Running phpspec

The phpspec console command uses Symfony’s console component. This means that it inherits the default Symfony console command and options.

phpspec has an additional global option to let you specify a config file other than phpspec.yml or phpspec.yml.dist:

$ bin/phpspec run --config path/to/different-phpspec.yml


$ bin/phpspec run -c path/to/different-phpspec.yml

Read more about this in the Configuration Cookbook

Also of note is that using the --no-interaction option means that no code generation will be done.

phpspec has the global option to let you specify a custom bootstrap or autoloading script.

$ bin/phpspec run --bootstrap=path/to/different-bootstrap.php


$ bin/phpspec run -b path/to/different-bootstrap.php

Describe Command

The describe command creates a specification for a class:

$ bin/phpspec describe ClassName

Will generate a specification ClassNameSpec in the spec directory.

$ bin/phpspec describe Namespace/ClassName

Will generate a namespaced specification NamespaceClassNameSpec. Note that / is used as the separator. To use \ it must be quoted:

$ bin/phpspec describe "Namespace\ClassName"

The describe command has no additional options. It will create a spec class in the spec directory. To configure a different path to the specs you can use suites in the configuration file.

Run Command

The run command runs the specs:

$ bin/phpspec run

Will run all the specs in the spec directory.

$ bin/phpspec run spec/ClassNameSpec.php

Will run only the ClassNameSpec.

$ bin/phpspec run spec/ClassNameSpec.php:56

Will run only specification defined in the ClassNameSpec on line 56.

You can run just the specs in a directory with:

$ bin/phpspec run spec/Markdown

Which will run any specs found in spec/Markdown and its subdirectories. Note that it is the spec location and not namespaces that are used to decide which specs to run. Any spec which has a namespace which does not match its file path will be ignored.

By default, you will be asked whether missing methods and classes should be generated. You can suppress these prompts and automatically choose not to generate code with:

$ bin/phpspec run --no-code-generation

You can choose to stop on failure and avoid running the remaining specs with:

$ bin/phpspec run --stop-on-failure

TDD work cycle can be described using three steps: Fail, Pass, Refactor. If you create a failing spec for a new method, the next step will be to make it pass. The easiest way to achieve it, is to simply hard code the method, so it returns the expected value.

phpspec can do that for you.

You can opt to automatically fake return values with:

$ bin/phpspec run --fake

You can choose the output format with the --format option e.g.:

$ bin/phpspec run --format=dot

The formatters available by default are:

  • progress (default)
  • html
  • pretty
  • junit
  • dot

More formatters can be added by extensions.