Laravel Homestead


Laravel strives to make the entire PHP development experience delightful, including your local development environment. Vagrant provides a simple, elegant way to manage and provision Virtual Machines.

Laravel Homestead is an official, pre-packaged Vagrant "box" that provides you a wonderful development environment without requiring you to install PHP, HHVM, a web server, and any other server software on your local machine. No more worrying about messing up your operating system! Vagrant boxes are completely disposable. If something goes wrong, you can destroy and re-create the box in minutes!

Homestead runs on any Windows, Mac, or Linux system, and includes the Nginx web server, PHP 5.6, MySQL, Postgres, Redis, Memcached, Node, and all of the other goodies you need to develop amazing Laravel applications.

Note: If you are using Windows, you may need to enable hardware virtualization (VT-x). It can usually be enabled via your BIOS.

Homestead is currently built and tested using Vagrant 1.7.

Included Software

Installation & Setup

First Steps

Before launching your Homestead environment, you must install VirtualBox 5.x or VMWare as well as Vagrant. All of these software packages provide easy-to-use visual installers for all popular operating systems.

To use the VMware provider, you will need to purchase both VMware Fusion / Workstation and the VMware Vagrant plug-in. VMware provides much faster shared folder performance out of the box.

Installing The Homestead Vagrant Box

Once VirtualBox / VMware and Vagrant have been installed, you should add the laravel/homestead box to your Vagrant installation using the following command in your terminal. It will take a few minutes to download the box, depending on your Internet connection speed:

vagrant box add laravel/homestead

If this command fails, you may have an old version of Vagrant that requires the full URL:

vagrant box add laravel/homestead

Cloning The Homestead Repository

You may install Homestead by simply cloning the repository. Consider cloning the repository into a Homestead folder within your "home" directory, as the Homestead box will serve as the host to all of your Laravel projects:

git clone Homestead

If you would like to try the PHP 7.0 version of Homestead, clone the php-7 branch of the repository:

git clone -b php-7 Homestead

Once you have cloned the Homestead repository, run the bash command from the Homestead directory to create the Homestead.yaml configuration file. The Homestead.yaml file will be placed in your ~/.homestead directory:


Upgrading To PHP 7.0

If you are already using the PHP 5.x Homestead box, you may easily upgrade your installation to PHP 7.0. First, clone the php-7 branch of the laravel/homestead repository into a new folder:

git clone -b php-7 Homestead7

If you already have a Homestead.yaml file in your ~/.homestead directory, there is no need to run the script. However, if this is the first and only Homestead installation on your machine, you should run bash from your new Homestead directory.

Next, add then the box directive to the top of your ~/.homestead/Homestead.yaml file (on a new line after --- mark):

box: laravel/homestead-7

Finally, you may run the vagrant up command from the directory that contains your new clone of the laravel/homestead repository.

Configuring Homestead

Setting Your Provider

The provider key in your Homestead.yaml file indicates which Vagrant provider should be used: virtualbox, vmware_fusion, or vmware_workstation. You may set this to whichever provider you prefer:

provider: virtualbox

Setting Your SSH Key

In the Homestead.yaml file, you should also configure the path to your public SSH key. Don't have an SSH key? On Mac and Linux, you can generally create an SSH key pair using the following command:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "you@homestead"

On Windows, you may install Git and use the "Git Bash" shell included with Git to issue the command above. Alternatively, you may use PuTTY and PuTTYgen.

Once you have created a SSH key, specify the public key's path in the authorize property of your Homestead.yaml file.

Configuring Shared Folders

The folders property of the Homestead.yaml file lists all of the folders you wish to share with your Homestead environment. As files within these folders are changed, they will be kept in sync between your local machine and the Homestead environment. You may configure as many shared folders as necessary:

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

To enable NFS, just add a simple flag to your synced folder configuration:

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

Configuring Nginx Sites

Not familiar with Nginx? No problem. The sites property allows you to easily map a "domain" to a folder on your Homestead environment. A sample site configuration is included in the Homestead.yaml file. Again, you may add as many sites to your Homestead environment as necessary. Homestead can serve as a convenient, virtualized environment for every Laravel project you are working on:

    - map:
      to: /home/vagrant/Code/Laravel/public

You can make any Homestead site use HHVM by setting the hhvm option to true:

    - map:
      to: /home/vagrant/Code/Laravel/public
      hhvm: true

By default, each site will be accessible by HTTP via port 8000 and HTTPS via port 44300.

