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Installing PHPUnit+PEAR in Ubuntu 12.10 and Overcoming the "PHP_CodeCoverage_Filter::getInstance" Fatal Error

PHP was one of the very first languages I learnt on my way to the world of web dev/design and it still is a very strong tool in my Swiss Army Knife for any web based projects.

In recent times however with the advent of various frameworks I started to realize finally my days of painstaking coding is over and I now can finally work on my small-medium sized applications with minimal effort needed for wrong I was.

When introduced to the world of testing I started to realize how inefficient and poor my coding standards were also how terrible they were in terms of maintenance. Also the flaws I started to find in my old projects urged me to unit-test my newer ventures. And I found the gem called PHPUnit

There are three ways of installing it in your dev box (Assuming Ubuntu)

  • Install Through PEAR
  • Install Through Composer
  • Install using standalone PHAR file
And as a loyal user of PEAR I straight went to PEAR and just typed the following command which is supposed to install PHPUnit in one go

$ sudo pear install phpunit/PHPUnit
Satisfied with the result I went to the terminal again and ran > phpunit
But to my surprise I got

PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined method PHP_CodeCoverage_Filter::getInstance() in /usr/bin/phpunit on line 39

Bewildered I ran to find what was causing it, but couldn't find any definite solution. So I again fired up my dev virtual box with ubuntu 12.04 and there it was running fine.

Suspecting something was wrong with my PEAR package I went ahead and  typed

$ pear config-show

It showed me (unlike the config on my 12.10)

Configuration (channel
Auto-discover new Channels auto_discover 
Default Channel default_channel
HTTP Proxy Server Address http_proxy 
PEAR server [DEPRECATED] master_server
Default Channel Mirror preferred_mirror
Remote Configuration File remote_config 
PEAR executables directory bin_dir /usr/bin
PEAR documentation directory doc_dir /usr/share/php/doc
PHP extension directory ext_dir /usr/lib/php5/20090626+lfs
PEAR directory php_dir /usr/share/php
PEAR Installer cache directory cache_dir /tmp/pear/cache
PEAR configuration file cfg_dir /usr/share/php/cfg
PEAR data directory data_dir /usr/share/php/data
PEAR Installer download download_dir /build/buildd/php5-5.3.10/pear-build-download
PHP CLI/CGI binary php_bin /usr/bin/php
php.ini location php_ini 
--program-prefix passed to php_prefix 
PHP’s ./configure
--program-suffix passed to php_suffix 
PHP’s ./configure
PEAR Installer temp directory temp_dir /tmp/pear/temp
PEAR test directory test_dir /usr/share/php/test
PEAR www files directory www_dir /usr/share/php/htdocs
Cache TimeToLive cache_ttl 3600
Preferred Package State preferred_state stable
Unix file mask umask 2
Debug Log Level verbose 1
PEAR password (for password maintainers)
Signature Handling Program sig_bin /usr/bin/gpg
Signature Key Directory sig_keydir /etc/pear/pearkeys
Signature Key Id sig_keyid 
Package Signature Type sig_type gpg
PEAR username (for username 
User Configuration File Filename /home/username/.pearrc
System Configuration File Filename /etc/pear/pear.conf

Getting sniff of what was wrong I fixed my environments using the following commands

sudo pear config-set bin_dir /usr/binsudo pear config-set doc_dir /usr/share/php/docsudo pear config-set php_dir /usr/share/phpsudo pear config-set cfg_dir /usr/share/php/cfg (make (sudo mkdir cfg) directory here)sudo pear config-set data_dir /usr/share/php/data
sudi pear config-set test_dir /usr/share/php/test
And then the following

$ sudo pear uninstall phpunit/PHPUnit
$ sudo pear install phpunit/PHPUnit
And after that it ran like a charm.

Note:  This happened quite a while ago. I finally got urge to post it because on of my friends faced the exact same problem last night and she couldn't find any solution. When she was telling me today I just figured out just by hearing the error what might be wrong. And the above fixed her issue.

And it dawned to me maybe If I had posted this earlier it could have helped her :P


  1. sudo apt-get install phpunit

    That installs it and takes care of any dependencies automatically. Also sets things in the correct path.

    No need to over-complicate things.


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