Advanced Homestead Setup

This guide is intended for advanced users who are familiar with Vagrant and Virtual Machines. For basic Homestead installation, see the Homestead Dev Environment guide.

Install Homestead Manually

In addition to the Vagrant support built-in UserFrosting, the Homestead dev environment can also be setup manually. Manual setup can be used to customize the installation or load multiple sites inside the same virtual machine.

Compared to the Vagrant integration built-in UserFrosting, which basically load the Homestead configuration into the UserFrosting directory, this page will guide you into loading the Homestead configuration into it's own directory, allowing you to define multiple sites in the same Vagrant Virtual Machine.

Setting up Homestead

Once you've installed VirtualBox and Vagrant, we can use Vagrant to spin up a virtual machine with the Homestead configuration.

Set up the virtual machine

The first thing we need to do is create a virtual machine. To do this, open up your command line program (Terminal, Git Bash, whatever). In Windows, you may need use choose "Run as administrator". At the command line, run:

vagrant box add laravel/homestead

This will hit Vagrant's public catalog of preconfigured boxes and install the laravel/homestead box. You will be prompted to choose which virtual machine manager to use. Choose the virtualbox option.

Download and initialize Homestead

In a directory of your choice (I have a generic dev/ directory on my computer where I keep all of my projects), clone the Homestead repository to a new subdirectory (we need both the box and the repository!):

git clone homestead

While we're at it, we can also clone the UserFrosting repository into another directory:

git clone userfrosting

You should now have a directory structure that looks something like this:

└── alexweissman/
    └── dev/
        ├── homestead/
        └── userfrosting/

Let's now change into the homestead/ directory and run the initialization script:

cd homestead

This will create a Homestead.yaml file in the homestead/ directory. Open up this file in your favorite text editor, because we will need to make some modifications.

The default Homestead.yaml configuration file looks like this:

ip: ""
memory: 2048
cpus: 1
provider: virtualbox

authorize: ~/.ssh/

    - ~/.ssh/id_rsa

    - map: ~/code
      to: /home/vagrant/code

    - map: homestead.test
      to: /home/vagrant/code/public

    - homestead

# blackfire:
#     - id: foo
#       token: bar
#       client-id: foo
#       client-token: bar

# ports:
#     - send: 50000
#       to: 5000
#     - send: 7777
#       to: 777
#       protocol: udp

The first section we'll focus on is the authorize and keys section. This is the configuration for SSH which, for our purposes, is the means by which we will be able to "log in" to our virtual machine.

Create an SSH keypair

You can generate a new SSH keypair using the ssh-keygen tool. Before doing this, make sure you have a .ssh directory in your user's home directory (e.g. C:/Users/<username> in Windows, or /Users/<username> in Mac/Linux). If not, you can do mkdir $HOME/.ssh.

Then, run the following command:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -f $HOME/.ssh/homestead_rsa

It will prompt you to create a passphrase. Since this is all for a development environment, we don't need a passphrase - just hit Enter. If it succeeds, you'll see something like:

Your identification has been saved in /Users/alexweissman/.ssh/homestead_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /Users/alexweissman/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
cf:3e:b8:a0:6a:11:91:74:a7:20:09:fb:b2:79:89:41 alexweissman@willis
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|+oo.. .          |
|.ooo o           |
|.E ..            |
|...              |
|o ..    S        |
| *..     o       |
|+ o.  .  .o      |
| ..  . ....      |
| ....   ....     |

You should now have files homestead_rsa and Change the authorize and keys paths to point to these files:

authorize: ~/.ssh/

 - ~/.ssh/homestead_rsa

Customize folders, sites, and database

Homestead lets us share directories between our native operating system and the virtual machine. For this to work, we need to map each directory in our native operating system, to a corresponding directory on the virtual machine. To do this, we use the folders setting in Homestead.yaml. Replace the default map with the directory where you cloned UserFrosting on your host machine:

    - map: ~/dev/userfrosting            # This is the directory on your "real" computer; should point to the userfrosting repo directory we made earlier
      to: /home/vagrant/userfrosting   # This is the corresponding directory in the virtual machine

For Windows users, you should use the use the full, absolute path including the drive letter in your map value. For example, C:/Users/alexweissman/dev/userfrosting.

If folders maps directories to directories, then sites maps URLs to our document root (similar to what VirtualHosts do in Apache). In the case of UserFrosting, we want our document root on the virtual machine to be /home/vagrant/userfrosting/public. We'll map this to a userfrosting.test URL, which we'll use to access our website in the browser. Change the defaults to look like:

    - map: userfrosting.test
      to: /home/vagrant/userfrosting/public

Now any time we visit http://userfrosting.test in our browser, it will run our website starting in /home/vagrant/userfrosting/public.

Finally, we need to tell Homestead to create a database for us. Change the database section to:

    - userfrosting

Homestead will automatically create a userfrosting database, along with a homestead database user account. The password will be secret.

Add userfrosting.test to your hosts file

We need to tell our host operating system how to find the "server" (running in our virtual machine) that corresponds to userfrosting.test. To do this, we need to edit the hosts file. In Windows, this file is located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. In MacOS, you can find it at /private/etc/hosts. In either case, you will need to edit it as an administrator, or temporarily give yourself permissions to write to this file.

