Install Laravel 5

Laravel is the most PHPopular framework. Learn how to install and tune Laravel 5 on fortrabbit.

Get ready

We assume you've already created an App and chose Laravel in the stack chooser. If not: You can do so in the fortrabbit Dashboard. You should also have a PHP development environment running on your local machine. If you haven't chosen Laravel stack when creating the App in the Dashboard at first, please set the following:

Root path

Go to the Dashboard and set the root path of your App's domains to public.

Change the root path for App URL of App: {{app-name}}

ENV vars

Go to the Dashboard and add the following environment variables to your App:


Go to ENV vars for the App: {{app-name}}

Quick start

Following the fastest way to start with a fresh installation. Please scroll below for migrating an existing Laravel. Execute the following in your terminal on your local machine:

# 1. Use Composer to create a local Laravel project named like your App
$ composer create-project laravel/laravel --prefer-dist {{app-name}}
# this installs Laravel with Composer locally and will take a while

# 2. Change into the folder
$ cd {{app-name}}

# 3. Initialize a local Git repo
$ git init .

# 4. Add all files
$ git add -A

# 5. Commit files for the first time
$ git commit -m 'Initial'

# 6. Add fortrabbit as a remote
$ git remote add fortrabbit {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}{{app-name}}.git

# 7. Push changes to fortrabbit
$ git push -u fortrabbit master
# this installs Laravel with Composer on remote and take while

# the next deployments will be much faster
# 8. Push from now on
$ git push

Got an error? Please see the access troubleshooting. Did it work? Cool, when this is done, you can visit your App URL in the browser to see the Laravel welcome screen:

Advanced setup and migration

Don't stop with a plain vanilla installation. Make it yours! Check out the following topics if you have an existing Laravel installation or if you would like to setup Laravel so that you can run in a local development environment as well as in your fortrabbit App:

Setup Git

If you used the above Quick start guide, Git is already setup and you can safely skip this topic. If you haven't, follow steps 3 to 6 from above, to initialize a local Git repo and add your fortrabbit remote or have a look at our general getting started with Git guide.

MySQL configuration

If you have choosen Laravel in the stack chooser when creating your App, we will automatically populate the "right" environment variables for Laravel's MySQL connection for you. So, you don't need to change a thing, just keep config/database.php as is:

return [
    // keep above
    'connections'   => [
        // keep above
        'mysql' => [
            'driver' => 'mysql',
            'host' => env('DB_HOST', 'localhost'),
            'port' => env('DB_PORT', '3306'),
            'database' => env('DB_DATABASE', 'forge'),
            'username' => env('DB_USERNAME', 'forge'),
            'password' => env('DB_PASSWORD', ''),
            'charset' => 'utf8',
            'collation' => 'utf8_unicode_ci',
            'prefix' => '',
            'strict' => true,
            'engine' => null,
        // keep below
    // keep below

If you have not chosen the Laravel in the stack chooser on App creation, then please make sure to set the ENV vars as described above.

Database migration

This is about migrating your existing MySQL data set, not running artisan migrate, which is described below.

There are various use cases to export and import the database:

  1. Export the database from your old webhosting
  2. Export your local database to import it to the fortrabbit database
  3. Export the remote database from fortrabbit to bring your local installation up-to-date

Migrating the database with a GUI

Read on in the MySQL Article: Export & import > Using MySQL Workbench (GUI).

Migrating the database in the terminal

Read on in the MySQL Article: Export & import > Using the terminal.

MySQL access from local

Please see the MySQL article on how to access the database remotely from your computer.

Migrate & other artisan commands

You can either login to SSH and execute artsian or utilize execute remote commands via SSH, for example:

# remote execution
$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}} 'php artisan migrate'

# login and execute
$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}
$ php artisan migrate

Note: If APP_ENV is set to production - which is the default - then Laravel expects --force for migrate commands.


You can access your logs via SSH or SFTP. Laravel, per default, stores it's log files in storage/logs. You can download them via SFTP from that folder. If you need to "tail" your logs live, you can:

# login via SSH
$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}

# tail the logs (they contain the current date, per default)
$ tail -f storage/logs/laravel-2016-10-27.log

Setting time zone in Laravel

As Eloquent uses PDO, you can use the PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND option. Extend your mysql configuration array in app/config/database.php or your specific environment database.php file:

return [
    // other code …
    'mysql' => [
        // other code …
        'options'   => [
            \PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND => 'SET time_zone = \'+02:00\''
    // other code …

Queues & Redis

Laravel supports multiple queue and cache drivers. Please check out the Laravel 5 Professional article on how to integrate those.

Using envoy

Easy. Here is an Envoy.blade.php example:

@servers(['fr' => '{{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}'])

@task('ls', ['on' => 'fr'])
    ls -lha

@task('migrate', ['on' => 'fr'])
    php artisan migrate

Then execute locally:

$ envoy run ls
$ envoy run migrate

Sending mail

You can not use sendmail on fortrabbit but Laravel provides a API over the popular SwiftMailer library. The mail configuration file is app/config/mail.php, and contains options allowing you to change your SMTP host, port, and credentials, as well as set a global form address for all messages delivered by the library.

Add an existing project

You can also push your existing Laravel installation to fortrabbit. When you already using Git, you can add fortrabbit as an additional remote, like described above under point 6. When moving from another host to fortrabbit, please also read our migration guide as well.

Further readings

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