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Code Sniffer

Code Sniffer (phpcs) is a comamnd line tool which validates php source code files against specified coding stanadard.



  1. Install code sniffer - brew install php-code-sniffer
  2. Install WordPress coding standard - git clone -b master https://github.com/WordPress-Coding-Standards/WordPress-Coding-Standards.git /usr/local/etc/php-code-sniffer/Standards
  3. Set WordPress coding standard as default for phpcs phpcs --config-set default_standard WordPress


TODO: Instructions for Ubuntu

IDE Intergation

Atom editor

You can use https://atom.io/packages/linter-phpcs . There are few more options.

  1. Install atom package - apm install linter-phpcs
  2. Open atom config file - atom ~/.atom/config.cson
  3. Paste following code config in it (or update if there is a block for "linter-phpcs".
    phpcsExecutablePath: "/usr/local/bin/phpcs"
    standard: "WordPress"
    enableWarning: 1

In above confif /usr/local/bin/phpcs is path to phpcs binary. Please verify if path is correct by running which phpcs command on your machine.


  • phpcs -i - show coding standards installed
  • phpcs <filename> - run phpcs on specified file
  • phpcs . - run phpcs recursively in current dir

Automatic Fixing

phpcs has a companion script phpcbf. It automatically fixes codes based on phpcs recommendation.

All you need to do is - just run phpcbf instead of phpcs.

Please note that all phpcs recommendation can not be fixed by phpcbf so once you run phpcbf, check again with phpcs.