This chapter explores the two composer tools previously installed: homestead and laravel. A typical daily workflow is examined, as are the six steps to set up any new Laravel 5.1 project.
- The Homestead Tool
- Overview of Common Homestead Commands
- Examining Homestead.yaml
- Adding Software to the Homestead VM
- Daily Workflow
- Six Steps to Starting a New Laravel 5.1 Project
- Other Homestead Tips
The Homestead Tool
Whenever you are prompted to do something from the console, context is important.
The homestead console means connecting to the Homestead VM via SSH.
For Windows, this means using PuTTY (explained in the chapter on
setting up a Windows machine). With other operating systems you can
homestead ssh command from within the terminal. Whenever
you see the
$ prompt in this book you are in the homestead console.
The OS console means either the Windows command prompt or the terminal
application you use. (The
% prompt in the book is used for your OS
From the console of your host operating system, you can easily see what the valid homestead commands are by typing the
homestead command without any arguments.
% homestead Laravel Homestead version 2.0.9 Usage: [options] command [arguments] Options: --help -h Display this help message. --quiet -q Do not output any message. --verbose -v|vv|vvv Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal \ output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug. --version -V Display this application version. --ansi Force ANSI output. --no-ansi Disable ANSI output. --no-interaction -n Do not ask any interactive question. Available commands: destroy Destroy the Homestead machine edit Edit the Homestead.yaml file halt Halt the Homestead machine help Displays help for a command init Create a stub Homestead.yaml file list Lists commands provision Re-provisions the Homestead machine resume Resume the suspended Homestead machine run Run commands through the Homestead machine via SSH ssh Login to the Homestead machine via SSH status Get the status of the Homestead machine suspend Suspend the Homestead machine up Start the Homestead machine update Update the Homestead machine image
The main command you’ll use each day is the
homestead up command to start the Homestead Virtual Machine.
Overview of Common Homestead Commands
Here’s a quick overview of commonly used Homestead commands.
- Starts the Homestead Virtual Machine. It turns on the power to the VM. If you use the provision option (
homestead up --provision) then any new sites you’ve added will be provisioned.
- Stops the Homestead Virtual Machine. In other words, powering off.
- Suspends the Homestead Virtual Machine. It’s like hibernate.
- Resumes the suspended Homestead Virtual Machine.
- Edit the Homestead.yaml file. This launches whatever editor is associated with YAML files on your operating system.
- See the current status of the Homestead Virtual Machine.
The configuration settings for Laravel Homestead are contained in the
Homestead.yaml file. This file is located in the
.homestead directory of your Host OS’s home directory.
If you view the contents of this file, you’ll see what’s below.
Contents of Homestead.yaml
--- ip: "192.168.10.10" memory: 2048 cpus: 1 authorize: ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub keys: - ~/.ssh/id_rsa folders: - map: ~/Code to: /home/vagrant/Code sites: - map: homestead.app to: /home/vagrant/Code/Laravel/public databases: - homestead variables: - key: APP_ENV value: local
Here’s a definition of each of the settings.
- The internal IP used to access the machine.
- How much memory the VM will use.
- The number of CPUs the VM will use.
- This should point to your public SSH key.
- Your private SSH key.
- The shared folders. These are the directories in your Host Operating System and where they will appear within the VM. For Windows the
~/Codeequates to something like
C:\Users\YOU\Code. In OS X, this is
/Users/YOU/Code. Under Linux it’s usually something like
/home/YOU/Code. Whenever you edit a file in this directory tree on your host machine, it’s instantly available to the Homestead Virtual Machine.
- A list of sites (paths each domain points to) that will be set up on the Homestead Virtual Machine each time you provision.
- A list of database Homestead should automatically create.
- Variables to make available to the homestead environment.
A configuration note
The only change I usually make to the configuration is to change the list
of databases to have one database named
xhomestead instead of
This way if I forget create an app’s database when creating a new Laravel
application, an error occurs. (Otherwise, since the default
database for a new application is
homestead, no error will occur and
I’ll be using the
homestead db without realizing it.)
For now, don’t change any homestead configuration values except the databases setting (and then, only if you want to.)
The Homestead Virtual Machine Details
Adding Software to the Homestead VM
When you need to install new software inside the Homestead Virtual Machine, use the Ubuntu utility
It’s an easy two step process.
- Upgrade Ubuntu
- Install with apt-get
For example, here’s how to install unzip, a handy utility for dealing with zip archives.
First, Upgrade Ubuntu
Upgrading Latest Ubuntu Software
vagrant@homestead:~$ sudo apt-get update vagrant@homestead:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade
You may have to choose “Y” to continue. If prompted during the installation to pick a configuration it’s generally best to go with the existing or default.
After the Ubuntu OS within the Homestead VM is updated, install unzip.
