Install Composer

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

Install Laravel

Via Laravel Installer

First, download the Laravel installer using Composer.

composer global require "laravel/installer=~1.1"

Make sure to place the ~/.composer/vendor/bin directory in your PATH so the laravel executable can be located by your system.

Once installed, the simple laravel new command will create a fresh Laravel installation in the directory you specify. For instance, laravel new blog would create a directory named blog containing a fresh Laravel installation with all dependencies installed. This method of installation is much faster than installing via Composer:

laravel new blog

Via Composer Create-Project

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

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

Server Requirements

The Laravel framework has a few system requirements:

  • PHP >= 5.4
  • Mcrypt PHP Extension
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension

As of PHP 5.5, some OS distributions may require you to manually install the PHP JSON extension. When using Ubuntu, this can be done via apt-get install php5-json.


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

Typically, this string should be 32 characters long. The key can be set in the app.php configuration file. If the application key is not set, your user sessions and other encrypted data will not be secure!

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.

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

Note: You should never have the app.debug configuration option set to true for a production application.


Laravel may require one set of permissions to be configured: folders within storage require write access by the web server.

Pretty URLs


The framework ships with a public/.htaccess file that is used to allow URLs without index.php. If you use Apache to serve your Laravel application, be sure to enable the mod_rewrite module.

If the .htaccess file that ships with Laravel does not work with your Apache installation, try this one:

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^ index.php [L]


On Nginx, the following directive in your site configuration will allow "pretty" URLs:

location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

Of course, when using Homestead, pretty URLs will be configured automatically.