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Rector - Instant Upgrades and Automated Refactoring


Rector instantly upgrades and refactors the PHP code of your application. It can help you in 2 major areas:

1. Instant Upgrades

Rector now supports upgrades from PHP 5.3 to 8.1 and major open-source projects like Symfony, PHPUnit, Laravel, CakePHP and Doctrine. Do you want to be constantly on the latest PHP and Framework without effort?

Use Rector to handle instant upgrades for you.

2. Automated Refactoring

Do you have code quality you need, but struggle to keep it with new developers in your team? Do you want to see smart code-reviews even when every senior developers sleeps?

Add Rector to your CI and let it continuously refactor your code and keep the code quality high.

Read a First Book About Rector

Are you curious, how Rector works internally, how to create your own rules and test them and why Rector was born? In May 2021 we've released the very first book: Rector - The Power of Automated Refactoring.

By buying a book you directly support maintainers who are working on Rector.


For Rule Developers and Contributors

See the full documentation.


composer require rector/rector --dev

Running Rector

There are 2 main ways to use Rector:

  • a single rule, to have the change under control
  • or group of rules called sets

To use them, create a rector.php in your root directory:

vendor/bin/rector init

And modify it:

use Rector\Php74\Rector\Property\TypedPropertyRector;
use Rector\Set\ValueObject\SetList;
use Rector\Config\RectorConfig;

return static function (RectorConfig $rectorConfig): void {
    // here we can define, what sets of rules will be applied
    // tip: use "SetList" class to autocomplete sets

    // register single rule

Then dry run Rector:

vendor/bin/rector process src --dry-run

Rector will show you diff of files that it would change. To make the changes, drop --dry-run:

vendor/bin/rector process src

Note: rector.php is loaded by default. For different location, use --config option.

Note: Rector will only update legacy code to utilize new features which are supported by the PHP version defined in your composer.json file. For instance, if require.php is >=7.2.5, Rector will not make changes which are only available for PHP versions after 7.2.5.


// rector.php
use Rector\Core\ValueObject\PhpVersion;
use Rector\Config\RectorConfig;

return static function (RectorConfig $rectorConfig): void {
    // paths to refactor; solid alternative to CLI arguments
    $rectorConfig->paths([__DIR__ . '/src', __DIR__ . '/tests']);

    // is your PHP version different from the one you refactor to? [default: your PHP version], uses PHP_VERSION_ID format

    // Path to PHPStan with extensions, that PHPStan in Rector uses to determine types
    $rectorConfig->phpstanConfig(__DIR__ . '/phpstan-for-config.neon');

Empowered by Rector Community ❤️

The Rector community is powerful thanks to active maintainers who take care of Rector sets for particular projects.

Among there projects belong:

Hire us to get Job Done 💪

Rector is a tool that we develop and share for free, so anyone can automate their refactoring. But not everyone has dozens of hours to understand complexity of abstract-syntax-tree in their own time. That's why we provide commercial support - to save your time.

Would you like to apply Rector on your code base but don't have time for the struggle with your project? Hire us to get there faster.

How to Contribute

See the contribution guide or go to development repository rector/rector-src.


You can use --debug option, that will print nested exceptions output:

vendor/bin/rector process src/Controller --dry-run --debug

Or with Xdebug:

  1. Make sure Xdebug is installed and configured
  2. Add --xdebug option when running Rector
vendor/bin/rector process src/Controller --dry-run --xdebug

Known Drawbacks

How to Apply Coding Standards?

Rector uses nikic/php-parser, built on technology called an abstract syntax tree (AST). An AST doesn't know about spaces and when written to a file it produces poorly formatted code in both PHP and docblock annotations. That's why your project needs to have a coding standard tool and a set of formatting rules, so it can make Rector's output code nice and shiny again.

We're using ECS with this setup.