Safely upgrade from PHP 7.4 to 8.1 using Rector

Change composer.json to the new PHP 8.1

Do a composer update

After changing the environment, I ran a nice and risky composer update. Not entirely sure about this, as there might be a cleaner way, but I guess composer needs to check and update all packages to the specified PHP version.

Check for packages that might break

In this particular project, the only package that did not have support was fzaninotto/faker, and that's because that project has said goodnight since 2020. Good news though, there's an alternative to it called fakerphp/faker, which you can just use directly in composer.json ("fzaninotto/faker" => "fakerphp/faker"). And you don't need to change a thing in your factories, it just works.

Run the tests

At this point, I run the tests, and I notice nothing breaks, they’re all passing. Phew. However, if it doesn’t go as smoothly for you, or you don’t have tests, check out the deprecations here. Just make sure that you’ve handled those and ignore the new syntax, because we’re not going to upgrade to it the old fashion way. Just commit your changes so you have a clean slate for the syntax changes.

Install, configure, and run Rector

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Geni Jaho

Geni Jaho

Full-stack web developer with a passion for software architecture and programming best practices.