Pcov Is Better than Phpdbg and Xdebug for Code Coverage

Since the last time, I changed from phpdbg to pcov.

Results? pcov is faster, uses less memory, is more accurate than phdbg.


Time: 4.09 minutes, Memory: 3.32 GB


Time: 3.48 minutes, Memory: 1.36 GB

Caveat, only works with PHPUnit 8+… Or does it?

Because my project is a WordPress plugin, and because WordPress has unresolved issues older than my 9-year-old, they don’t support PHPUnit 8, yet.

Lucky for me, unlucky for the maintainer who would rather not support this gross hack, pcov works with PHPUnit 7, and probably PHPUnit 6, thanks to pcov-clobber.

Previously on (show name)

In June 2018 I ran into a problem using Xdebug for code coverage.

PHPUnit without Xdebug took 5 minutes. PHPUnit with Xdebug (to generate code coverage reports) took ~50 minutes. This was too long for Travis CI. The job would crash, abort, and never finish code coverage.

Fixed by switching to phpdbg. It ran 10x faster. Maybe the code coverage metrics were a bit worse but at least it ran.

All was well until it wasn’t. Last week phpdbg started crashing Travis CI with [PHP Fatal error: Out of memory].

I needed another solution. Enter pcov.

How to switch to pcov if you are stuck with PHPUnit 7

It all started here?

byu/phpswen from discussion

Or maybe here: Running for Coverage

Basically, this:

So if you are doing this:

vendor/bin/phpunit --configuration phpunit.xml --coverage-clover coverage.xml

Or this:

phpdbg -qrr -d memory_limit=-1 vendor/bin/phpunit --configuration phpunit.xml --coverage-clover coverage.xml

Simply change to:

pecl install pcov; composer require pcov/clobber; vendor/bin/pcov clobber; vendor/bin/phpunit --configuration phpunit.xml --coverage-clover coverage.xml

And you’re done.

Here’s my diff:

One thought on “Pcov Is Better than Phpdbg and Xdebug for Code Coverage”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *