Phpstorm Phpunit

In this video I take you through how to setup PhpUnit in PhpStorm. I explain the settings and configurations. Hopefully this setup works for you.Reval Govend. Maarten Balliauw March 7, 2013 Since version 3.7, PHPUnit allows us to install the test runner and optional dependencies using Composer. With PhpStorm 6, this workflow is now supported from the IDE. Using both the bundled Composer support and PhpStorm’s unit testing support, we can install PHPUnit via Composer without any hassle. PhpStorm can be setup to use Docker. Thanks to Gary Hockin’s excellent YouTube video Running PHPUnit Tests in PhpStorm with Docker, the setup process can be easily replicated. There is a four stage process: Configure PhpStorm to use Docker. Unit testing WordPress plugins with PHPUnit in PhpStorm. 23 February 2016 1 Comment Tag PHP. Andy Meerwaldt Andy Meerwaldt is an ambitious web developer at Yoast. In his spare time he loves to read about both World Wars. A nice way to optimize your test flow is by having PhpStorm run your unit tests for you. It can be quite some work to set.

  1. Phpunit Code Coverage
  2. Phpunit Command Line Options
  3. Phpstorm Phpunit Memory Limit
  4. Phpstorm Phpunit Version Not Installed
  5. Phpstorm Phpunit

Since version 3.7, PHPUnit allows us to install the test runner and optional dependencies using Composer. With PhpStorm 6, this workflow is now supported from the IDE.

Using both the bundled Composer support and PhpStorm’s unit testing support, we can install PHPUnit via Composer without any hassle. Let’s find out how.

Let’s start off with a blank project. We can right-click the project and use the Composer Init Composer… context menu to enable Composer support for our project. If you don’t have composer.phar anywhere on your system, the Click here to download from helper will download the latest composer.phar from the official website.

Once initialized, we can use the new PhpStorm 6 Composer support to add dependencies. We can right-click the project and use the Composer Add dependency… context menu to download PHPUnit into our project. That’s right: PhpStorm 6 comes with a nice UI for searching packages from the Packagist website.

After successfully installing PHPUnit and all dependencies, our project structure is now the following: the vendor folder containing all dependencies brought in using Composer, including PHPUnit.

Just like with PHPUnit installed using PEAR or as a PHAR file, we need to configure PhpStorm with the location of PHPUnit. Under settings, navigate to the PHP PHPUnit pane. We can now select the Use custom loader option and specify the path to Composer’s generated autoload.php. Optionally we can specify a default PHPUnit configuration file or a PHPUnit bootstrap file to be used when running tests.

Our run configuration will look pretty simple: specify the directory containing tests (or a specific class/method or rely on the PHPUnit configuration file to find tests to run).

We can now invoke this run configuration and have our unit tests running using the PHPUnit version installed through Composer.

Please download the latest build, provide as much feedback for bugs and feature requests here, and leave questions in the comments below or in our forums!

Develop with pleasure!
– JetBrains Web IDE Team

Here, I’m going to talk about configuring XDebug with PHPStorm and Docker.

ℹ️ Important note: I will not talk about using it in an HTTP context. I have struggled so much in the past and never succeeded in configuring this, and I will probably never do it anyway.
I’m only using it when testing, with PHPUnit or Behat, and that’s perfect: it forces me to write more tests.

Having a working Docker environment

First of all, if we talk about Docker, you may refer to the series of blog posts I wrote about Docker, it might help you.

I will now consider you have a working PHP + Docker environment.

I also consider you already installed the Docker plugin for your PHPStorm IDE.

Make sure XDebug is available

Of course now you have a working Docker setup, but remember that XDebug must be present.

I usually install it in my Docker images by adding a RUN statement with (echo ' pecl install xdebug).
This echo thing is a trick to force pecl to execute in a “non-interactive” mode, in order to let the Docker image be built automatically with no user interaction (which is not possible).

If you have PHP 7.2+, you can even make your debug-based test scripts cross-compatible with any platform thanks to extension loading by name.TL;DR: it means that you can do php -dzend_extension=xdebug instead of php for UNIX and php -dzend_extension=xdebug.dll for Windows. Yeah, it’s just about removing the extension.

To know whether XDebug is available, run php -dzend_extension=xdebug -i grep xdebug.

If all XDebug options are displayed with their default/configured values, it works!

Start configuring!

Okay, let’s see ALL the steps that I go through to set this up.

First, the PHP interpreter

Let’s consider we have a php container running, configured in our docker-compose.yaml file.

PHPStorm will need a PHP interpreter.

For this, go to the File Settings Languages & Frameworks PHP menu.

You should see something like this:

Now, you need to click on the [..] button at the right of the CLI Interpreter section in order to create/use a PHP interpreter.

You might have an existing PHP interpreter, but for the sake of the example, I’ll show you how to configure your PHP Docker container.

Add a new “Remote Interpreter” by clicking on the big + sign:

You should configure the remote interpreter to use Docker Compose and have something similar to this:

If it comes that you have the Server section to be empty, click on New and you may see something like this:

Note: I am using Windows, and I deliberately checked the Expose daemon on tcp://localhost:2375 without TLS checkbox in Docker For Windows configuration.I may update this post in the future for linux-specific config, so check out your docker machine in the first place to see if it can be linked to PHPStorm instead of using the legacy daemon tcp socket.

