Quick Start Guide

    This quick start guide is aimed at experienced PHP developers who already have a development environment set up. Head over to the Installation Chapter for the complete guide.

    UserFrosting is a free, open-source jumping-off point for building user-centered web applications with PHP and Javascript. It comes with a sleek, modern interface, basic user account features, and an administrative user management system - all fully functioning out of the box.

    This is the documentation for UserFrosting 5. If you are looking for documentation for UserFrosting 4, please see here.

    Server Requirements

    UserFrosting has a few system requirements. Of course, all of these requirements are satisfied by the Docker virtual machine, so it's highly recommended that you use Docker as your local UserFrosting development environment.

    However, if you are not using Docker, you will need to make sure your local UserFrosting development environment meets the following requirements:

    • Web server software (Apache, Nginx, IIS, etc)
    • PHP *8.0 or higher (8.2 recommended)
    • PDO PHP Extension
    • GD PHP Extension
    • Database (MariaDB, MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, or SQL Server)
    • Composer 2
    • Node.js 18.0 or higher
    • npm 9 or higher

    Installing UserFrosting

    Use Composer to create an empty project with the latest version of UserFrosting skeleton into a new UserFrosting folder:

    $ composer create-project userfrosting/userfrosting UserFrosting "^5.0.0@dev"

    This will clone the skeleton repository and run the installation process:

    • Run composer install
    • Run php bakery bake
    • Setting up your database and SMTP credential in app/.env
    • Checking for missing dependencies
    • Create the admin user
    • Running the database migration
    • Building the raw assets

    If any dependencies are not met, an error will occur. Simply try again after fixing said error, or manually run composer install and php bakery bake from the install directory. For more information about the bake command, head to the Bakery CLI chapter.

    Public Directory

    After installing UserFrosting, you should configure your web server's document / web root to be the /public directory. The index.php in this directory serves as the front controller for all HTTP requests.

    Directory Permissions

    UserFrosting needs to be able to write to the file system for a few directories:

    • /app/cache
    • /app/logs
    • /app/sessions
    • /app/storage

    Web Server Configuration


    UserFrosting includes a public/.htaccess file that is used to provide URLs without the index.php front controller in the path. Before serving UserFrosting with Apache, be sure to enable the mod_rewrite module so the .htaccess file will be honored by the server.


    Use the configuration file provided in webserver-configs/nginx.conf.


    Please see the section on Configuring for IIS.

    Visit your website

    At this point, you should be able to access your application. You should see a basic page:

    Basic front page of a UserFrosting installation

    What's next...

    For more detailed information about installing UserFrosting, or if you need help with the basic setup requirements, check out the Installation Chapter. Otherwise, head over to the Sprinkles Chapter.