You can now run different PHP versions per project: Release v3.0.0-beta-0.1

Setup Contao


You can find a more up-to-date version in the official Contao Documentation: Official Contao Devilbox Documentation

This example will use composer to install Contao CMS from within the Devilbox PHP container.


Using composer requires the underlying file system to support symlinks. If you use Docker Toolbox you need to explicitly allow/enable this. See below for instructions:

After completing the below listed steps, you will have a working Contao CMS setup ready to be served via http and https.

Table of Contents


The following configuration will be used:

Project name VirtualHost directory Database TLD_SUFFIX Project URL
my-contao /shared/httpd/my-contao my_contao loc http://my-contao.loc


  • Inside the Devilbox PHP container, projects are always in /shared/httpd/.
  • On your host operating system, projects are by default in ./data/www/ inside the Devilbox git directory. This path can be changed via HOST_PATH_HTTPD_DATADIR.

The following Devilbox configuration is required:

Service Version Implications
Webserver Apache 2.4 Apache is required instead of Nginx as Contao provides default .htaccess files for routing
PHP PHP-FPM 7.2 Chosen for this example as it is the Devilbox default version
Database MariaDB 10.3 Chosen for this example as it is the Devilbox default version


If you want to use Nginx instead, you will need to adjust the vhost congfiguration accordingly to Contao CMS requirements.

Walk through

It will be ready in eight simple steps:

  1. Enter the PHP container
  2. Create a new VirtualHost directory
  3. Install Contao via composer
  4. Symlink webroot directory
  5. Add MySQL database
  6. Setup DNS record
  7. Visit http://my-contao.loc in your browser

1. Enter the PHP container

All work will be done inside the PHP container as it provides you with all required command line tools.

Navigate to the Devilbox git directory and execute (or shell.bat on Windows) to enter the running PHP container.

host> ./

2. Create new vhost directory

The vhost directory defines the name under which your project will be available.
( <vhost dir>.TLD_SUFFIX will be the final URL ).

devilbox@php-7.2.15 in /shared/httpd $ mkdir my-contao

See also


3. Install Contao

Navigate into your newly created vhost directory and install Contao with composer.

devilbox@php-7.2.15 in /shared/httpd $ cd my-contao
devilbox@php-7.2.15 in /shared/httpd/my-contao $ composer create-project contao/managed-edition contao

How does the directory structure look after installation:

devilbox@php-7.2.15 in /shared/httpd/my-contao $ tree -L 1
└── contao

1 directory, 0 files

5. Add MySQL Database

devilbox@php-7.2.15 in /shared/httpd/my-contao $ mysql -u root -h mysql -p -e 'CREATE DATABASE my_contao;'

6. DNS record

If you have Auto DNS configured already, you can skip this section, because DNS entries will be available automatically by the bundled DNS server.

If you don’t have Auto DNS configured, you will need to add the following line to your host operating systems /etc/hosts file (or C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc on Windows):

/etc/hosts my-contao.loc

7. Open your browser

Open your browser at http://my-contao.loc or https://my-contao.loc and follow the installation steps.

7.1 Frontend page


Contao installation: Installation incomplete note

7.2 Accept license

Accept the license by clicking on Accept license


Contao installation: Accept license

7.3 Set install tool password

Set a password for the install tool itself


Contao installation: Set install tool password

7.4 Database setup

  • Database host: mysql
  • Database port: 3306
  • Database user: root
  • Database pass: empty (if not otherwise set during Devilbox configuration)

Contao installation: Database setup

7.5 Update database

Click on update database to populate the database.


Contao installation: Update database

7.6 Set admin user

The admin user is required to setup Contao itself and to gain access to the backend.


Contao installation: Create admin user

7.7 Finished

Installation is done, click on the Contao back end to continue to setup the CMS itself.


Contao installation: Installation successfully finished

7.8 Login

Use the admin user credentials created earlier to login in.


Contao installation: Go to login screen

Next steps

Once everything is installed and setup correctly, you might be interested in a few follow-up topics.

Use bundled batteries

The Devilbox ships most common Web UIs accessible from the intranet.

Enhance the Devilbox

Go ahead and make the Devilbox more smoothly by setting up its core features.

Add services

In case your framework/CMS requires it, attach caching, queues, database or performance tools.

Container tools

Stay inside the container and use what’s available.