How to Filter PHPUnit tests


We have started writing test in our application in the previous article. In you have noticed, when we run the vendor/bin/phpunit tests command, all of our test were running. In a small application, there are few number of tests and it won’t be a problem. But, as the system grows, the number of tests also grows. Luckily, we can filter the tests.

Using Filename

In this article, we see how we can filter the different tests we have written. Let’s start by running a single test filtered by filename. To do so, we can run the command:

vendor/bin/phpunit directory/filename.php
vendor/bin/phpunit tests/ReceiptTest.php

This will run the single file ReceiptTest.php.

Using Filter

Next, we will use Filter parameter to filter the test. Filter parameter accepts string in the form of Classes, Methods or Namespaces. Look at the example below. The code will only run the testTax method although ReceiptTest contains another method also testTotal().

vendor/bin/phpunit tests --filter=ReceiptTest::testTax

Using XML File

We will filter our test using XML file. XML file contains configurations for our test cases. We can create xml configuration for tests using following command:

vendor/bin/phpunit --migrate-configuration

This will create a phpunit.xml file on the root directory. If the directory already contains a file with the same name, it will back up the old file and create a new configuration file. A newly generated configuration file looks like below:

Now, when we run our test, it will pass with color syntax. Similarly, we don’t need to pass the directory while running test because it is configured in our xml file.

Now, we can filter the specific test by selecting the testsuite name like app or receipt. Let’s check by running the below command:

vendor/bin/phpunit --testsuite=app


vendor/bin/phpunit --testsuite=app --filter=testTax

When I run the second command, it will give the following output.

These are the basic methods for filtering test cases. It becomes extremely helpful when the system is large and we need to test hundreds or even thousands of test cases.

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