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Yii VarDumper

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VarDumper enhances functionality of var_dump() and var_export(). It is dealing with recursive references, may highlight syntax and export closures.


  • PHP 7.4 or higher.


The package could be installed with composer:

composer require yiisoft/var-dumper --prefer-dist

General usage

Quick debugging

In case you want to echo a string representing variable contents use the following code:


That is useful for quick debugging. By default, it goes deep 10 levels into variable and highlights syntax. You may adjust these settings via second and third argument of the method respectively.

For convenience, you can use the functions:

// Prints variables:
d($variable, /* Further variables to dump. */);

// Prints variables and terminate the current script:
dd($variable, /* Further variables to dump. */);

Formatting debug string

To get a string representing variable contents, same as above but without echo:

$string = \Yiisoft\VarDumper\VarDumper::create($variable)->asString(10, true);

10 is maximum recursion depth and true is telling dumper to highlight syntax.

Exporting as PHP code

In order to get a valid PHP expression string that can be evaluated by PHP parser, and the evaluation result will give back the variable value, use the following code:

$string = \Yiisoft\VarDumper\VarDumper::create($variable)->export();

It is similar to var_export() but uses short array syntax, handles closures, and serializes objects.

In the above export() will give you nicely formatted code. You can remove formatting by passing false as the first $format argument.

$useVariables argument allows specifying array of variables that will be in use statement for closures. That is especially useful if an object contains callbacks that should get info from upper scope.

$serializeObjects argument when given false allows to force turn off using of serialization for objects so instead closures and reflection API are used the same was as for exporting closures. De-serialization performance is better. Closures are way more readable.


Current limitations are:

  • Variables or properties that are anonymous classes or contain anonymous classes are not supported.

Unit testing

The package is tested with PHPUnit. To run tests:


Mutation testing

The package tests are checked with Infection mutation framework with Infection Static Analysis Plugin. To run it:


Static analysis

The code is statically analyzed with Psalm. To run static analysis:


Support the project

Open Collective

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The Yii Caching Library is free software. It is released under the terms of the BSD License. Please see LICENSE for more information.

Maintained by Yii Software.