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Laravel Valet

Introduction

Valet is a Laravel development environment for macOS minimalists. Laravel Valet configures your Mac to always run Nginx in the background when your machine starts. Then, using DnsMasq, Valet proxies all requests on the *.test domain to point to sites installed on your local machine.

In other words, Valet is a blazing fast Laravel development environment that uses roughly 7 MB of RAM. Valet isn't a complete replacement for Sail or Homestead, but provides a great alternative if you want flexible basics, prefer extreme speed, or are working on a machine with a limited amount of RAM.

Out of the box, Valet support includes, but is not limited to:

However, you may extend Valet with your own custom drivers.

Installation

{note} Valet requires macOS and Homebrew. Before installation, you should make sure that no other programs such as Apache or Nginx are binding to your local machine's port 80.

To get started, you first need to ensure that Homebrew is up to date using the update command:

brew update

Next, you should use Homebrew to install PHP:

brew install php

After installing PHP, you are ready to install the Composer package manager. In addition, you should make sure the ~/.composer/vendor/bin directory is in your system's "PATH". After Composer has been installed, you may install Laravel Valet as a global Composer package:

composer global require laravel/valet

Finally, you may execute Valet's install command. This will configure and install Valet and DnsMasq. In addition, the daemons Valet depends on will be configured to launch when your system starts:

valet install

Once Valet is installed, try pinging any *.test domain on your terminal using a command such as ping foobar.test. If Valet is installed correctly you should see this domain responding on 127.0.0.1.

Valet will automatically start its required services each time your machine boots.

PHP Versions

Valet allows you to switch PHP versions using the valet use [email protected] command. Valet will install the specified PHP version via Homebrew if it is not already installed:

valet use [email protected]

valet use php

You may also create a .valetphprc file in the root of your project. The .valetphprc file should contain the PHP version the site should use:

[email protected]

Once this file has been created, you may simply execute the valet use command and the command will determine the site's preferred PHP version by reading the file.

{note} Valet only serves one PHP version at a time, even if you have multiple PHP versions installed.

Database

If your application needs a database, check out DBngin. DBngin provides a free, all-in-one database management tool that includes MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Redis. After DBngin has been installed, you can connect to your database at 127.0.0.1 using the root username and an empty string for the password.

Resetting Your Installation

If you are having trouble getting your Valet installation to run properly, executing the composer global update command followed by valet install will reset your installation and can solve a variety of problems. In rare cases, it may be necessary to "hard reset" Valet by executing valet uninstall --force followed by valet install.

Upgrading Valet

You may update your Valet installation by executing the composer global update command in your terminal. After upgrading, it is good practice to run the valet install command so Valet can make additional upgrades to your configuration files if necessary.

Serving Sites

Once Valet is installed, you're ready to start serving your Laravel applications. Valet provides two commands to help you serve your applications: park and link.

The park Command

The park command registers a directory on your machine that contains your applications. Once the directory has been "parked" with Valet, all of the directories within that directory will be accessible in your web browser at http://<directory-name>.test:

cd ~/Sites

valet park

That's all there is to it. Now, any application you create within your "parked" directory will automatically be served using the http://<directory-name>.test convention. So, if your parked directory contains a directory named "laravel", the application within that directory will be accessible at http://laravel.test. In addition, Valet automatically allows you to access the site using wildcard subdomains (http://foo.laravel.test).

The link command can also be used to serve your Laravel applications. This command is useful if you want to serve a single site in a directory and not the entire directory:

cd ~/Sites/laravel

valet link

Once an application has been linked to Valet using the link command, you may access the application using its directory name. So, the site that was linked in the example above may be accessed at http://laravel.test. In addition, Valet automatically allows you to access the site using wildcard sub-domains (http://foo.laravel.test).

If you would like to serve the application at a different hostname, you may pass the hostname to the link command. For example, you may run the following command to make an application available at http://application.test:

cd ~/Sites/laravel

valet link application

You may execute the links command to display a list of all of your linked directories:

valet links

The unlink command may be used to destroy the symbolic link for a site:

cd ~/Sites/laravel

valet unlink

Securing Sites With TLS

By default, Valet serves sites over HTTP. However, if you would like to serve a site over encrypted TLS using HTTP/2, you may use the secure command. For example, if your site is being served by Valet on the laravel.test domain, you should run the following command to secure it:

valet secure laravel

To "unsecure" a site and revert back to serving its traffic over plain HTTP, use the unsecure command. Like the secure command, this command accepts the hostname that you wish to unsecure:

valet unsecure laravel

Serving A Default Site

Sometimes, you may wish to configure Valet to serve a "default" site instead of a 404 when visiting an unknown test domain. To accomplish this, you may add a default option to your ~/.config/valet/config.json configuration file containing the path to the site that should serve as your default site:

"default": "/Users/Sally/Sites/foo",

Sharing Sites

Valet even includes a command to share your local sites with the world, providing an easy way to test your site on mobile devices or share it with team members and clients.

