If this is your first time installing UserFrosting or if you're not already familiar with setting up a local environment, this page will guide you in setting up your first local environment using Homestead. If you already have a local environment (e.g., LAMP or LEMP) and you're already familiar with composer, the Native Installation guide is for you.
We get it - you just want to get UserFrosting up and running as quickly as possible. Don't worry! We'll get you there.
If you're uploading your code to a live site while you're still writing it, this section is for you. If you are already developing in a local environment, please skip this section.
In actuality, "web server" and "web hosting" are not the same thing. A web server is nothing more than a piece of software that runs on a computer and listens for HTTP requests. The most common web servers - Apache and Nginx - are completely free and open-source. You can download and run them on your personal computer.
When you sign up with a web hosting company, you're not paying for the web server software; you're paying to run a web server on their computers instead of your own. The reason that you need a web hosting service is not because they possess some magical ability to run PHP. What you're paying for is:
These are important concerns - and part of the reason that most people don't run their web applications off of a home/office server - but they have nothing to do with the development of your application.
In the long run, the amount of time you'll spend uploading your code after each change you make will easily dwarf the amount of time it takes to set up a working test server on your own computer. Examples of test server software are Apache and Nginx. If you don't like the idea of setting up a local test server, there's an alternative option that is a little easier and very reliable, called a virtual environment. Vagrant and Homestead (using them together) is an example of setting up a virtual environment.
When you run your code in a place that is accessible only to you and where it's ok when something breaks, this is referred to as a development environment. When you upload your code so that it is running live and interacting with real visitors to your site, this is called a production environment.
The first thing you'll need to do is install VirtualBox and Vagrant. VirtualBox is a virtualization manager that lets you run just any operating system as a "guest" inside another operating system (the "host"). Our goal with VirtualBox is to let you run Ubuntu on a "virtual machine" on your computer, not matter which operating system you natively use.
To install VirtualBox, simply download and run one of the installers available on their Downloads page.
The next thing we'll do is set up Vagrant. Vagrant works in tandem with VirtualBox to automatically manage the configuration and installed software inside your virtual machine. Head over to Vagrant's downloads page to grab one of their installers.
If you think of VirtualBox as your kitchen, Vagrant is sort of like the cookbook that contains recipes for how to set up a useful development environment on your virtual machine. The particular recipe that we'll be using is called Homestead, and it is has everything we need to easily set up the UserFrosting development environment.
Before we begin, it's important to understand that we will rely heavily on command-line operations and git. If you are natively running on a Linux distribution or MacOS, this is already handled for you with Terminal and a preinstalled copy of git.
However, if you are a Windows user, you'll need to install
git and get set up with a decent command-line program. Fortunately, Git for Windows takes care of both of these things for you. Just install it, and you'll have
git and the
Git Bash command-line terminal available in your start menu.
Once you've installed VirtualBox and Vagrant, we can use Vagrant to spin up a virtual machine with the Homestead configuration.
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
Homestead will automatically give us the following components that we need to run UserFrosting:
Nice! This means that we are saved the hassle of setting these up natively in our operating system.
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 https://github.com/laravel/homestead.git homestead
While we're at it, we can also clone the UserFrosting repository into another directory:
git clone https://github.com/userfrosting/UserFrosting.git userfrosting
You should now have a directory structure that looks something like this:
Users/ └── alexweissman/ └── dev/ ├── homestead/ └── userfrosting/
Let's now change into the
homestead/ directory and run the initialization script:
cd homestead bash init.sh
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.
Homestead.yaml configuration file looks like this:
--- ip: "192.168.10.10" memory: 2048 cpus: 1 provider: virtualbox authorize: ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub keys: - ~/.ssh/id_rsa folders: - map: ~/code to: /home/vagrant/code sites: - map: homestead.test to: /home/vagrant/code/public databases: - 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
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.
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
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/homestead_rsa.pub. The key fingerprint is: cf:3e:b8:a0:6a:11:91:74:a7:20:09:fb:b2:79:89:41 [email protected] The key's randomart image is: +--[ RSA 2048]----+ |+oo.. . | |.ooo o | |.E .. | |... | |o .. S | | *.. o | |+ o. . .o | | .. . .... | | .... .... | +-----------------+
You should now have files
homestead_rsa.pub. Change the
keys paths to point to these files:
authorize: ~/.ssh/homestead_rsa.pub keys: - ~/.ssh/homestead_rsa
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:
folders: - 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
mapvalue. For example,
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:
sites: - 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
Finally, we need to tell Homestead to create a database for us. Change the
database section to:
databases: - userfrosting
Homestead will automatically create a
userfrosting database, along with a
homestead database user account. The password will be
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 192.168.10.10 userfrosting.test
Notice that we're mapping the IP address from our
Homestead.yaml file to our desired domain.
Congratulations! We're ready to start up our virtual machine and get to work. First, from inside your
homestead/ directory, run:
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.yamlexist before you run
vagrant up. Otherwise, you will need to reload your virtual machine using
vagrant reload --provisionso that Homestead has a chance to find your directories.
Once it's done, you'll be able to log into your virtual machine:
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: https://help.ubuntu.com * Management: https://landscape.canonical.com * Support: https://ubuntu.com/advantage 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: 10.0.2.15 Swap usage: 0% IP address for eth1: 192.168.10.10 * Meltdown, Spectre and Ubuntu: What are the attack vectors, how the fixes work, and everything else you need to know - https://ubu.one/u2Know 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).
Now that you've logged into the virtual machine and have all the mappings properly set up, you can finish installing UserFrosting.
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
vendor/ directory contains all of UserFrosting's PHP dependencies - there should be nearly 30 subdirectories in here!
If you only see
wikimedia subdirectories after running
composer install, then you may need to delete the
composer.lock file (
rm composer.lock) and run
composer install again.
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:
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
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.
We highly recommend that you change your git remote to make it easier to pull future updates to UserFrosting.
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: - 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 192.168.10.10 userfrosting.test 192.168.10.10 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
secret. You may see some errors the first time you sign in - these can be ignored.
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
First, log in to the virtual machine:
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.
Homestead.yaml, modify the
folders mappings to use
folders: - 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.
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!
You should also follow us on Twitter for real-time news and updates: