Simple, elegant, stand-alone validation library with NO dependencies

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v1.2.3 2014-11-20 15:24 UTC


Valitron is a simple, minimal and elegant stand-alone validation library with NO dependencies. Valitron uses simple, straightforward validation methods with a focus on readable and concise syntax. Valitron is the simple and pragmatic validation library you've been looking for.

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Why Valitron?

Valitron was created out of frustration with other validation libraries that have dependencies on large components from other frameworks like Symfony's HttpFoundation, pulling in a ton of extra files that aren't really needed for basic validation. It also has purposefully simple syntax used to run all validations in one call instead of individually validating each value by instantiating new classes and validating values one at a time like some other validation libraries require.

In short, Valitron is everything you've been looking for in a validation library but haven't been able to find until now: simple pragmatic syntax, lightweight code that makes sense, extensible for custom callbacks and validations, well tested, and without dependencies. Let's get started.


Valitron uses Composer to install and update:

curl -s http://getcomposer.org/installer | php
php composer.phar require vlucas/valitron

The examples below use PHP 5.4 syntax, but Valitron works on PHP 5.3+.


Usage is simple and straightforward. Just supply an array of data you wish to validate, add some rules, and then call validate(). If there are any errors, you can call errors() to get them.

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array('name' => 'Chester Tester'));
$v->rule('required', 'name');
if($v->validate()) {
    echo "Yay! We're all good!";
} else {
    // Errors

Using this format, you can validate $_POST data directly and easily, and can even apply a rule like required to an array of fields:

$v = new Valitron\Validator($_POST);
$v->rule('required', ['name', 'email']);
$v->rule('email', 'email');
if($v->validate()) {
    echo "Yay! We're all good!";
} else {
    // Errors

You may use dot syntax to access members of multi-dimensional arrays, and an asterisk to validate each member of an array:

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array('settings' => array(
    array('threshold' => 50),
    array('threshold' => 90)
$v->rule('max', 'settings.*.threshold', 100);
if($v->validate()) {
    echo "Yay! We're all good!";
} else {
    // Errors

Setting language and language dir globally:

// boot or config file

use Valitron\Validator as V;

V::langDir(__DIR__.'/validator_lang'); // always set langDir before lang.

Built-in Validation Rules

  • required - Required field
  • equals - Field must match another field (email/password confirmation)
  • different - Field must be different than another field
  • accepted - Checkbox or Radio must be accepted (yes, on, 1, true)
  • numeric - Must be numeric
  • integer - Must be integer number
  • array - Must be array
  • length - String must be certain length
  • lengthBetween - String must be between given lengths
  • lengthMin - String must be greater than given length
  • lengthMax - String must be less than given length
  • min - Minimum
  • max - Maximum
  • in - Performs in_array check on given array values
  • notIn - Negation of in rule (not in array of values)
  • ip - Valid IP address
  • email - Valid email address
  • url - Valid URL
  • urlActive - Valid URL with active DNS record
  • alpha - Alphabetic characters only
  • alphaNum - Alphabetic and numeric characters only
  • slug - URL slug characters (a-z, 0-9, -, _)
  • regex - Field matches given regex pattern
  • date - Field is a valid date
  • dateFormat - Field is a valid date in the given format
  • dateBefore - Field is a valid date and is before the given date
  • dateAfter - Field is a valid date and is after the given date
  • contains - Field is a string and contains the given string
  • creditCard - Field is a valid credit card number
  • instanceOf - Field contains an instance of the given class

NOTE: If you are comparing floating-point numbers with min/max validators, you should install the BCMath extension for greater accuracy and reliability. The extension is not required for Valitron to work, but Valitron will use it if available, and it is highly recommended.

Credit Card Validation usage

Credit card validation currently allows you to validate a Visa visa, Mastercard mastercard, Dinersclub dinersclub, American Express amex or Discover discover

This will check the credit card against each card type

$v->rule('creditCard', 'credit_card');

To optionally filter card types, add the slug to an array as the next parameter:

$v->rule('creditCard', 'credit_card', ['visa', 'mastercard']);

If you only want to validate one type of card, put it as a string:

$v->rule('creditCard', 'credit_card', 'visa');

If the card type information is coming from the client, you might also want to still specify an array of valid card types:

$cardType = 'amex';
$v->rule('creditCard', 'credit_card', $cardType, ['visa', 'mastercard']);
$v->validate(); // false

Adding Custom Validation Rules

To add your own validation rule, use the addRule method with a rule name, a custom callback or closure, and a error message to display in case of an error. The callback provided should return boolean true or false.

Valitron\Validator::addRule('alwaysFail', function($field, $value, array $params) {
    return false;
}, 'Everything you do is wrong. You fail.');

Alternate syntax for adding rules

As the number of rules grows, you may prefer the alternate syntax for defining multiple rules at once.

$rules = [
    'required' => 'foo',
    'accepted' => 'bar',
    'integer' =>  'bar'

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array('foo' => 'bar', 'bar' => 1));

If your rule requires multiple parameters or a single parameter more complex than a string, you need to wrap the rule in an array.

$rules = [
    'required' => [
    'length' => [
        ['foo', 3]

You can also specify multiple rules for each rule type.

$rules = [
    'length'   => [
        ['foo', 5],
        ['bar', 5]

Putting these techniques together, you can create a complete rule definition in a relatively compact data structure.

You can continue to add individual rules with the rule method even after specifying a rule definition via an array. This is especially useful if you are defining custom validation rules.

$rules = [
    'required' => 'foo',
    'accepted' => 'bar',
    'integer' =>  'bar'

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array('foo' => 'bar', 'bar' => 1));
$v->rule('min', 'bar', 0);

Adding field label to messages

You can do this in two different ways, you can add a individual label to a rule or an array of all labels for the rules.

To add individual label to rule you simply add the label method after the rule.

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array());
$v->rule('required', 'name')->message('{field} is required')->label('Name');

There is a edge case to this method, you wouldn't be able to use a array of field names in the rule definition, so one rule per field. So this wouldn't work:

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array());
$v->rule('required', array('name', 'email'))->message('{field} is required')->label('Name');

However we can use a array of labels to solve this issue by simply adding the labels method instead:

$v = new Valitron\Validator(array());
$v->rule('required', array('name', 'email'))->message('{field} is required');
    'name' => 'Name',
    'email' => 'Email address'

This introduces a new set of tags to your error language file which looks like {field}, if you are using a rule like equals you can access the second value in the language file by incrementing the field with a value like {field1}.

Running Tests

The test suite depends on the Composer autoloader to load and run the Valitron files. Please ensure you have downloaded and installed Composer before running the tests:

  1. Download Composer curl -s http://getcomposer.org/installer | php
  2. Run 'install' php composer.phar install
  3. Run the tests phpunit


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Make your changes
  4. Run the tests, adding new ones for your own code if necessary (phpunit)
  5. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  6. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  7. Create new Pull Request
  8. Pat yourself on the back for being so awesome