Sharing Sites Via Ngrok

To share a site, navigate to the site's directory in your terminal and run Valet's share command. A publicly accessible URL will be inserted into your clipboard and is ready to paste directly into your browser or share with your team:

cd ~/Sites/laravel

valet share

To stop sharing your site, you may press Control + C.

{tip} You may pass additional Ngrok parameters to the share command, such as valet share --region=eu. For more information, consult the ngrok documentation.

Sharing Sites Via Expose

If you have Expose installed, you can share your site by navigating to the site's directory in your terminal and running the expose command. Consult the Expose documentation for information regarding the additional command-line parameters it supports. After sharing the site, Expose will display the sharable URL that you may use on your other devices or amongst team members:

cd ~/Sites/laravel

expose

To stop sharing your site, you may press Control + C.

Sharing Sites On Your Local Network

Valet restricts incoming traffic to the internal 127.0.0.1 interface by default so that your development machine isn't exposed to security risks from the Internet.

If you wish to allow other devices on your local network to access the Valet sites on your machine via your machine's IP address (eg: 192.168.1.10/application.test), you will need to manually edit the appropriate Nginx configuration file for that site to remove the restriction on the listen directive. You should remove the 127.0.0.1: prefix on the listen directive for ports 80 and 443.

If you have not run valet secure on the project, you can open up network access for all non-HTTPS sites by editing the /usr/local/etc/nginx/valet/valet.conf file. However, if you're serving the project site over HTTPS (you have run valet secure for the site) then you should edit the ~/.config/valet/Nginx/app-name.test file.

Once you have updated your Nginx configuration, run the valet restart command to apply the configuration changes.

Site Specific Environment Variables

Some applications using other frameworks may depend on server environment variables but do not provide a way for those variables to be configured within your project. Valet allows you to configure site specific environment variables by adding a .valet-env.php file within the root of your project. This file should return an array of site / environment variable pairs which will be added to the global $_SERVER array for each site specified in the array:

<?php

return [
    // Set $_SERVER['key'] to "value" for the laravel.test site...
    'laravel' => [
        'key' => 'value',
    ],

    // Set $_SERVER['key'] to "value" for all sites...
    '*' => [
        'key' => 'value',
    ],
];

Proxying Services

Sometimes you may wish to proxy a Valet domain to another service on your local machine. For example, you may occasionally need to run Valet while also running a separate site in Docker; however, Valet and Docker can't both bind to port 80 at the same time.

To solve this, you may use the proxy command to generate a proxy. For example, you may proxy all traffic from http://elasticsearch.test to http://127.0.0.1:9200:

// Proxy over HTTP...
valet proxy elasticsearch http://127.0.0.1:9200

// Proxy over TLS + HTTP/2...
valet proxy elasticsearch http://127.0.0.1:9200 --secure

You may remove a proxy using the unproxy command:

valet unproxy elasticsearch

You may use the proxies command to list all site configurations that are proxied:

valet proxies

Custom Valet Drivers

You can write your own Valet "driver" to serve PHP applications running on a framework or CMS that is not natively supported by Valet. When you install Valet, a ~/.config/valet/Drivers directory is created which contains a SampleValetDriver.php file. This file contains a sample driver implementation to demonstrate how to write a custom driver. Writing a driver only requires you to implement three methods: serves, isStaticFile, and frontControllerPath.

All three methods receive the $sitePath, $siteName, and $uri values as their arguments. The $sitePath is the fully qualified path to the site being served on your machine, such as /Users/Lisa/Sites/my-project. The $siteName is the "host" / "site name" portion of the domain (my-project). The $uri is the incoming request URI (/foo/bar).

Once you have completed your custom Valet driver, place it in the ~/.config/valet/Drivers directory using the FrameworkValetDriver.php naming convention. For example, if you are writing a custom valet driver for WordPress, your filename should be WordPressValetDriver.php.

Let's take a look at a sample implementation of each method your custom Valet driver should implement.

The serves Method

The serves method should return true if your driver should handle the incoming request. Otherwise, the method should return false. So, within this method, you should attempt to determine if the given $sitePath contains a project of the type you are trying to serve.

