Working With Laravel on OSX
In case you haven’t heard, PHP is becoming cool again. I say this as a joke, but there’s a ring of truth to it. With the advent of things like Composer, PSRs, and improvements to the core of PHP, things are beginning to look bright for PHP once again.
Among the shiny new things is a framework called Laravel. It’s described as a framework for web artisans, and that’s precisely what it is. Before you can start developing in Laravel on OSX, however, you need to make sure you have all the little bits and pieces you need. This is just a little guide to help you blitz through the process. The assumptions I make are that you have:
- A somewhat recent version of OSX
- Installed command-line tools from Xcode
- Installed Brew
- At least some level of comfort with the command-line
Setting up Apache
If you already have Apache set up, you can skip this section. I’m writing this guide under the assumption you’re not running MAMP. I’ve never used it myself, so I can’t guarantee this guide will work for you if you are.
OSX already comes with the Apache web-server and PHP installed. However, the default configuration needs some adjustment. We first need to make sure that the modules for PHP and rewrite are enabled. Open a terminal, and run these commands:
sudo -s cp /etc/apache2/httpd.conf /etc/apache2/httpd.conf.bak vim /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
vim in the last command with
nano if you’ve never used vim
before. If you’re using nano, the
^ you see by all the instructions means the
Once you’ve done that, your Apache configuration should be open for editing. Find the lines that look something like these two:
LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so
LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so
Now just uncomment these two lines (remove any
# character that’s in front of
them) and then save & quit from your text editor. Once you’ve done that, just
Configuring Virtual Hosts
You can skip this section if you have your own way of configuring vhosts as well. If you’re unfamiliar with them, virtual hosts are a nice way of setting up and pairing multiple domains and projects. This is optional, but adds some niceties.
You could configure these manually, or just let a nice little tool called virtualhost.sh do all the work for you.
Make sure you’re not root right now, and run this command in a terminal:
brew install virtualhost.sh
Once you’ve done that, run:
Answer the yes/no prompts (and ignore any updates to virtualhost.sh that might
exist for now). In your home folder now, there will be a
Sites folder along
with your_project_name_here.dev as a subdirectory in there. Now if you open
up a browser and go to
http://your_project_name_here.dev, you’ll see it
displaying the contents of the index.html file there.
This auto-generated virtualhost file would be fine for most projects, but
Laravel uses a different DocumentRoot by default for some extra security. Run
sudo vim /etc/apache2/virtualhosts/your_project_name_here.dev and add
/public to the end of the value of the DocumentRoot. After you save and quit,
sudo apachectl restart.
You can create virtualhosts for other projects the same way. Something to note:
You might start getting apache errors if the
logs folder in one of these
virtualhosts ever gets deleted. If you run into this problem, you can either
remove references to these logs in the files in
just recreate the directory. Once you do one these things, be sure to restart
apache by running
sudo apachectl restart.
Laravel makes use of an encryption module called mcrypt that is not installed by default on OSX. You can check if you have the mcrpyt module in PHP by running this command in a terminal:
php -m | grep mcrypt
If you got
mcrypt as the output of this, you’re all set. Otherwise, there’s a
bit of work to be done. Run these commands:
brew update brew install autoconf automake brew install mcrypt
We now have mcrypt installed, but we still need to get PHP set up to work with it. First, you’ll need to find out what version of PHP you have. 5.3 is required for Laravel, and if you don’t have at least that, you’ll need to update your PHP installation. That’s beyond the scope of this guide, so you’re on your own there if that turns out to be the case.
Once you have the version noted, download the source code of the corresponding version from this link. Unzip it, and then cd into the folder where you did so. Once you’ve done that, run these commands:
cd ext/mcrypt phpize ./configure make sudo make install
Now we just need to update PHP’s configuration to make use of the mcrpyt
extension. If you don’t have the file
/etc/php.ini, you should at least have
/etc/php.ini.default. Run these commands:
sudo -s cp /etc/php.ini.default /etc/php.ini vim /etc/php.ini
Now just add this line somewhere in the file, and then save & quit:
All that’s left is to restart Apache, and we’re all done:
Starting Your First Laravel Project
Now that all the litle configuration details are taken care of, we can move on
to the stuff you actually care about. At this point, you can pretty much follow
the instructions found on the
Laravel docs. One thing that
people often forget to do is to make their
storage/views directory writable.
You can do that by moving into your project folder and running:
chmod -R 777 storage/views
Follow the rest of the instructions in the docs, and you should be good to go. Laravel is a really amazing framework, and it’s certainly worth the effort. Best of luck!