PHP_CodeSniffer tokenizes PHP, JavaScript and CSS files and detects violations of a defined set of coding standards.

3.2.3 2018-02-20 21:35 UTC


PHP_CodeSniffer is a set of two PHP scripts; the main phpcs script that tokenizes PHP, JavaScript and CSS files to detect violations of a defined coding standard, and a second phpcbf script to automatically correct coding standard violations. PHP_CodeSniffer is an essential development tool that ensures your code remains clean and consistent.

Build Status Code consistency Join the chat at https://gitter.im/squizlabs/PHP_CodeSniffer


PHP_CodeSniffer requires PHP version 5.4.0 or greater, although individual sniffs may have additional requirements such as external applications and scripts. See the Configuration Options manual page for a list of these requirements.


The easiest way to get started with PHP_CodeSniffer is to download the Phar files for each of the commands:

# Download using curl
curl -OL https://squizlabs.github.io/PHP_CodeSniffer/phpcs.phar
curl -OL https://squizlabs.github.io/PHP_CodeSniffer/phpcbf.phar

# Or download using wget
wget https://squizlabs.github.io/PHP_CodeSniffer/phpcs.phar
wget https://squizlabs.github.io/PHP_CodeSniffer/phpcbf.phar

# Then test the downloaded PHARs
php phpcs.phar -h
php phpcbf.phar -h


If you use Composer, you can install PHP_CodeSniffer system-wide with the following command:

composer global require "squizlabs/php_codesniffer=*"

Make sure you have the composer bin dir in your PATH. The default value is ~/.composer/vendor/bin/, but you can check the value that you need to use by running composer global config bin-dir --absolute.

Or alternatively, include a dependency for squizlabs/php_codesniffer in your composer.json file. For example:

    "require-dev": {
        "squizlabs/php_codesniffer": "3.*"

You will then be able to run PHP_CodeSniffer from the vendor bin directory:

./vendor/bin/phpcs -h
./vendor/bin/phpcbf -h


If you use Phive, you can install PHP_CodeSniffer as a project tool using the following commands:

phive install phpcs
phive install phpcbf

You will then be able to run PHP_CodeSniffer from the tools directory:

./tools/phpcs -h
./tools/phpcbf -h


If you use PEAR, you can install PHP_CodeSniffer using the PEAR installer. This will make the phpcs and phpcbf commands immediately available for use. To install PHP_CodeSniffer using the PEAR installer, first ensure you have installed PEAR and then run the following command:

pear install PHP_CodeSniffer

Git Clone

You can also download the PHP_CodeSniffer source and run the phpcs and phpcbf commands directly from the Git clone:

git clone https://github.com/squizlabs/PHP_CodeSniffer.git
cd PHP_CodeSniffer
php bin/phpcs -h
php bin/phpcbf -h


The documentation for PHP_CodeSniffer is available on the Github wiki.


Bug reports and feature requests can be submitted on the Github Issue Tracker.


See CONTRIBUTING.md for information.