Next, Install unzip with apt-get
Installing unzip in the Homestead VM
vagrant@homestead:~$ sudo apt-get install unzip
The daily workflow when working with homestead consists of three steps:
Step 1 - homestead up - Start the day by booting your Homestead Virtual Machine.
Step 2 - homestead ssh or PuTTY - SSH to the Homestead VM to access files directly and execute artisan commands.
Step 3 - write beautiful code - In your favorite code editor, on your host operating system, write code.
Optional 4th Step - homestead halt - When you are done for the day, you can optionaly power off the Homestead Virtual Machine with the halt command.
Six Steps to Starting a New Laravel 5.1 Project
There are six simple steps to follow whenever starting a new Laravel 5.1 application.
Let’s say we want to create a project called test.app and use test as the project folder.
Step 1 - Create the app skeleton
Using the Laravel Installer (the
laravel command installed in a previous chapter) it’s easy to create a new project skeleton.
Creating a new app skeleton
~/Code % laravel new test Crafting application... Generating optimized class loader Compiling common classes Application key [rzUhyDksVxzTXFjzFYiOWToqpunI2m6X] set successfully. Application ready! Build something amazing.
Step 2 - Configure the web server
After there’s an application skeleton in place you can set up the Nginx webserver within the homestead environment to serve pages from your app’s public directory.
The homestead environment makes this easy with the
Setting up a new virtual host in Homestead
~/Code$ serve test.app ~/Code/test/public dos2unix: converting file /vagrant/scripts/serve.sh to Unix format ... * Restarting nginx nginx [ OK ] php5-fpm stop/waiting php5-fpm start/running, process 2169
This command sets up a new configuration file in
/etc/nginx/sites-available for the domain we’ll be using (test.app) and a symbolic link to this file within the
Even when you reboot the machine, this configuration file will be there.
Why not edit Homestead.yaml
Yes. Another alternative is to set up the parameters for the test.app
virtual host using the
homestead edit command and adding a new entry to
the sites: section. But this is easier, and there’s no need to
continuously reprovision the Homestead VM.
But, if you’re setting up an app you always want configured, it’s not a bad idea to edit Homestead.yaml and set up the configuration there.
Step 3 - Add the Host to Your Hosts File
Since test.app does not exist in any DNS, an entry must be added to the Host OS’s hosts file. Edit
/etc/hosts in Linux or OS X. In Windows the file is
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. In this hosts file point test.app to the IP specified in
Add the following line to this file.
Host entry for test.app
Windows requires admin privileges to edit hosts
In Windows you must launch your editor (such as Notepad, Wordpad,
or Sublime Text) as an administrator. In Linux or OS X you can use
Editing hosts with Linux or OS X
sudo nano /etc/hosts // or sudo vi /etc/hosts
Step 4 - NPM Local Installs
In order to later use gulp it’s important to make sure all the required npm modules are locally installed.
You can skip this step if you know you will not use gulp.
Change to your project directory in your Host OS’s console and execute the following.
NPM Local Installs
~% cd Code/test ~/Code/test% npm install npm WARN package.json @ No repository field. > firstname.lastname@example.org install /Users/chuck/Code/test/node_modules/gulp/\ node_modules/v8flags > node fetch.js flags for v8 220.127.116.11 cached. [snip]
This will install everything required by gulp locally into the
node_modules directory of your project.
Step 5 - Create the app’s database
If your application requires a database, it’s easy to create it within the Homestead VM using the mysql console.
Creating a Database in the Homestead VM
$ mysql --user=homestead --password=secret mysql> create database test; mysql> exit;
Once the database is created, edit the
.env file in your project’s root directory and change the
Change DB_NAME in .env
// Change the following line DB_DATABASE=homestead // To the correct value DB_DATABASE=test
Easy. Now you’ll be able to migrate and create tables. This is covered in a later chapter.
Step 6 - Testing in the Browser
Point your browser to
http://test.app and you should see the page below.
Figure 5.1 - Default Laravel 5.1 Page
If you see anything else then something didn’t work.
Other Homestead Tips
Edit Source Code in your Host Operating System
Although this has been mentioned in an earlier chapter, it bears repeating. Always edit your source code in your Host OS. Through the magic of shared folders, changes you make within the
~/Code directory are immediately seen within the Homestead Virtual Machine.
Use the .homestead/aliases file
Each time you re-provision Homestead with
homestead up --provision or
homestead provision, the
.homestead/aliases file updates the aliases in the Homestead Virtual Machine.
This is a handy place to add aliases, or functions, or even other environment variables.
Keep the Homestead VM up-to-date
As mentioned earlier, two commands will keep the Ubuntu operating system within the Homestead Virtual Machine up to date.
Keeping Ubuntu Updated
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get upgrade
This chapter provided details on the
laravel commands. And the Six Steps to a New Laravel 5.1 Project were outlined.
In the next chapter where we’ll do just a bit of testing.