Setting up PhpStorm to run PHPUnit tests inside an already running docker container

  • by Amando Abreu
  • on 12 August 2022

Let’s make some assumptions:

Ok, here’s how to set it up so that you can runs tests through PhpStorm in the docker container that is already running and serving your project locally.

  • Open PhpStorm > Preferences > PHP
  • Click on the 3 dots after CLI Interpreter
  • Click on the plus to add a new one
  • Select “From Docker, vagrant, VM […]”

  • Select the “Docker compose” option.
  • Configuration files are your docker-compose.yml files, mine did a good job at assuming which ones I wanted to use
  • Service: Select the docker container where your app is running, mine is called php:

  • Environment variables: I left it blank, add whatever you may want/need
  • PHP interpreter path: my default suggestion worked
  • Once that’s done, change the Lifecycle to “Connect to an existing container (‘docker-compose exec’)

Setting up path mappings

  • In PhpStorm > Preferences > PHP
  • Click the folder icon after Path mappings
  • The one on the left is your local path, eg: /User/dev/project-root
  • The one on the right is the one inside the docker container, this should be explicitly in your Dockerfile, example: -> line 147, WORKDIR /srv/app

  • Path to script: vendor/autoload.php, because you set the path mappings, it will look for this at the project root
  • Test Runner, default configuration file: phpunit.xml.dist should be in your project root, and it should be selected.
  • Once that’s done, run your tests, and there you go

About the author

Amando Abreu got into electronics as a kid, started programming microchips in his early teens, moved onto web development in his late teens, and got into people; psychology; and business in his twenties. Currently co-founder & CTO @
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