Add the following lines at the bottom, save and exit:

# Vagrant projects  userfrosting.test

Notice that we're mapping the IP address from our Homestead.yaml file to our desired domain.

Running the virtual machine

Congratulations! We're ready to start up our virtual machine and get to work. First, from inside your homestead/ directory, run:

vagrant up

This will take a little bit of time to provision the virtual machine.

If you get an error like "did not find expected key while parsing a block mapping", this means that Vagrant could not properly parse your Homestead.yaml file. To find syntax errors in YAML files, try pasting them into YAML Lint.

Make sure that the directories you map in Homestead.yaml exist before you run vagrant up. Otherwise, you will need to reload your virtual machine using vagrant reload --provision so that Homestead has a chance to find your directories.

Once it's done, you'll be able to log into your virtual machine:

vagrant ssh

It would appear that Git-Bash functions poorly as an SSH client in Windows. For Windows users, you may want to use the native "command prompt" application instead.

If it connects successfully, you will see a welcome message for Ubuntu:

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

  System information as of Sun May 13 19:06:39 UTC 2018

  System load:  0.0               Processes:           121
  Usage of /:   8.2% of 61.80GB   Users logged in:     0
  Memory usage: 19%               IP address for eth0:
  Swap usage:   0%                IP address for eth1:

 * Meltdown, Spectre and Ubuntu: What are the attack vectors,
   how the fixes work, and everything else you need to know

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

If you try the ls command, you should see the userfrosting directory that you had mapped in your Homestead.yaml file. If you don't see this directory, double-check your Homestead.yaml, log out of the virtual machine (exit) and then reload the virtual machine (vagrant reload --provision).

Installing UserFrosting

Now that you've logged into the virtual machine and have all the mappings properly set up, you can finish installing UserFrosting.

Composer dependencies

This will install UserFrosting's dependencies:

cd userfrosting
composer install

This may take some time to complete. If Composer has completed successfully, you should see that a vendor/ directory has been created under app/. This vendor/ directory contains all of UserFrosting's PHP dependencies - there should be nearly 30 subdirectories in here!

If you only see composer and wikimedia subdirectories after running composer install, then you may need to delete the composer.lock file (rm composer.lock) and run composer install again.

Assets and database setup

We can use Bakery to set up our database and download the Node and Bower dependencies:

$ php bakery bake

You will first be prompted for your database credentials. Remember, our database information should be as follows:

  • Type: MySQL
  • Host: localhost
  • Port: 3306
  • Database name: userfrosting
  • Database user: homestead
  • Database password: secret

If the database connection is successful, the installer will then ask for STMP server config. This config is used to connect to the outgoing mail server. You can use the default values here, but UserFrosting won't be able to send outgoing emails.

Once the STMP config is defined, the installer will check that the basic dependencies are met. If so, the installer will run the migrations to populate your database with new tables. After this process, you will be prompted for some information to set up the master account (first user). Finally, the installer will run the build-assets command to fetch javascript dependencies and build the assets bundles.

Check our your first UserFrosting installation!

Ok, that should be it! If you head over to http://userfrosting.test in your browser, you should see the front page of the default UserFrosting installation.

Next steps

Change your git remote

We highly recommend that you change your git remote to make it easier to pull future updates to UserFrosting.

Install phpmyadmin

You can install phpmyadmin on your virtual machine to make it easier to interact with the userfrosting database. If you're SSH'ed into your virtual machine, do the following:

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Do not select apache2 nor lighttpd when prompted. Just hit tab and enter. Choose the defaults for any prompts that appear.

Next, create a symlink to the phpmyadmin installation:

sudo ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ /home/vagrant/phpmyadmin

exit from your virtual machine, and then add phpmyadmin to your sites in Homestead.yaml:

    - map: userfrosting.test
      to: /home/vagrant/userfrosting/public

    - map: phpmyadmin.test
      to: /home/vagrant/phpmyadmin

Don't forget to add phpmyadmin.test to your hosts file as well:

# Vagrant projects  userfrosting.test  phpmyadmin.test

Finally, reload your virtual machine and log back in:

vagrant reload --provision
vagrant ssh

You should be able to access phpmyadmin in your browser at http://phpmyadmin.test. Remember, your database credentials are homestead/secret. You may see some errors the first time you sign in - these can be ignored.

Configure NFS if pages load slowly

By default, the way that VirtualBox shares directories between your native operating system and the virtual machine can be very slow. If you are experiencing slow page loads because of this, you can configure Homestead to use the nfs filesystem.

First, log in to the virtual machine:

vagrant ssh

Then install the nfs-common package in your virtual machine:

sudo apt-get install nfs-common portmap

When this is done, exit from your virtual machine.

In your Homestead.yaml, modify the folders mappings to use nfs:

    - map: ~/userfrosting
      to: /home/vagrant/userfrosting
      type: "nfs"

Reload the virtual machine:

vagrant reload --provision

If you get errors about a missing vboxsf filesystem, then it is possible that your host operating system does not have NFS natively available. In this case, you may need to install special NFS server software for your operating system.

Start developing!

Head over to the chapter on Sprinkles to get oriented and find your way around the UserFrosting codebase. Come see us in chat if you're having trouble.

It will help us a lot if you could star the UserFrosting project on GitHub. Just look for the button in the upper right-hand corner!

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