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Live example


If you want to see a live example of the capabilities of the PHP plugin, you can have a look at the analysis of the PHP CodeSniffer project on Nemo.

Description / Features

The plugin enables analysis of PHP projects with SonarQube.

It relies on well-known external tools: PHPUnit, PHP Depend, PHPMD and PHP CodeSniffer.


  1. Install the PHP Environment
  2. Install the plugin through the Update Center or download it into the SONARQUBE_HOME/extensions/plugins directory
  3. Restart the SonarQube server


Run an Analysis with the SonarQube Runner (Recommended method)

To run an analysis of your PHP project, use the SonarQube Runner.

A sample project is available on GitHub that can be browsed or downloaded: /projects/languages/php/php-sonar-runner.

You can also have a look at the SonarQube Runner documentation page to define a multi-module PHP project.

Run an Analysis with the other Analyzers

Maven and Ant can also be used to launch analysis on PHP projects.

Advanced Settings

Disabling or enabling external tools on demand

It is possible to disable each external tool. By default, all the external tools are enabled.

Configuring PHPUnit to be run by SonarQube

To configure the execution of PHPUnit, it is recommended to create a configuration file and set the path to this file with the sonar.phpUnit.configuration property.

If a configuration file is not used, the following property can be set to configure the execution of PHPUnit:


Default value




If set to true, PHPUnit ignores any phpunit.xml file for launching the unit tests.
If set to false, PHPUnit uses any existing phpunit.xml file in the running directory.



The project main test file including the relative path, ie: /source/tests/AllTests.php. If not present, PHPUnit looks for phpunit.xml in the test directory.



Ignore the unit tests files matching this pattern.



Use this bootsrap file to initialize the unit tests.


If set to true, it appends test directory to PHPUnit. This makes PHPUnit look for test cases inside this directory. If several directories are defined as test directories, a phpunitRANDOM.xml file will be generated and passed to phpunit --configuration=. This generated file contains all the files inside the test directories. Only runs tests from the specified group(s).
sonar.phpUnit.loader To specify which TestSuiteLoader implementation to use.

A sample project is available on GitHub that can be browsed or downloaded/projects/languages/php/php-sonar-runner-unit-tests.

Reusing existing reports

To reuse existing reports from PHP Depend, PHPUnit, etc.:

  1. Set the sonar.<external_tool>.analyzeOnly property to true
  2. Set the path to the report in sonar.<external_tool>.reportPath. Path is relative to the base directory.

Excluding files

Most of the time, using the exclusion properties will be enough to exclude files from being reported by SonarQube. However, there might be some cases where you really want to exclude files from being analyzed by an external tool (may it be PHP CodeSniffer, PHPMD or PHP Depend) because:

  • a file is badly written and the tool is crashing when analyzing it, thus preventing SonarQube from completing the analysis
  • a large number of files must be excluded and there's no need for the external tools to spend time analyzing files that won't be reported in SonarQube

For these specific cases, you should use the sonar.xxxx.argumentLine property of the external tool to manually define exclusions. For instance, for PHP CodeSniffer, you would add the following property:

This would tell PHP CodeSniffer to ignore every PHP file located in the Database folder.

Be carefull!


When specifying exclusions directly for each tool, you should also consider setting the sonar.exclusions property accordingly. Otherwise, you may have files with incomplete analysis.




See Metrics documentation page.

Extending Coding Rules

See the tutorial to extend coding rules with PHP CodeSniffer and/or PHPMD.


  1. PHP 1.2 - short-term activity (see the JIRA open tickets)
    1. Improve the PHP CodeSniffer rule repository (adding missing parameters, descriptions, ...)
    2. Work on the "Sonar Way", PEAR and Zend profiles (<= for PHP gurus! (wink) )
  2. PHP 2.0 - mid-term activity
    1. Handle multiple files with the same name
    2. Consider root folders as "Projects"
    3. Non structured PHP files
    4. If it turns out that those tickets are technically difficult/long to implement, then they can be postponed
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