The Doctrine Coding Standard is a set of rules for PHP_CodeSniffer and applies to all Doctrine projects. It is based on PSR-1 and PSR-12, with some noticeable exceptions/differences/extensions.

  • Keep the nesting of control structures per method as small as possible
  • Abstract exception class names and exception interface names should be suffixed with Exception
  • Abstract classes should not be prefixed or suffixed with Abstract
  • Interfaces should not be prefixed or suffixed with Interface
  • Concrete exception class names should not be prefixed or suffixed with Exception
  • Align equals (=) signs in assignments
  • Add spaces around a concatenation operator $foo = 'Hello ' . 'World!';
  • Add spaces between assignment, control and return statements
  • Add spaces after a negation operator if (! $cond)
  • Add spaces around a colon in return type declaration function () : void {}
  • Add spaces after a type cast $foo = (int) '12345';
  • Use apostrophes for enclosing strings
  • Always use strict comparisons
  • Always add declare(strict_types=1) at the beginning of a file
  • Always add native types where possible
  • Omit phpDoc for parameters/returns with native types, unless adding description
  • Don't use @author, @since and similar annotations that duplicate Git information
  • Assignment in condition is not allowed
  • Use parentheses when creating new instances that do not require arguments $foo = new Foo()
  • Use Null Coalesce Operator $foo = $bar ?? $baz
  • Prefer early exit over nesting conditions or using else

For full reference of enforcements, go through lib/Doctrine/ruleset.xml where each sniff is briefly described.


You have two possibilities to use the Doctrine Coding Standard with PHP_CodeSniffer in a particular project.

Composer Project Dependency

You can install the Doctrine Coding Standard as a composer dependency to your particular project. Just run the following command to add the Doctrine Coding Standard to your project:

$ php composer require --dev doctrine/coding-standard

Then you can use it like:

$ vendor/bin/phpcs --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

You might also do automatic fixes using phpcbf:

$ vendor/bin/phpcbf --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

Composer Global Installation

You can also install the Doctrine Coding Standard globally:

$ composer global require doctrine/coding-standard

Then you can use it like:

$ phpcs --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

You might also do automatic fixes using phpcbf:

$ phpcbf --standard=Doctrine /path/to/some/file/to/sniff.php

Project-level ruleset

To enable Doctrine Coding Standard for your project, create a phpcs.xml.dist file with the following content:

1<?xml version="1.0"?> <ruleset> <arg name="basepath" value="."/> <arg name="extensions" value="php"/> <arg name="parallel" value="80"/> <arg name="cache" value=".phpcs-cache"/> <arg name="colors"/> <!-- Ignore warnings, show progress of the run and show sniff names --> <arg value="nps"/> <!-- Directories to be checked --> <file>lib</file> <file>tests</file> <!-- Include full Doctrine Coding Standard --> <rule ref="Doctrine"/> </ruleset>

This will enable verbatim Doctrine Coding Standard with all rules included with their defaults. From now on you can just run vendor/bin/phpcs and vendor/bin/phpcbf without any arguments.

Don't forget to add .phpcs-cache and phpcs.xml (without .dist suffix) to your .gitignore. The first ignored file is a cache used by PHP CodeSniffer to speed things up, the second one allows any developer to adjust configuration locally without touching the versioned file.

For further reading about the CodeSniffer configuration, please refer to the configuration format overview and the list of configuration options

To learn about customizing the rules, please refer to the Customizing to your needs chapter.



This library follows semantic versioning, and additions to the code ruleset are only performed in major releases.

The patch branch can receive internal changes, such as CI pipeline improvements, test workflow improvements, and can receive bugfixes. For instance, such as removing rules that were not meant to be added.

The minor branch can receive refactorings, and dependency updates that do not affect the code ruleset.


If you are contributing to the Doctrine Coding Standard and want to test your contribution, you just need to execute the test GNU make target:

$ make test

Sometimes you are enabling a sniff that enforces some features for a specific PHP version, that will probably cause our build pipeline to fail when running on such versions.

We have created the update-compatibility-patch-* GNU make targets to help you with that. For instance, for PHP 6.0, you would run

$ make update-compatibility-patch-60

That target will attempt to apply the latest version of our compatibility patch for that version of PHP and ask you to adjust the code in tests/fixed and tests/expected_report.txt using the editor of your preference.

If the patch does not apply cleanly, you can edit it to edit or remove hunks that relate to files you changed in your PR.

Once you are done, please type y to resume the command, which will update the compatibility patch and create a commit with your changes for you to push to your remote branch.