Test your Laravel project with GitLab

Oct 2, 2020 by Thibault Debatty | 2643 views

PHP Laravel GitLab


So you have a Laravel project, and as a good programmer you are using GitLab to manage your code, and you started implementing some phpunit tests. But how to run these tests in GitLab?


First, you'll need a custom .env file that will be used for the tests. Let's call it env.gitlab. Here is a starting point that you can tweak to your needs.

APP_NAME="My awesome app"








The main attention points here are:

  • APP_DEBUG is true so we get some feedback if the tests fail
  • DB_CONNECTION is sqlite so we don't need to setup a MySQL database for the tests
  • QUEUE_CONNECTION is sync so we don't need an external process to run our queue jobs
  • MAIL_MAILER is log, so the mails are simply written to the log file, and not sent for real...


Now we can create the file .gitlab-ci.yml (don't forget the leading dot) that will instruct GitLab how to test our app. Once again, here is a starting point:

# this docker image contains PHP 7.4, composer and some other goodies
# you can find the full recipe (Dockerfile) here
# https://gitlab.cylab.be/cylab/docker-images/-/blob/master/php/php7.4
image: cylab/php74

    # use our custom .env file
    - cp env.gitlab .env

    # install the application
    - COMPOSER_CACHE_DIR=composer-cache composer install
    - php artisan key:generate
    - touch storage/app/db.sqlite
    - php artisan migrate

    # Optionally, we can install nodejs to build our js and css files
    - curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | bash -
    - apt install nodejs -y
    - npm install
    - npm run prod

  # run the tests
    - vendor/bin/phpunit

  # what we want to store locally to speed up the next run of this job
      - composer-cache/
      - node_modules/

In this file:

  • We use a Docker image cylab/php74 that contains PHP 7.4 (obviously) but also some additional modules and goodies.
  • There is only one job called test, to keep our pipeline clean and fast. We can define multiple jobs and stages if we need to run the tests with different Docker images, for example to test with different versions of PHP...
  • We instruct composer to use a custom directory to store downloaded libraries (namely composer-cache) and put these files in cache, so they can be reused at the next execution of the job. This allows to reduce the amount of downloaded libraries. Other files like bootstrap are not put in cache because these would simply pollute the next execution of the job and might corrupt the results of the tests.

commit and push

Finally, we can commit and push this all to GitLab:

git add env.gitlab
git add .gitlab-ci.yml
git commit -m "test with gitlab"
git push


Once this basic tests are configured, don't hesitate to add:

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