Automated project updates for CodeIgniter 4

v2.0.3 2021-06-10 19:03 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2021-09-15 14:28:02 UTC


Automated project updates for CodeIgniter 4

Quick Start

  1. Install with Composer: > composer require --dev tatter/patches
  2. Use the command to update: > vendor/bin/patch


Patches helps keep your CodeIgniter 4 projects up-to-date when there are framework changes that affect your project source. Use one easy command to patch your development instance and stage any conflicts for easy resolution.


Patches is built on top of Git and Composer, so requires both of those be installed an accessible in your PATH. Additionally, the patch command makes the following assumptions (and will fail if they are not met):

  • You project is in an existing Git repository
  • The CodeIgniter 4 framework is installed via Composer in your vendor/ directory
  • The current branch is "clean" (no uncommitted changes or unstaged files)
  • Your project files are in their standard locations (app/, public/, env, spark)
  • You have no ignored files in app/ or public/ that the patch process would disrupt


Install easily via Composer to take advantage of CodeIgniter 4's autoloading capabilities and always be up-to-date:

  • > composer require --dev tatter/patches

Note: While Patches can be run in a production environment it is strongly recommended that you install it in development (using --dev) and then deploy the repo changes to production.

You may also download the script and add it to your favorite projects.


Patches comes with a single script, patch, which Composer will treat as a binary and deploy to your vendor/bin/ folder. Simply run the command to kick off the patch process:



Most of the time the simple script is what you will want, but patch takes a few arguments to alter the behavior of the patch process. Arguments that take a "commit-ish" can use anything Git recognizes (branch, hash, tag, reference, revision, etc).

Help (-h)

Displays the latest command help:

Usage: ./patch [-c <current version>] [-v <target version>]

Patches an existing CodeIgniter 4 project repo to a different version of the framework.

  -h             Help. Show this help message and exit
  -c commit-ish  Alternate version to consider "current" (rarely needed).
  -v commit-ish  Version to use for patching. Defaults to the latest.

Version (-v )

Manually sets the version to patch to. This is useful if you need to stop at a specific release, or if your project is pointed at the develop branch and you do not want certain commits. Examples:

  • Patch the current installed repo to a specific version. ./vendor/bin/patch -v 4.1.2

  • Patch up to a specific commit.

    ./vendor/bin/patch -v dev-develop#0cff5488676f36f9e08874fdeea301222b6971a2

Current (-c )

Ignores the current installed version of the framework in favor of the specified one. This is unlikely to be needed in most cases, but can be helpful for example with new installations or if you updated with Composer but forgot to run patches first. Example:

  • Assume the repo is in an older state and patch.

How it Works

Patches is a shell script that calls git and composer. When called it will simulate an upgrade from your current version of the framework to the latest or specified version. The simulation assumes no files were modified in your project, which is very likely not the case, so the staged simulation is then compared as a three-way merge against your current project root. Patches works in a dedicated branch (tatter/scratch) so it will never modify your project directly. Patched files are all staged on tatter/patches so you can review them before merging or pushing to remote. Consider the following examples.

Added Files

CodeIgniter decides it is time for a Widget component, which includes app/Config/Widget.php for the configuration. Your project is running version 4.1.2 but wants to update to 4.2.0 to use this new component. When Patches simulates the update between these versions git will notice the new file:

A	app/Config/Widget.php

When the final stage of the patch is run this new file will be merged into your project.

Changed Files

In addition to the config file above, Widget also comes with a great new WidgetFilter. As with all Filters it must be aliased in your app/Config/Filters.php file before it can be used. The framework already took care of this for new projects:

class Filters extends BaseConfig
     * Configures aliases for Filter classes to
     * make reading things nicer and simpler.
     * @var array
    public $aliases = [
        'csrf'     => CSRF::class,
        'toolbar'  => DebugToolbar::class,
        'honeypot' => Honeypot::class,
        'widget'   => WidgetFilter::class,

When the final stage of the patch is run git will examine your existing file at app/Config/Filters.php and perform its signature three-way merge (technically, this is done with a cherry-pick). This means if your version is unchanged or if it has been modified in a compatible way then Patches it will apply the edits for you without intervention.


Compatible changes are great, but say you have a weird layout fetish (no judgment) and the app/Config/Filters.php file in your project now looks like this:

class Filters extends BaseConfig
    public $aliases = ['csrf' => CSRF::class,'toolbar' => DebugToolbar::class,'honeypot' => Honeypot::class];

You likely moral corruption aside, git will not know how to handle merging the new WidgetFilter and you now have a conflict. Patches will clean up and leave your repo in the conflict state so you can proceed with your favorite conflict resolution. Open app/Config/Filters.php in your favorite text editor to find the conflict:

class Filters extends BaseConfig
<<<<<<< HEAD
    public $aliases = ['csrf' => CSRF::class,'toolbar' => DebugToolbar::class,'honeypot' => Honeypot::class];
     * Configures aliases for Filter classes to
     * make reading things nicer and simpler.
     * @var array
    public $aliases = [
        'csrf'     => CSRF::class,
        'toolbar'  => DebugToolbar::class,
        'honeypot' => Honeypot::class,
        'widget'   => WidgetFilter::class,
>>>>>>> tatter/scratch

Once you have resolved all the conflicts you can finish the cherry-pick. For example in this case you would update the file and run the following commands:

git add app/Config/Filters.php
git cherry-pick --continue



If you are unsure whether Patches is compatible with your environment, it is recommended that you run the test cases first. Clone or download the repo and launch the tests with their run command:


Clean Up

  • It is always safe to delete tatter/scratch - this branch has nothing relevant to your project.
  • It is always safe to delete tatter/patches, but if you have not committed and merged the changes then you will need to start the patch process over.
  • Should you decide not to use Patches anymore just remove the Composer package or delete the script - that's all!


Patches is very conservative and takes many precautions not to touch any of your project files. If you are relatively new to Git and you get into a merge conflict that becomes a mess, the first thing to do: don't panic! Your files are safe and your repo is intact and the only thing that can compromise that is typing in a bunch of commands you do not understand from the internet.

The first thing to know is that Patches works with two dedicated branches: tatter/scratch is where it stages all the files, and tatter/patches is where it attempts the merge. If you are stuck make sure you know which branch you are on using git branch - likely your project uses one of the typical "main" branches: develop, main, or master.

Next thing to be aware of, the final merge stage that could induce conflict is actually handled by a cherry-pick. This is a technical Git process for isolating a single commit and applying it to another branch. if you are mid-cherry-pick then git status should display the current state, as well as any conflicting files and some hints for how to proceed:

git status
On branch tatter/patches
You are currently cherry-picking commit a8b4361.
  (all conflicts fixed: run "git cherry-pick --continue")
  (use "git cherry-pick --skip" to skip this patch)
  (use "git cherry-pick --abort" to cancel the cherry-pick operation)

As hinted above, you should be able to abort the entire process and get back to your unaltered project state any time you like with the following commands (swap develop for your main branch name):

  • git cherry-pick --abort
  • git switch develop


Still need help?

GitHub Issues are for Bug Reports and Feature Requests only. Issues opened for support will be closed and their authors browbeaten.