Setup CakePHP

This example will use composer to install CakePHP 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 CakePHP 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-cake /shared/httpd/my-cake my_cake loc http://my-cake.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.

Walk through

It will be ready in eight simple steps:

  1. Enter the PHP container
  2. Create a new VirtualHost directory
  3. Install CakePHP via composer
  4. Symlink webroot directory
  5. Add MySQL database
  6. Configure datbase connection
  7. Setup DNS record
  8. Visit http://my-cake.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-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd $ mkdir my-cake

See also


3. Install CakePHP

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

devilbox@php-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd $ cd my-cake
devilbox@php-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd/my-cake $ composer create-project --prefer-dist cakephp/app cakephp

How does the directory structure look after installation:

devilbox@php-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd/my-cake $ tree -L 1
└── cakephp

1 directory, 0 files

5. Add MySQL Database

devilbox@php-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd/my-cake $ mysql -u root -h -p -e 'CREATE DATABASE my_cake;'

6. Configure database connection

devilbox@php-7.0.20 in /shared/httpd/my-cake $ vi cakephp/config/app.php
  'Datasources' => [
        'default' => [
            'className' => 'Cake\Database\Connection',
            'driver' => 'Cake\Database\Driver\Mysql',
            'persistent' => false,
            'host' => '',
             * CakePHP will use the default DB port based on the driver selected
             * MySQL on MAMP uses port 8889, MAMP users will want to uncomment
             * the following line and set the port accordingly
            //'port' => 'non_standard_port_number',
            'username' => 'root',
            'password' => 'secret',
            'database' => 'my_cake',
            'encoding' => 'utf8',
            'timezone' => 'UTC',
            'flags' => [],
            'cacheMetadata' => true,

7. 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-cake.loc

8. Open your browser

All set now, you can visit http://my-cake.loc or https://my-cake.loc in your browser.

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.