Building a PHP project

What This Guide Covers

This guide covers build environment and configuration topics specific to PHP projects. Please make sure to read our Getting Started and general build configuration guides first.

Choosing PHP versions to test against

PHP VM images on provide several PHP versions including XDebug as well as PHPUnit. Travis CI uses phpenv to manage the different PHP versions installed on the VM. A minimalistic .travis.yml file would look like this:

language: php
  - 5.4
  - 5.5
  - 5.6
  - hhvm
  - nightly

This will make Travis CI run your tests using


by default against the latest 5.4.x, 5.5.x, and 5.6.x releases, and the latest release of HHVM. 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6 are aliases for "the most recent x.y.z release" of any given line. Note that "most recent" means "as provided by the Travis CI maintainers", not necessarily the very latest official release. For a full listing of the supported versions see About Travis CI Environment.

Also note that specifying exact versions like 5.3.8 is discouraged as your .travis.yml file may become out of date and break your build when we update PHP versions on Travis CI. You may, however, select 5.5.9 as a version because we exlusively support that specific version because it's the version of php that's shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

For example, see travis-ci-php-example .travis.yml.

For precise versions pre-installed on the VM, please consulte "Build system information" in the build log.

Default Test Script


By default Travis CI will run your tests using


for every PHP version you specify.

If your project uses something other than PHPUnit, you can override our default test command to be anything you want.

Working with atoum

Instead of PHPunit, you can also use atoum to test your projects. For example:

before_script: wget
script: php mageekguy.atoum.phar

Dependency Management (a.k.a. vendoring)

Before Travis CI can run your test suite, it may be necessary to pull down your project dependencies. It can be done using a PHP script, a shell script or anything you need. Define one or more commands you want Travis CI to use with the install option in your .travis.yml, for example:

install: php vendor/vendors.php

or, if you need to run multiple commands sequentially:

  - ./bin/ci/
  - php vendor/vendors.php

Even though installed dependencies will be wiped out between builds (VMs we run tests in are snapshotted), please be reasonable about the amount of time and network bandwidth it takes to install them.

Testing Against Multiple Versions of Dependencies (e.g. Symfony)

If you need to test against multiple versions of, say, Symfony, you can instruct Travis CI to do multiple runs with different sets or values of environment variables. Use env key in your .travis.yml file, for example:

  - SYMFONY_VERSION="2.0.*" DB=mysql
  - SYMFONY_VERSION="dev-master" DB=mysql

and then use ENV variable values in any later script like your dependencies installation scripts, test cases or test script parameter values.

Here is an example using the above ENV variable to modify the dependencies when using the composer package manager to run the tests against the 2 different versions of Symfony as defined above.

   - composer require symfony/framework-bundle:${SYMFONY_VERSION}

Here we use DB variable value to pick phpunit configuration file:

script: phpunit --configuration $DB.phpunit.xml

The same technique is often used to test projects against multiple databases and so on.

To see real world examples, see:

Installing PEAR packages

If your dependencies include PEAR packages, the Travis CI PHP environment has the Pyrus and pear commands available:

pyrus install
pear install pear/PHP_CodeSniffer

After install you should refresh your path

phpenv rehash

For example, if you want to use phpcs, you should execute:

pyrus install pear/PHP_CodeSniffer
phpenv rehash

Then you can use phpcs like the phpunit command

Installing Composer packages

Note that we update composer every time we update the PHP build environment, which is every 30-60 days. Because composer has a time-based update warning, you may see messages such as this, which may be safely ignored:

Warning: This development build of composer is over 30 days old. It is recommended to update it by running "/home/travis/.phpenv/versions/5.6/bin/composer self-update" to get the latest version.

You can also install Composer packages into the Travis CI PHP environment. The composer command comes pre-installed, use the following:

composer install

To ensure that everything works, use http(s) URLs on Packagist and not git URLs.

PHP installation

You'll find the default configure options used to build the different PHP versions used on Travis CI here, it will give you an overview of Travis CI's PHP installation.

