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Help is very welcomed. Code contributions must be done in respect of PSR-2. More details on how to contribute and guidelines for pull requests can be found here.

See Coding guidelines for tips on how to do so. All changes must be documented in the


  • Bugs & Feature requests: If you found a bug, open an issue on Github. Please search for already reported similar issues before opening a new one. You should include code examples (with dependencies if needed) and your Elastica version to the issue description.
  • Questions & Problems: If you have questions or a specific problem, use the Elastica Gitter Chat or open an issue on Stackoverflow. Make sure to assign the tag Elastica.


Elastica uses docker for its development environment. Make sure you have both docker and docker-compose installed.

This repository comes with a set of docker-compose.yml templates used for the CI and the local development.

To start a local docker instance run make docker-start: the command will pull the required containers for PHP and ES. The containers will start and display the logs from ES, terminating the command will stop the containers too. Use make docker-start DOCKER_OPTIONS="--detach" to start the containers in a detached mode. The docker containers can be stopped with make docker-stop.

The ES server version started by that command can be configured by passing a ES_VERSION= parameter. As an example, running make docker-start ES_VERSION=75 will use the latest 7.5.x release. If you specify an ES version, use the same version when stopping the containers: make docker-stop ES_VERSION=75.

For a list of supported Elasticsearch containers look in the docker/ folder for the*.yml files.

Local Docker configuration

For ES to properly run, the vm.max_map_count=262144 system configuration is needed by ES to properly spin up the nodes. for further information. To update such configuration:

  • For Linux: sudo sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144
  • For macOS with 'Docker for Mac':
    • from the command line, run screen ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/vms/0/tty
    • press enter and run sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144

Further details here: []

Local commands

Check out the Makefile for other commands that can be used to run tests and other operations:

  • Run your changes / tests in the virtual environment to make sure it is reproducible.
  • Run the tests before creating the pull request using docker-compose locally.

PHP Tools

Elastica uses phive to manage PHP tools and their installation. Those tools are available under the tools/ directory and are installed when need by a command (see below).

Some of the installed tools are:

  • php-cs-fixer.phar: PHP Coding styles


The advantage in using the commands below is that no local tools and libraries have to be installed and it is guaranteed that everyone is using the same tools.

The tools required for each command will be installed only when needed by the command itself.

Coding standards

Run the command make docker-run-phpcs to run the coding-standard checks on the code inside the docker container.

You need to execute it before open a Pull Request: the CI will execute the same checks, to make sure that every PR respects the same coding standards.

The command make docker-fix-phpcs can be used to fix the code automatically.


Before running the tests inside the docker container, make sure to start them by running make docker-start. See the "Setup" section above for further details.

Run the command make docker-run-phpunit to run the PHP tests on the code inside the docker container.

Options can be passed to phpunit when running in the docker container: use the PHPUNIT_OPTIONS to pass additional arguments to the invocation of the tool.


  • run a specific group of tests: make docker-run-phpunit PHPUNIT_OPTIONS="--group=unit"
  • filter the test to run: make docker-run-phpunit PHPUNIT_OPTIONS="--filter=ClientTest"
  • run tests for a specific test-class: make docker-run-phpunit PHPUNIT_OPTIONS="test/Elastica/ClientTest.php"



Pull Requests

  • One change per pull requests: Keep your pull requests as small as possible. Only one change should happen per pull request. This makes it easier to review and provided feedback. If you have a large pull request, try to split it up in multiple smaller requests.
  • Commit messages: Make sure that your commit messages have meaning and provide an understanding on what was changed without looking at the code.
  • Pull requests should be opened as early as possible as pull requests are also here for communication / discussing changes. Add a comment when your pull request is ready to be merged.
  • Tests: Your addition / change must be tested and the builds must be green. Test your changes locally. Add unit tests and if possible functional tests. Don't forget to add the group to your tests.
  • Update the file with your changes
  • Backward Compatibility breaks: In case you break backward compatibility, provide details on why this is needed.
  • Merge: No one should ever merge their own pull request

Name Spaces & Classes

Most name spaces and classes are self explanatory and use cases can be taken from classes which already exist.

Tool Namespace

The namespace Tool is used for making more complex functionality of Elastica available to the users. In general it maps existing functionality of Elastica and offers simplified functions.

Util Class

The util class is used for all static functions which are used in the Elastica library but don't access the library itself.

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