Setting up PhpStorm

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PhpStorm is a commercial IDE, it is arguably the best IDE for PHP developers with features such as code completion, code inspection, phpunit support, Behat support, database editor, debugger, etc.



Do not install Java manually, download a PhpStorm package with bundled java instead.

General settings

  •  Disable missing @throws tag warning in "Preferences / Project Settings / Inspections / PHP / PHPDoc"
  • Strip trailing whitespace from "Modified Lines" in "Preferences / IDE Settings / Editor/ General"
  • Show line numbers in "Preferences / IDE Settings / Editor / Appearance"

Bug tracker integration

Code formatting

  • Setup coding style to use all rules from Coding style in "Preferences / Project Settings / Code Style / PHP" (or simply import from - this will allow you to use automatic code formatting and it does nice code formatting on copy/paste.
  • Set line separator to "Unix and OS X (\n)" in "Preferences / Project Settings / Code Style / General".
  • Set right margin to 132 or 180 in "Preferences / Project Settings / Code Style / General".

Tips & Tricks

  • Use
    /** @var admin_root $ADMIN */
    to autofill $ADMIN->...
  • Remove SQL syntax inspection errors for Moodle tables surrounded by curly brackets (like:
    SELECT * FROM {user}
    ) by adding
    to Tools > Databases > user parameters

(more info: , and a "feature request" to improve it: )

Moodle code checker

Follow the instructions in the README

PHPUnit integration

  1. Install PHPUnit via Composer
  2. Tell PHPStorm where is composer - go to "Preferences / PHP / Composer", fill in "Path to PHP executable", "Path to composer.phar", "Path to composer.json" and make sure the option "Add packages as libraries" is enabled.
  3. Go to "Run / Edit configurations"
  4. Add PHPUnit configuration by clicking on "+"
  5. Click "Use alternative configuration file" and select your phpunit.xml file
  6. Go to "Run / Run ..." and select your new PHPUnit configuration to run

Database editor

  1. Click on the "Database" tab to see the database window
  2. Click "+" in the top left and add "Database source" for your database
  3. Note: click on the link to download the necessary drivers directly from IDE

Useful plugins

  1. Php Inspections ​(EA Extended) -
  2. SonarLint -
  3. Diff / Patch File Support -
  4. Handlebars/Mustache -
  5. Markdown Navigator -
  6. PHP composer.json support -
  7. PHP Advanced AutoComplete -