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composer.json

This chapter will explain all of the fields available in composer.json.

JSON schema

We have a JSON schema that documents the format and can also be used to validate your composer.json. In fact, it is used by the validate command. You can find it at: res/composer-schema.json.

Root Package

The root package is the package defined by the composer.json at the root of your project. It is the main composer.json that defines your project requirements.

Certain fields only apply when in the root package context. One example of this is the config field. Only the root package can define configuration. The config of dependencies is ignored. This makes the config field root-only.

If you clone one of those dependencies to work on it, then that package is the root package. The composer.json is identical, but the context is different.

Properties

name

The name of the package. It consists of vendor name and project name, separated by /.

Examples:

  • monolog/monolog
  • igorw/event-source

Required for published packages (libraries).

description

A short description of the package. Usually this is just one line long.

Required for published packages (libraries).

version

The version of the package.

This must follow the format of X.Y.Z with an optional suffix of -dev, alphaN, -betaN or -RCN.

Examples:

1.0.0
1.0.2
1.1.0
0.2.5
1.0.0-dev
1.0.0-beta2
1.0.0-RC5

Optional if the package repository can infer the version from somewhere, such as the VCS tag name in the VCS repository. In that case it is also recommended to omit it.

type

The type of the package. It defaults to library.

Package types are used for custom installation logic. If you have a package that needs some special logic, you can define a custom type. This could be a symfony-bundle, a wordpress-plugin or a typo3-module. These types will all be specific to certain projects, and they will need to provide an installer capable of installing packages of that type.

Out of the box, composer supports two types:

  • library: This is the default. It will simply copy the files to vendor.
  • metapackage: An empty package that contains requirements and will trigger their installation, but contains no files and will not write anything to the filesystem. As such, it does not require a dist or source key to be installable.
  • composer-installer: A package of type composer-installer provides an installer for other packages that have a custom type. Read more in the dedicated article.

Only use a custom type if you need custom logic during installation. It is recommended to omit this field and have it just default to library.

keywords

An array of keywords that the package is related to. These can be used for searching and filtering.

Examples:

logging
events
database
redis
templating

Optional.

homepage

An URL to the website of the project.

Optional.

time

Release date of the version.

Must be in YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS format.

Optional.

license

The license of the package. This can be either a string or an array of strings.

The recommended notation for the most common licenses is (alphabetical):

Apache-2.0
BSD-2-Clause
BSD-3-Clause
BSD-4-Clause
GPL-2.0
GPL-2.0+
GPL-3.0
GPL-3.0+
LGPL-2.0
LGPL-2.0+
LGPL-3.0
LGPL-3.0+
MIT

Optional, but it is highly recommended to supply this. More identifiers are listed at the SPDX Open Source License Registry.

An Example:

{
    "license": "MIT"
}

For a package, when there is a choice between licenses (“disjunctive license”), multiple can be specified as array.

An Example for disjunctive licenses:

{
    "license": [
       "LGPL-2.0",
       "GPL-3.0+"
    ]
}

Alternatively they can be separated with “or” and enclosed in brackets;

{
    "license": "(LGPL-2.0 or GPL-3.0+)"
}

Similarly when multiple licenses need to be applied (“conjunctive license”), they should be separated with “and” and enclosed in brackets.

authors

The authors of the package. This is an array of objects.

Each author object can have following properties:

  • name: The author's name. Usually his real name.
  • email: The author's email address.
  • homepage: An URL to the author's website.
  • role: The authors' role in the project (e.g. developer or translator)

An example:

{
    "authors": [
        {
            "name": "Nils Adermann",
            "email": "naderman@naderman.de",
            "homepage": "http://www.naderman.de",
            "role": "Developer"
        },
        {
            "name": "Jordi Boggiano",
            "email": "j.boggiano@seld.be",
            "homepage": "http://seld.be",
            "role": "Developer"
        }
    ]
}

Optional, but highly recommended.

Package links (require, require-dev, conflict, replace, provide)

Each of these takes an object which maps package names to version constraints.

  • require: Packages required by this package.
  • require-dev: Packages required for developing this package, or running tests, etc. They are installed if install or update is ran with --dev.
  • conflict: Mark this version of this package as conflicting with other packages.
  • replace: Packages that can be replaced by this package. This is useful for large repositories with subtree splits. It allows the main package to replace all of it's child packages.
  • provide: List of other packages that are provided by this package. This is mostly useful for common interfaces. A package could depend on some virtual logger package, any library that provides this logger, would simply list it in provide.

Example:

{
    "require": {
        "monolog/monolog": "1.0.*"
    }
}

Optional.

suggest

Suggested packages that can enhance or work well with this package. These are just informational and are displayed after the package is installed, to give your users a hint that they could add more packages, even though they are not strictly required.

The format is like package links above, except that the values are free text and not version constraints.

Example:

{
    "suggest": {
        "monolog/monolog": "Allows more advanced logging of the application flow"
    }
}

autoload

Autoload mapping for a PHP autoloader.

Currently PSR-0 autoloading and classmap generation are supported. PSR-0 is the recommended way though since it offers greater flexibility (no need to regenerate the autoloader when you add classes).

Under the psr-0 key you define a mapping from namespaces to paths, relative to the package root. Note that this also supports the PEAR-style convention.

Example:

{
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": {
            "Monolog": "src/",
            "Vendor\\Namespace": "src/",
            "Pear_Style": "src/"
        }
    }
}

If you need to search for a same prefix in multiple directories, you can specify them as an array as such:

{
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": { "Monolog": ["src/", "lib/"] }
    }
}

If you want to have a fallback directory where any namespace can be, you can use an empty prefix like:

{
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": { "": "src/" }
    }
}

You can use the classmap generation support to define autoloading for all libraries that do not follow PSR-0. To configure this you specify all directories or files to search for classes.

Example:

{
    "autoload: {
        "classmap": ["src/", "lib/", "Something.php"]
    }
}

include-path

DEPRECATED: This is only present to support legacy projects, and all new code should preferably use autoloading.

A list of paths which should get appended to PHP's include_path.

Example:

{
    "include-path": ["lib/"]
}

Optional.

target-dir

Defines the installation target.

In case the package root is below the namespace declaration you cannot autoload properly. target-dir solves this problem.

An example is Symfony. There are individual packages for the components. The Yaml component is under Symfony\Component\Yaml. The package root is that Yaml directory. To make autoloading possible, we need to make sure that it is not installed into vendor/symfony/yaml, but instead into vendor/symfony/yaml/Symfony/Component/Yaml, so that the autoloader can load it from vendor/symfony/yaml.

To do that, autoload and target-dir are defined as follows:

{
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": { "Symfony\\Component\\Yaml": "" }
    },
    "target-dir": "Symfony/Component/Yaml"
}

Optional.

repositories (root-only)

Custom package repositories to use.

By default composer just uses the packagist repository. By specifying repositories you can get packages from elsewhere.

Repositories are not resolved recursively. You can only add them to your main composer.json. Repository declarations of dependencies' composer.jsons are ignored.

The following repository types are supported:

  • composer: A composer repository is simply a packages.json file served via HTTP, that contains a list of composer.json objects with additional dist and/or source information.
  • vcs: The version control system repository can fetch packages from git, svn and hg repositories.
  • pear: With this you can import any pear repository into your composer project.
  • package: If you depend on a project that does not have any support for composer whatsoever you can define the package inline using a package repository. You basically just inline the composer.json object.

For more information on any of these, see Repositories.

Example:

{
    "repositories": [
        {
            "type": "composer",
            "url": "http://packages.example.com"
        },
        {
            "type": "vcs",
            "url": "https://github.com/Seldaek/monolog"
        },
        {
            "type": "pear",
            "url": "http://pear2.php.net"
        },
        {
            "type": "package",
            "package": {
                "name": "smarty/smarty",
                "version": "3.1.7",
                "dist": {
                    "url": "http://www.smarty.net/files/Smarty-3.1.7.zip",
                    "type": "zip"
                },
                "source": {
                    "url": "http://smarty-php.googlecode.com/svn/",
                    "type": "svn",
                    "reference": "tags/Smarty_3_1_7/distribution/"
                }
            }
        }
    ]
}

Note: Order is significant here. When looking for a package, Composer will look from the first to the last repository, and pick the first match. By default Packagist is added last which means that custom repositories can override packages from it.

config (root-only)

A set of configuration options. It is only used for projects.

The following options are supported:

  • vendor-dir: Defaults to vendor. You can install dependencies into a different directory if you want to.
  • bin-dir: Defaults to vendor/bin. If a project includes binaries, they will be symlinked into this directory.
  • process-timeout: Defaults to 300. The duration processes like git clones can run before Composer assumes they died out. You may need to make this higher if you have a slow connection or huge vendors.
  • notify-on-install: Defaults to true. Composer allows repositories to define a notification URL, so that they get notified whenever a package from that repository is installed. This option allows you to disable that behaviour.

Example:

{
    "config": {
        "bin-dir": "bin"
    }
}

scripts (root-only)

Composer allows you to hook into various parts of the installation process through the use of scripts.

See Scripts for events details and examples.

extra

Arbitrary extra data for consumption by scripts.

This can be virtually anything. To access it from within a script event handler, you can do:

$extra = $event->getComposer()->getPackage()->getExtra();

Optional.

bin

A set of files that should be treated as binaries and symlinked into the bin-dir (from config).

See Vendor Bins for more details.

Optional.

Command-line interface | Repositories

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