The Hosts File

Don't forget to add the "domains" for your Nginx sites to the hosts file on your machine! The hosts file will redirect your requests for the local domains into your Homestead environment. On Mac and Linux, this file is located at /etc/hosts. On Windows, it is located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. The lines you add to this file will look like the following:

Make sure the IP address listed is the one you set in your Homestead.yaml file. Once you have added the domain to your hosts file, you can access the site via your web browser!

Launching The Vagrant Box

Once you have edited the Homestead.yaml to your liking, run the vagrant up command from your Homestead directory. Vagrant will boot the virtual machine and automatically configure your shared folders and Nginx sites automatically.

To destroy the machine, you may use the vagrant destroy --force command.

Per Project Installation

Instead of installing Homestead globally and sharing the same Homestead box across all of your projects, you may instead configure a Homestead instance for each specific project. Installing Homestead per project may be beneficial if you wish to ship a Vagrantfile directly within your project, allowing others working on the project to simply vagrant up.

To install Homestead directly into your project, require it using Composer:

composer require laravel/homestead --dev

Once Homestead has been installed, use the make command to generate the Vagrantfile and Homestead.yaml file in your project root. The make command will automatically configure the sites and folders directives in the Homestead.yaml file.

Mac / Linux:

php vendor/bin/homestead make


vendor\bin\homestead make

Next, run the vagrant up command in your terminal and access your project at in your browser. Remember, you will still need to add an /etc/hosts file entry for or the domain of your choice.

Daily Usage

Connecting Via SSH

You can SSH into your virtual machine by issuing the vagrant ssh terminal command from your Homestead directory.

But, since you will probably need to SSH into your Homestead machine frequently, consider creating an "alias" on your host machine to quickly SSH into the Homestead box. Once you create this alias, you can simply use the "vm" command to SSH into your Homestead machine from anywhere on your system:

alias vm="ssh vagrant@ -p 2222"

Connecting To Databases

A homestead database is configured for both MySQL and Postgres out of the box. For even more convenience, Laravel's local database configuration is already set to use this database by default.

To connect to your MySQL or Postgres database from your host machine via Navicat or Sequel Pro, you should connect to and port 33060 (MySQL) or 54320 (Postgres). The username and password for both databases is homestead / secret.

Note: You should only use these non-standard ports when connecting to the databases from your host machine. You will use the default 3306 and 5432 ports in your Laravel database configuration file since Laravel is running within the Virtual Machine.

Adding Additional Sites

Once your Homestead environment is provisioned and running, you may want to add additional Nginx sites for your Laravel applications. You can run as many Laravel installations as you wish on a single Homestead environment. To add an additional site, simply add the site to your Homestead.yaml file and then run the vagrant provision terminal command from your Homestead directory.

Configuring Cron Schedules

Laravel provides a convenient way to schedule Cron jobs by scheduling a single schedule:run Artisan command to be run every minute. The schedule:run command will examine the job scheduled defined in your App\Console\Kernel class to determine which jobs should be run.

If you would like the schedule:run command to be run for a Homestead site, you may set the schedule option to true when defining the site:

    - map:
      to: /home/vagrant/Code/Laravel/public
      schedule: true

The Cron job for the site will be defined in the /etc/cron.d folder of the virtual machine.


By default, the following ports are forwarded to your Homestead environment:

Forwarding Additional Ports

If you wish, you may forward additional ports to the Vagrant box, as well as specify their protocol:

    - send: 93000
      to: 9300
    - send: 7777
      to: 777
      protocol: udp

Bash Aliases

To add additional Bash aliases to your Homestead box, edit the aliases file in your Homestead directory. These aliases will automatically be defined on the Homestead box when it starts.

Blackfire Profiler

Blackfire Profiler by SensioLabs automatically gathers data about your code's execution, such as RAM, CPU time, and disk I/O. Homestead makes it a breeze to use this profiler for your own applications.

All of the proper packages have already been installed on your Homestead box, you simply need to set a Blackfire Server ID and token in your Homestead.yaml file:

    - id: your-server-id
      token: your-server-token
      client-id: your-client-id
      client-token: your-client-token

Once you have configured your Blackfire credentials, re-provision the box using vagrant provision from your Homestead directory. Of course, be sure to review the Blackfire documentation to learn how to install the Blackfire companion extension for your web browser.