Monthly Downloads: 76,331
Programming language: PHP
License: MIT License
Latest version: v0.7.28

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Rector - Upgrade Your Legacy App to a Modern Codebase

Rector is a reconstruc*tor* tool - it does instant upgrades and instant refactoring of your code. Why refactor manually if Rector can handle 80% of the task for you?

Coverage Status Downloads SonarCube



Rector grows faster with your help, the more you help the more work it saves you. Check out Rector's Patreon. One-time donations are welcome through PayPal.

Thank you:

Open-Source First

Rector instantly upgrades and instantly refactors the PHP code of your application.

It supports all versions of PHP from 5.2 and many open-source projects:

What Can Rector Do for You?

How to Apply Coding Standards?

Rector uses nikic/php-parser, that build on technology called abstract syntax tree) technology* (AST). AST doesn't care about spaces and produces mall-formatted code. That's why your project needs to have coding standard tool and set of rules, so it can make refactored nice and shiny again.

Don't have any coding standard tool? Add EasyCodingStandard and use prepared ecs-after-rector.yaml set.


composer require rector/rector --dev
  • Having conflicts during composer require? → Use the Rector Prefixed
  • Using a different PHP version than Rector supports? → Use the Docker image

Running Rector

A. Prepared Sets

Featured open-source projects have prepared sets. You can find them in /config/set or by running:

vendor/bin/rector sets

Let's say you pick the symfony40 set and you want to upgrade your /src directory:

# show a list of known changes in Symfony 4.0
vendor/bin/rector process src --set symfony40 --dry-run

Rector will show you diff of files that it would change. To make the changes, run same command without --dry-run:

# apply upgrades to your code
vendor/bin/rector process src --set symfony40

Some sets, such as code-quality can be used on a regular basis. The best practise is to use config over CLI, here in sets parameter:

# rector.yaml
        - code-quality

B. Standalone Rules

In the end, it's best to combine few of basic sets and drop particular rules that you want to try:

# rector.yaml
        - code-quality

    Rector\Php74\Rector\Property\TypedPropertyRector: null

Then let Rector refactor your code:

vendor/bin/rector process src


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



If you're annoyed by repeating paths in arguments, you can move them to config instead:

# rector.yaml
        - 'src'
        - 'tests'

Extra Autoloading

Rector relies on whatever autoload setup the project it is fixing is using by using the Composer autoloader as default. To specify your own autoload file, use --autoload-file option:

vendor/bin/rector process ../project --autoload-file ../project/vendor/autoload.php

Or use a rector.yaml configuration file:

# rector.yaml
        - 'vendor/squizlabs/php_codesniffer/autoload.php'
        - 'vendor/project-without-composer'

Exclude Paths and Rectors

You can also exclude files or directories (with regex or fnmatch):

# rector.yaml
        - '*/src/*/Tests/*'

You can use a whole set, except 1 rule:

# rector.yaml
        - 'Rector\CodeQuality\Rector\If_\SimplifyIfReturnBoolRector'

For in-file exclusion, use @noRector \FQN name annotation:

class SomeClass
     * @noRector \Rector\DeadCode\Rector\ClassMethod\RemoveEmptyClassMethodRector
    public function foo()
        /** @noRector \Rector\DeadCode\Rector\Plus\RemoveDeadZeroAndOneOperationRector */
        round(1 + 0);

Provide PHP Version

By default Rector uses the language features matching your system version of PHP. You can configure it for a different PHP version:

# rector.yaml
    php_version_features: '7.2' # your version is 7.3

Import Use Statements

FQN classes are not imported by default. If you don't want to do it manually after every Rector run, enable it by:

# rector.yaml
    auto_import_names: true

You can also fine-tune how these imports are processed:

# rector.yaml
    # this will not import root namespace classes, like \DateTime or \Exception
    import_short_classes: false

    # this will not import classes used in PHP DocBlocks, like in /** @var \Some\Class */
    import_doc_blocks: false

Limit Execution to Changed Files

Execution can be limited to changed files using the process option --match-git-diff. This option will filter the files included by the configuration, creating an intersection with the files listed in git diff.

vendor/bin/rector process src --match-git-diff

This option is useful in CI with pull-requests that only change few files.

Symfony Container

To work with some Symfony rules, you now need to link your container XML file

# rector.yaml
    # path to load services from
    symfony_container_xml_path: 'var/cache/dev/AppKernelDevDebugContainer.xml'

More Detailed Documentation

How to Contribute

See the contribution guide.

Run Rector in Docker

You can run Rector on your project using Docker:

docker run -v $(pwd):/project rector/rector:latest process /project/src --set symfony40 --dry-run

# Note that a volume is mounted from `pwd` (the current directory) into `/project` which can be accessed later.

Using rector.yaml:

docker run -v $(pwd):/project rector/rector:latest process /project/app \
--config /project/rector.yaml \
--autoload-file /project/vendor/autoload.php \

Community Packages

Do you use Rector to upgrade your code? Add it here: