Server Requirements

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

However, if you are not using Homestead, you will need to make sure your server meets the following requirements:

  • PHP >= 5.6.4
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • PDO PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension
  • Tokenizer PHP Extension
  • XML PHP Extension

Installing Laravel

Laravel utilizes Composer to manage its dependencies. So, before using Laravel, make sure you have Composer installed on your machine.

Via Laravel Installer

First, download the Laravel installer using Composer:

composer global require "laravel/installer"

Make sure to place the $HOME/.composer/vendor/bin directory (or the equivalent directory for your OS) in your $PATH so the laravel executable can be located by your system.

Once installed, the laravel new command will create a fresh Laravel installation in the directory you specify. For instance, laravel new blog will create a directory named blog containing a fresh Laravel installation with all of Laravel's dependencies already installed:

laravel new blog

Via Composer Create-Project

Alternatively, you may also install Laravel by issuing the Composer create-project command in your terminal:

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel blog

Local Development Server

If you have PHP installed locally and you would like to use PHP's built-in development server to serve your application, you may use the serve Artisan command. This command will start a development server at http://localhost:8000:

php artisan serve

Of course, more robust local development options are available via Homestead and Valet.


Public Directory

After installing Laravel, 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 entering your application.

Configuration Files

All of the configuration files for the Laravel framework are stored in the config directory. Each option is documented, so feel free to look through the files and get familiar with the options available to you.

Directory Permissions

After installing Laravel, you may need to configure some permissions. Directories within the storage and the bootstrap/cache directories should be writable by your web server or Laravel will not run. If you are using the Homestead virtual machine, these permissions should already be set.

Application Key

The next thing you should do after installing Laravel is set your application key to a random string. If you installed Laravel via Composer or the Laravel installer, this key has already been set for you by the php artisan key:generate command.

Typically, this string should be 32 characters long. The key can be set in the .env environment file. If you have not renamed the .env.example file to .env, you should do that now. If the application key is not set, your user sessions and other encrypted data will not be secure!

Additional Configuration

Laravel needs almost no other configuration out of the box. You are free to get started developing! However, you may wish to review the config/app.php file and its documentation. It contains several options such as timezone and locale that you may wish to change according to your application.

You may also want to configure a few additional components of Laravel, such as:

Once Laravel is installed, you should also configure your local environment.