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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.

Note: A package can be the root package or not, depending on the context. For example, if your project depends on the monolog library, your project is the root package. However, if you clone monolog from GitHub in order to fix a bug in it, then monolog is the root package.

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-alpha3
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.

Note: Packagist uses VCS repositories, so the statement above is very much true for Packagist as well. Specifying the version yourself will most likely end up creating problems at some point due to human error.

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 three 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-2.1
LGPL-2.1+
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-2.1",
       "GPL-3.0+"
    ]
}

Alternatively they can be separated with "or" and enclosed in parenthesis;

{
    "license": "(LGPL-2.1 or GPL-3.0+)"
}

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

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.

support

Various information to get support about the project.

Support information includes the following:

  • email: Email address for support.
  • issues: URL to the Issue Tracker.
  • forum: URL to the Forum.
  • wiki: URL to the Wiki.
  • irc: IRC channel for support, as irc://server/channel.
  • source: URL to browse or download the sources.

An example:

{
    "support": {
        "email": "support@example.org",
        "irc": "irc://irc.freenode.org/composer"
    }
}

Optional.

Package links

All of the following take an object which maps package names to version constraints.

Example:

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

All links are optional fields.

require and require-dev additionally support stability flags (root-only). These allow you to further restrict or expand the stability of a package beyond the scope of the minimum-stability setting. You can apply them to a constraint, or just apply them to an empty constraint if you want to allow unstable packages of a dependency's dependency for example.

Example:

{
    "require": {
        "monolog/monolog": "1.0.*@beta",
        "acme/foo": "@dev"
    }
}

require and require-dev additionally support explicit references (i.e. commit) for dev versions to make sure they are blocked to a given state, even when you run update. These only work if you explicitly require a dev version and append the reference with #<ref>. Note that while this is convenient at times, it should not really be how you use packages in the long term. You should always try to switch to tagged releases as soon as you can, especially if the project you work on will not be touched for a while.

Example:

{
    "require": {
        "monolog/monolog": "dev-master#2eb0c0978d290a1c45346a1955188929cb4e5db7",
        "acme/foo": "1.0.x-dev#abc123"
    }
}

require

Lists packages required by this package. The package will not be installed unless those requirements can be met.

require-dev (root-only)

Lists packages required for developing this package, or running tests, etc. The dev requirements of the root package only will be installed if install or update is ran with --dev.

Packages listed here and their dependencies can not overrule the resolution found with the packages listed in require. This is even true if a different version of a package would be installable and solve the conflict. The reason is that install --dev produces the exact same state as just install, apart from the additional dev packages.

If you run into such a conflict, you can specify the conflicting package in the require section and require the right version number to resolve the conflict.

conflict

Lists packages that conflict with this version of this package. They will not be allowed to be installed together with your package.

replace

Lists packages that are replaced by this package. This allows you to fork a package, publish it under a different name with its own version numbers, while packages requiring the original package continue to work with your fork because it replaces the original package.

This is also useful for packages that contain sub-packages, for example the main symfony/symfony package contains all the Symfony Components which are also available as individual packages. If you require the main package it will automatically fulfill any requirement of one of the individual components, since it replaces them.

Caution is advised when using replace for the sub-package purpose explained above. You should then typically only replace using self.version as a version constraint, to make sure the main package only replaces the sub-packages of that exact version, and not any other version, which would be incorrect.

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 implements this logger interface would simply list it in provide.

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, classmap generation and files 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 non-namespaced convention.

The PSR-0 references are all combined, during install/update, into a single key => value array which may be found in the generated file vendor/composer/autoload_namespaces.php.

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/"] }
    }
}

The PSR-0 style is not limited to namespace declarations only but may be specified right down to the class level. This can be useful for libraries with only one class in the global namespace. If the php source file is also located in the root of the package, for example, it may be declared like this:

{
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": { "UniqueGlobalClass": "" }
    }
}

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

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

The classmap references are all combined, during install/update, into a single key => value array which may be found in the generated file vendor/composer/autoload_classmap.php.

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"]
    }
}

If you want to require certain files explicitly on every request then you can use the 'files' autoloading mechanism. This is useful if your package includes PHP functions that cannot be autoloaded by PHP.

Example:

{
    "autoload": {
        "files": ["src/MyLibrary/functions.php"]
    }
}

include-path

DEPRECATED: This is only present to support legacy projects, and all new code should preferably use autoloading. As such it is a deprecated practice, but the feature itself will not likely disappear from Composer.

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.

minimum-stability (root-only)

This defines the default behavior for filtering packages by stability. This defaults to stable, so if you rely on a dev package, you should specify it in your file to avoid surprises.

All versions of each package are checked for stability, and those that are less stable than the minimum-stability setting will be ignored when resolving your project dependencies. Specific changes to the stability requirements of a given package can be done in require or require-dev (see package links).

Available options (in order of stability) are dev, alpha, beta, RC, and stable.

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 the network (HTTP, FTP, SSH), that contains a list of composer.json objects with additional dist and/or source information. The packages.json file is loaded using a PHP stream. You can set extra options on that stream using the options parameter.
  • 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": "composer",
            "url": "https://packages.example.com",
            "options": {
                "ssl": {
                    "verify_peer": "true"
                }
            }
        },
        {
            "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.
  • github-protocols: Defaults to ["git", "https", "http"]. A list of protocols to use for github.com clones, in priority order. Use this if you are behind a proxy or have somehow bad performances with the git protocol.
  • 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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