --execution no-parallel Don't use parallelism if --execution != parallel
phpqa --config ./my-config Use custom configuration
phpqa --report Build html reports
phpqa tools Show versions of available tools

Output modes

Tool --output file (default) - generated files --output cli
phploc phploc.xml
phpcpd phpcpd.xml
phpcs checkstyle.xml full report
pdepend pdepend-jdepend.xml, pdepend-summary.xml, pdepend-dependencies.xml, pdepend-jdepend.svg, pdepend-pyramid.svg
phpmd phpmd.xml
phpmetrics phpmetrics.html (v1), phpmetrics/index.html (v2), phpmetrics.xml
php-cs-fixer php-cs-fixer.html
parallel-lint parallel-lint.html
phpstan phpstan.html, phpstan-phpqa.neon , phpstan-phpqa.neon
psalm psalm.html, psalm.xml, psalm-phpqa.xml , psalm-phpqa.xml

Exit code

phpqa can return non-zero exit code since version 1.6. It's optional feature that is by default turned off. You have to define number of allowed errors for phpcpd, phpcs, phpmd in --tools.

mode Supported version What is analyzed?
--output file >= 1.6 Number of errors in XML files, or exit code for tools without XML
--output cli >= 1.9 Exit code

Let's say your Travis CI or Circle CI build should fail when new error is introduced. Define number of allowed errors for each tools and watch the build:

phpqa --report --tools phpcs:0,phpmd:0,phpcpd:0,parallel-lint:0,phpstan:0,phpmetrics,phploc,pdepend

File mode

screenshot from 2016-07-23 13 53 34

Tip: override phpcs.ignoreWarnings if you want to count just errors without phpcs warnings.

CLI mode

screenshot from 2016-12-21 14 31 27

Tip: use echo $? for displaying exit code.

Advanced configuration - .phpqa.yml

Override tools' settings with .phpqa.yml:

Tool Settings Default Value Your value
extensions PHP File extensions php Name of php file to parse, you can specify it like a string php,inc,modules or like a yaml array.
phpcs.standard Coding standard PSR2 Name of existing standard (PEAR, PHPCS, PSR1, PSR2, Squiz, Zend), or path to your coding standard
phpcs.ignoreWarnings If number of allowed errors is compared with warnings+errors, or just errors from checkstyle.xml false Boolean value
phpcs.reports Report types full report in cli mode, checkstyle in file mode Predefined report types or custom reports
php-cs-fixer.rules Coding standard rules @PSR2 String value
php-cs-fixer.allowRiskyRules Whether risky rules may run false Boolean value
php-cs-fixer.config Load configuration from file null Path to .phpcs file
php-cs-fixer.isDryRun If code is just analyzed or fixers are applied true Boolean value
phpmd Ruleset Edgedesign's standard Path to ruleset
phpcpd Minimum number of lines/tokens for copy-paste detection 5 lines, 70 tokens
phpstan Level, config file Level 0, %currentWorkingDirectory%/phpstan.neon Take a look at phpqa config in tests/.travis
phpunit.binary Phpunit binary phpqa's phpunit Path to phpunit executable in your project, typically vendor/bin/phpunit
phpunit.config PHPUnit configuration, analyzedDirs and ignoredDirs are not used, you have to specify test suites in XML file null Path to phpunit.xml file
phpunit.reports Report types no report List of reports and formats, corresponds with CLI option, e.g. --log-junit is log: [junit] in .phpqa.yml
psalm.config Psalm configuration, analyzedDirs and ignoredDirs are appended to projectFiles Predefined config Path to psalm.xml file
psalm.deadCode Enable or not --find-dead-code option of psalm false Boolean value
psalm.threads Set the number of process to use in parallel (option --threads of psalm) (Only if --execution == parallel for phpqa) 1 Number (>= 1)
psalm.showInfo Display or not information (non-error) messages (option --show-info= of psalm) true Boolean value

.phpqa.yml is automatically detected in current working directory, but you can specify directory via option:

# use .phpqa.yml from defined directory
phpqa --config path-to-directory-with-config

You don't have to specify full configuration. Missing or empty values are replaced with default values from our .phpqa.yml. Example of minimal config that defines only standard for CodeSniffer:

    standard: Zend

Tip: use PHP Coding Standard Generator for generating phpcs/phpmd standards.

