/Laravel 4.2

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, 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 1.6.

Included Software

  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • PHP 5.6
  • HHVM
  • Nginx
  • MySQL
  • Postgres
  • Node (With Bower, Grunt, and Gulp)
  • Redis
  • Memcached
  • Beanstalkd
  • Laravel Envoy
  • Fabric + HipChat Extension

Installation & Setup

Installing VirtualBox & Vagrant

Before launching your Homestead environment, you must install VirtualBox and Vagrant. Both of these software packages provide easy-to-use visual installers for all popular operating systems.

Adding The Vagrant Box

Once VirtualBox 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 fails, you may have an older version of vagrant that requires the url of the box. The following should work:

vagrant box add laravel/homestead https://atlas.hashicorp.com/laravel/boxes/homestead

Installing Homestead

With Composer + PHP Tool

Once the box has been added to your Vagrant installation, you are ready to install the Homestead CLI tool using the Composer global command:

composer global require "laravel/homestead=~2.0"

Make sure to place the ~/.composer/vendor/bin directory in your PATH so the homestead executable is found when you run the homestead command in your terminal.

Once you have installed the Homestead CLI tool, run the init command to create the Homestead.yaml configuration file:

homestead init

The Homestead.yaml file will be placed in the ~/.homestead directory. If you're using a Mac or Linux system, you may edit Homestead.yaml file by running the homestead edit command in your terminal:

homestead edit

Manually Via Git (No Local PHP)

Alternatively, if you do not want to install PHP on your local machine, you may install Homestead manually by simply cloning the repository. Consider cloning the repository into a central Homestead directory where you keep all of your Laravel projects, as the Homestead box will serve as the host to all of your Laravel (and PHP) projects:

git clone https://github.com/laravel/homestead.git Homestead

Once you have installed the Homestead CLI tool, run the bash init.sh command to create the Homestead.yaml configuration file:

bash init.sh

The Homestead.yaml file will be placed in the ~/.homestead directory.

Set Your SSH Key

Next, you should edit the Homestead.yaml file. In this file, you can configure the path to your public SSH key, as well as the folders you wish to be shared between your main machine and the Homestead virtual machine.

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 key's path in the authorize property of your Homestead.yaml file.

Configure Your 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!

Configure Your 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!

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

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

Bash Aliases

To add Bash aliases to your Homestead box, simply add to the aliases file in the root of the ~/.homestead directory.

Launch The Vagrant Box

Once you have edited the Homestead.yaml to your liking, run the homestead up command in your terminal. If you installed Homestead manually and are not using the PHP homestead tool, run vagrant up from the directory that contains your cloned Homestead Git repository.

Vagrant will boot the virtual machine, and configure your shared folders and Nginx sites automatically! To destroy the machine, you may use the homestead destroy command. For a complete list of available Homestead commands, run homestead list.

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:  homestead.app

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!


To learn how to connect to your databases, read on!

Daily Usage

Connecting Via SSH

To connect to your Homestead environment via SSH, issue the homestead ssh command in your terminal.

Connecting To Your 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 set to use this database by default.

To connect to your MySQL or Postgres database from your main 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 main 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. There are two ways to do this: First, you may simply add the sites to your Homestead.yaml file and then run vagrant provision.

Alternatively, you may use the serve script that is available on your Homestead environment. To use the serve script, SSH into your Homestead environment and run the following command:

serve domain.app /home/vagrant/Code/path/to/public/directory

Note: After running the serve command, do not forget to add the new site to the hosts file on your main machine!


The following ports are forwarded to your Homestead environment:

  • SSH: 2222 -> Forwards To 22
  • HTTP: 8000 -> Forwards To 80
  • MySQL: 33060 -> Forwards To 3306
  • Postgres: 54320 -> Forwards To 5432

© Taylor Otwell
Licensed under the MIT License.
Laravel is a trademark of Taylor Otwell.