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Install PHP CodeSniffer with PEAR

This article should be useful for other tools than CodeSniffer. To put some context, I installed PEAR some time ago for PHPUnit, before I read that PHPUnit had moved away from PEAR and can now be installed using Composer or a simple PHAR (PHp ARchive) file. I had troubles with the default PEAR configuration and the various steps to add the right folders in the system $PATH, PHP configuration, ... and my stubbornness to have everything exactly where I want and behave exactly the way I want!

On my Arch Linux system, PEAR install its packages by default in /usr/bin. I prefer to put them in /usr/share/pear/bin to be more restrictive on what folders I include in my PHP configuration and avoid including the whole /usr/bin in the open_basedir directive. As a reminder, PEAR is installed on Arch Linux with

$ yaourt -S php-pear

and should be available on most distributions through their respective package manager.

First, if, like me, you make 20 mistakes before doing something right, this is the command for uninstalling a package:

$ sudo pear uninstall <packagename></packagename>

To change the PEAR executables directory globally:

$ sudo pear config-set bin_dir /usr/share/pear/bin/

Don't use sudo if you want to apply the changes locally. In this case, it should create, I think automatically, a hidden file named .pearrc in your home directory.

We can check PEAR configuration with

$ sudo pear config-show

Output of $ pear config-show

We can now install CodeSniffer:

$ sudo pear install PHP_CodeSniffer

and adapt our PATH to find its executable by adding the following in our ~/.bashrc: PATH=/usr/share/pear/bin:$PATH.

We reload our config and check if the CodeSniffer executable is found in the right place:

$ . ~/.bashrc
$ whereis phpcs

Output of $ whereis phpcs

I use the open_basedir directive to add a bit of security. Of course, I don't remember that kind of details but PHP reminds me:

Error thrown by phpcs with open_basedir restriction

We fix this by editing /etc/php/php.ini or wherever your PHP configuration file is by adding the PEAR folder: open_basedir = /srv/http/:/tmp/:/usr/share/pear/.

We can now start refactoring...

$ phpcs path/to/file.php|js|css or $ phpcs path/to/folder

Example of output from phpcs

The following command:

$ phpcs -sp --encoding=utf-8 --standard=PSR2 --tab-width=4 --ignore={External/,Tests/coverage/} -v .

  • shows sniff codes, e.g.: (PSR2.Namespaces.UseDeclaration.SpaceAfterLastUse)
  • shows progress
  • specifies that the encoding of the files is utf-8
  • only uses the PSR-2 standard
  • specifies the number of spaces I use as tab
  • ignores the sub folders External and Tests/coverage
  • prints one level of verbosity
  • and processes the current folder.

Upgrade Apache to 2.4 from 2.2 on Arch Linux, using PHP-FPM

Since the first article, more than six weeks ago, Apache has been updated to version 2.4.9 which allows for a simpler configuration with php-fpm, mod_proxy_fcgi and mod_proxy_handler.

The following setup does not use mod_php, which requires mod_mpm_prefork and ProxyPassMatch directives as shown in my first article.

First, install php-fpm and mod_proxy_handler (the latter comes from AUR).

# yaourt -S php-fpm mod_proxy_handler

Then update /etc/php/php-fpm.conf:

listen =
;listen = /run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock
listen.allowed_clients =

In the main Apache configuration file located at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf, no more need to use mpm_prefork_module and ProxyPassMatch. Just append the following:

LoadModule proxy_handler_module modules/
<filesmatch .php="">
    SetHandler "proxy:fcgi://"

Verify that the following line is active (uncommented) as it should be by default:

LoadModule proxy_fcgi_module modules/

Edit the dir_module directive:

<ifmodule dir_module="">
    DirectoryIndex index.php index.html

Remove or comment out the php module if you had it in your old config:

#LoadModule php5_module modules/
#Include conf/extra/php5_module.conf

Restart apache and php-fpm:

# systemctl restart httpd.service php-fpm.service

If it is your first installation of php-fpm and you use Apache often, you might want to start its daemon automatically:

# systemctl enable php-fpm.service