Here is my final configuration:

Some notes:

  • You should decide on whether you want PHPStorm to use docker-compose run --rm php or docker-compose exec php.
    run guarantees an isolated container, but is slower because it needs to start the container first.
    exec is faster because it connects to a running container, but may have concurrence issues, even though it’s rare (feel free to share experience on that!).
  • You can add Environment Variables for each interpreter. That’s nice if you want a “test-optimized” or a “profiling-optimized” one, etc.
  • Note the Debugger extension field: if you write xdebug (or or xdebug.dll for PHP<=7.1), PHPStorm will automatically append -dzend_extension=xdebug when running a script in “Debug Mode”.

Phew! Now we have PHP, let’s install PHPUnit!


You may have noticed that I’m a big Symfony fan, so we will take the example of a Symfony project here.

First, I do composer require phpunit. This will install the symfony/test-pack package, which is a package that requires a few other packages, with in particular the symfony/phpunit-bridge package.

The Symfony PHPUnit Bridge component comes with a modified version of PHPUnit (TL;DR: it’s a wrapper around PHPUnit) that will allow you to not require PHPUnit in your composer.json file. This might save some dependencies issues, because PHPUnit and your project might depend on same packages with different versions, and you don’t want that. Toribash. Apart from that, the component provides some other nice features you may check on the docs.

Apart this “dependencies conflicts” theory, the PHPUnit team decided to use PHP-Scoper for their PHAR version, so if you use the phpunit.phar file, you will not have any conflict either, and that’s okay.

The good thing about this is that requiring it like this on a modern Symfony 4/5 project will install the PHPUnit Bridge Flex recipe that commes with a nice bin/phpunit script.
Very convenient for command-line, but don’t use it with PHPStorm (I will talk about this later).

Right after your composer require phpunit, execute bin/phpunit --version.

The wrapper provided by Symfony will install PHPUnit, find a good version for your system.

You can still override the version in the phpunit.xml.dist file created by the Flex recipe. I personally always update.

By default (as of the time I write this post), PHPUnit is installed via a big composer create-project command (you can find it here) into your bin/.phpunit/phpunit-{version}/ directory.

This point is important, because we will configure the PHPUnit “Run configuration” in PHPStorm by using this specific configuration.

Now! Comes the moment where we move back to PHPStorm!

First, click on the Add Configuration.. button on the top-right section of your PHPStorm screen:

Then, add a PHPUnit configuration:

An empty PHPUnit configuration never works.

PHPStorm needs many things for it to work:

  • A working PHP Interpreter
  • A way to execute PHPUnit (autoloader, include path, executable…)
  • An optional configuration file (but we must set it anyway, else PHPStorm’s PHPUnit process will not use the phpunit.xml.dist file at all)

So, to make it work, configure PHPUnit:

Add a new PHPUnit configuration with a Remote Interpreter:

Select the remote interpreter you created with your Docker configuration.

Then, we will tell PHPStorm to look for the PHPUnit executable.

Phpstorm Phpunit

When we ran bin/phpunit --version, the bridge installed PHPUnit in bin/.phpunit/phpunit-{version}, remember? We will pick the executable from there.Important: remember that the script path will be inside the Docker container, so be careful about paths.

Also remember to fill the Default configuration file field, else PHPUnit will not use any config.

Note: You might have slight differences in paths and versions depending on your Docker and PHPUnit configuration.

After that: PHPUnit is configured!

And for XDebug, we installed it.

Phpunit Code Coverage

Run a PHPUnit script in Debug mode with step-by-step debugging

To run in Debug mode, you have the little bug icon next to the “Run” button in your “Run configuration” top bar:

Phpunit Command Line Options

Click on it, and see if your project is tested!

Now, we’ll do step-by-step debugging, thanks to XDebug and PHPStorm’s integration.

Find some piece of code you want to test, and add a breakpoint. To do so, you can left-click in the left gutter of the line you want to stop by when running the test, or you can also place the cursor on the line and press Ctrl+F8 (Windows keymap).


The test will execute and PHPStorm will open a brand new tab so you can debug everything: stack trace, variables state, etc.

You can now start your step-by-step debugging, thanks to these buttons:

These buttons allow you to execute current line and go to next instruction, step into the function/method call, step out of the current function, etc.

Have fun doing better debugging than dump($var);exit;!

Late notes:

Why do I choose to not use bin/phpunit?

Phpstorm Phpunit Memory Limit

Well, because it simply does not run with PHPStorm.

Phpstorm Phpunit Version Not Installed

The reason might be that as it is a wrapper around PHPUnit, Symfony adds features to it (or removes some), especially the one that installs PHPUnit in the first place.
Then, PHPStorm needs to execute this script before finishing the config, because it needs to know which version of PHPUnit is installed (either for auto-completion, autoload, or maybe PHPUnit-specific stuff I am not aware of).
The wrapper does not return the same contents than the native PHPUnit script, so PHPStorm will consider it either not working or incompatible.

Phpstorm Phpunit

This is why I use the native PHPUnit script that is installed by executing bin/phpunit --version