For example, let's imagine we are writing a WordPressValetDriver. Our serves method might look something like this:

/**
 * Determine if the driver serves the request.
 *
 * @param  string  $sitePath
 * @param  string  $siteName
 * @param  string  $uri
 * @return bool
 */
public function serves($sitePath, $siteName, $uri)
{
    return is_dir($sitePath.'/wp-admin');
}

The isStaticFile Method

The isStaticFile should determine if the incoming request is for a file that is "static", such as an image or a stylesheet. If the file is static, the method should return the fully qualified path to the static file on disk. If the incoming request is not for a static file, the method should return false:

/**
 * Determine if the incoming request is for a static file.
 *
 * @param  string  $sitePath
 * @param  string  $siteName
 * @param  string  $uri
 * @return string|false
 */
public function isStaticFile($sitePath, $siteName, $uri)
{
    if (file_exists($staticFilePath = $sitePath.'/public/'.$uri)) {
        return $staticFilePath;
    }

    return false;
}

{note} The isStaticFile method will only be called if the serves method returns true for the incoming request and the request URI is not /.

The frontControllerPath Method

The frontControllerPath method should return the fully qualified path to your application's "front controller", which is typically an "index.php" file or equivalent:

/**
 * Get the fully resolved path to the application's front controller.
 *
 * @param  string  $sitePath
 * @param  string  $siteName
 * @param  string  $uri
 * @return string
 */
public function frontControllerPath($sitePath, $siteName, $uri)
{
    return $sitePath.'/public/index.php';
}

Local Drivers

If you would like to define a custom Valet driver for a single application, create a LocalValetDriver.php file in the application's root directory. Your custom driver may extend the base ValetDriver class or extend an existing application specific driver such as the LaravelValetDriver:

class LocalValetDriver extends LaravelValetDriver
{
    /**
     * Determine if the driver serves the request.
     *
     * @param  string  $sitePath
     * @param  string  $siteName
     * @param  string  $uri
     * @return bool
     */
    public function serves($sitePath, $siteName, $uri)
    {
        return true;
    }

    /**
     * Get the fully resolved path to the application's front controller.
     *
     * @param  string  $sitePath
     * @param  string  $siteName
     * @param  string  $uri
     * @return string
     */
    public function frontControllerPath($sitePath, $siteName, $uri)
    {
        return $sitePath.'/public_html/index.php';
    }
}

Other Valet Commands

Command Description
valet forget Run this command from a "parked" directory to remove it from the parked directory list.
valet log View a list of logs which are written by Valet's services.
valet paths View all of your "parked" paths.
valet restart Restart the Valet daemons.
valet start Start the Valet daemons.
valet stop Stop the Valet daemons.
valet trust Add sudoers files for Brew and Valet to allow Valet commands to be run without prompting for your password.
valet uninstall Uninstall Valet: shows instructions for manual uninstall. Pass the --force option to aggressively delete all of Valet's resources.

Valet Directories & Files

You may find the following directory and file information helpful while troubleshooting issues with your Valet environment:

~/.config/valet

Contains all of Valet's configuration. You may wish to maintain a backup of this directory.

~/.config/valet/dnsmasq.d/

This directory contains DNSMasq's configuration.

~/.config/valet/Drivers/

This directory contains Valet's drivers. Drivers determine how a particular framework / CMS is served.

~/.config/valet/Extensions/

This directory contains custom Valet extensions / commands.

~/.config/valet/Nginx/

This directory contains all of Valet's Nginx site configurations. These files are rebuilt when running the install, secure, and tld commands.

~/.config/valet/Sites/

This directory contains all of the symbolic links for your linked projects.

~/.config/valet/config.json

This file is Valet's master configuration file.

~/.config/valet/valet.sock

This file is the PHP-FPM socket used by Valet's Nginx installation. This will only exist if PHP is running properly.

~/.config/valet/Log/fpm-php.www.log

This file is the user log for PHP errors.

~/.config/valet/Log/nginx-error.log

This file is the user log for Nginx errors.

/usr/local/var/log/php-fpm.log

This file is the system log for PHP-FPM errors.

/usr/local/var/log/nginx

This directory contains the Nginx access and error logs.

/usr/local/etc/php/X.X/conf.d

This directory contains the *.ini files for various PHP configuration settings.

/usr/local/etc/php/X.X/php-fpm.d/valet-fpm.conf

This file is the PHP-FPM pool configuration file.

~/.composer/vendor/laravel/valet/cli/stubs/secure.valet.conf

This file is the default Nginx configuration used for building SSL certificates for your sites.