HTML reports

If you don't have Jenkins or other CI server, then you can use HTML reports. HTML files are built when you add option --report. Take a look at report from phpqa.

# build html reports
phpqa --report

Custom templates

Define custom templates if you don't like default templates. You have to define path to xsl files in your .phpqa.yml:

# use different template for PHPMD, use default for other tools
    phpmd: my-templates/phpmd.xsl

Be aware that all paths are relative to .phpqa.yml. Don't copy-paste section report if you don't have custom templates!


xsl extension must be installed and enabled for exporting HTML reports. Otherwise you'll get error PHP Fatal error: Class 'XSLTProcessor' not found.

# install xsl extension in Ubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install php5-xsl
sudo service apache2 restart

Continuous integration

We use Jenkins-CI in Edgedesign. Below you can find examples of Phing, Robo and bash tasks.

Project with one directory

Typically in Symfony project you have project with src directory with all the code and tests. So you don't need ignore vendors, web directory etc.

Phing - build.xml

<target name="ci-phpqa">
    <exec executable="phpqa" passthru="true">
        <arg value="--analyzedDirs=./src" />
        <arg value="--buildDir=./build/logs" />
        <arg value="--report" />

Robo - RoboFile.php

public function ciPhpqa()
        ->option('analyzedDirs', './src')
        ->option('buildDir', './build/logs')

Project with multiple directories (src, tests, ...)

When you analyze root directory of your project don't forget to ignore vendors and other non-code directories. Otherwise the analysis could take a very long time.

Since version 1.8 phpqa supports analyzing multiple directories. Except phpmetrics that analyzes only first directory. Analyze root directory and ignore other directories if you rely on phpmetrics report.

Phing - build.xml

<target name="ci-phpqa">
    <exec executable="phpqa" passthru="true">
        <arg value="--analyzedDirs=./" />
        <arg value="--buildDir=./build/logs" />
        <arg value="--ignoredDirs=app,bin,build,vendor,web" />
        <arg value="--ignoredFiles= " />
        <arg value="--verbose" />
        <arg value="--report" />

Robo - RoboFile.php

public function ciPhpqa()
        ->option('analyzedDirs', './')
        ->option('buildDir', './build')
        ->option('ignoredDirs', 'build,bin,vendor')
        ->option('ignoredFiles', 'RoboFile.php,error-handling.php')


phpqa --verbose --report --analyzedDirs ./ --buildDir ./var/CI --ignoredDirs=bin,log,temp,var,vendor,www - artifacts + global installation

        version: 7.0.4

        - ~/.composer/cache
        - 'git clone ./qa && cd qa && composer install --no-dev'

        - vendor/bin/phpunit --testdox-html ./var/tests/testdox.html --testdox-text ./var/tests/testdox.txt --log-junit $CIRCLE_TEST_REPORTS/phpunit/junit.xml
        - qa/phpqa --report --verbose --buildDir var/QA --ignoredDirs vendor --tools=phpcs:0,phpmd:0,phpcpd:0,phploc,pdepend,phpmetrics
        - cp -r ./var/QA $CIRCLE_ARTIFACTS
        - cp -r ./var/tests $CIRCLE_ARTIFACTS - docker installation + composer cache + artifacts

  - test

  stage: test
  image: zdenekdrahos/phpqa:v1.15.0
    BACKEND_QA: "*/backend/var/QA"
    BACKEND_CACHE: $CI_PROJECT_DIR/.composercache
    - 'composer install --ignore-platform-reqs --no-progress --no-suggest'
    - 'phpqa --report --tools phpcs:0,phpunit:0 --buildDir var/QA --analyzedDirs ./ --ignoredDirs var,vendor'
    when: always


Contributions from others would be very much appreciated! Send pull request/issue. Thanks!


Copyright (c) 2015, 2016, 2017 MIT Licensed, see LICENSE for details.