Please note the following differences among the different PHP versions available on Travis CI:

  • Note that the OpenSSL extension is disabled on php 5.3.3 because of compilation problems with OpenSSL 1.0.
  • Different SAPIs:

    • 5.3.3 comes with php-cgi only.
    • 5.3.x (5.3.29) comes with php-fpm only (see this issue).
    • 5.4.x, 5.5.x, and 5.6.x come with php-cgi and php-fpm.

Custom PHP configuration

The easiest way to customize PHP's configuration is to use phpenv config-add to add a custom config file with your configuration directives:

before_script: phpenv config-add myconfig.ini

And myconfig.ini:

extension = ""
date.timezone = "Europe/Paris"
default_socket_timeout = 120
# some other configuration directives...

You can also use this one line command:

echo 'date.timezone = "Europe/Paris"' >> ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/conf.d/travis.ini

PHP extensions

Core extensions

See the default configure options to get an overview of the core extensions enabled.

Preinstalled PHP extensions

There are some common PHP extensions preinstalled with PECL on Travis CI:

Please note that these extensions are not enabled by default with the exception of xdebug. You need to enable them by adding an extension="<extension>.so" line to a PHP configuration file (for the current PHP version). The easiest way to do this is by using phpenv to add a custom config file which enables and eventually configure the extension:

before_script: phpenv config-add myconfig.ini

And myconfig.ini:

# some other mongo specific configuration directives
# or general custom PHP settings...

You can also use this one line command:

echo "extension = <extension>.so" >> ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/php.ini

To disable xdebug, add this to your configuration:

  - phpenv config-rm xdebug.ini

Installing additional PHP extensions

It is possible to install custom PHP extensions into the Travis CI environment using PECL, but they have to be built against the PHP version being tested. Here is for example how the memcache extension can be installed:

pecl install <extension>

PECL will automatically enable the extension at the end of the installation. If you want to configure your extension, use the phpenv config-add command to add a custom ini configuration file in your before_script.

It is also possible to do the installation "manually", but you'll have to manually enable the extension after the installation either with phpenv config-add and a custom ini file or with this one line command:

echo "extension=<extension>.so" >> ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/php.ini

See also the full script using midgard2.

If you need specific version of preinstalled extension, you need to force install specific version with the -f flag. For example:

pecl install -f mongo-1.2.12

Note on pecl install

Note that pecl install can fail if the requested version of the package is already installed.

Chef Cookbooks for PHP

If you want to learn all the details of how we build and provision multiple PHP installations, see our php, phpenv and php-build Chef cookbooks.

Apache + PHP

Currently Travis CI does not support mod_php for apache, but you can configure php-fpm for your integration tests.

In your .travis.yml:

   - sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-fastcgi
   # enable php-fpm
   - sudo cp ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/php-fpm.conf.default ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/php-fpm.conf
   - sudo a2enmod rewrite actions fastcgi alias
   - echo "cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1" >> ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/etc/php.ini
   - ~/.phpenv/versions/$(phpenv version-name)/sbin/php-fpm
   # configure apache virtual hosts
   - sudo cp -f build/travis-ci-apache /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
   - sudo sed -e "s?%TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR%?$(pwd)?g" --in-place /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
   - sudo service apache2 restart
Note that sudo is not available for builds that are running on the container-based workers.

You will need to have build/travis-ci-apache file that will configure your virtual host as usual, the important part for php-fpm is this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  # [...]

  DocumentRoot %TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR%

  <Directory "%TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR%">
    Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews ExecCGI
    AllowOverride All
    Order deny,allow
    Allow from all

  # Wire up Apache to use Travis CI's php-fpm.
  <IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>
    AddHandler php5-fcgi .php
    Action php5-fcgi /php5-fcgi
    Alias /php5-fcgi /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php5-fcgi
    FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php5-fcgi -host -pass-header Authorization

  # [...]

PHP nightly builds

Travis CI offers ability to test your PHP applications with a recent build of PHP.

You can specify this with:

language: php

  - nightly

This installation includes PHPUnit and Composer, but does not include any extension mentioned above or xdebug.


Until PHP 7 is officially released and pre-installed on our PHP VMs,

language: php

  - '7' # or '7.0'

can be used as aliases to nightly.

Note that PECL extensions listed above are not installed on nightly builds. If you need these, you need to install them with pecl.

Build Matrix

For PHP projects, env and php can be given as arrays to construct a build matrix.