This is a guide on how to set up Laravel Valet on macOS for a WordPress local development environment. Using Valet as a WordPress local development solution has the main benefits of speed, being lightweight and using fewer configurations to go wrong than say a solution like Vagrant.
There is a 2nd related article that looks at getting WordPress themes, plugins and settings already installed and ready to deploy.
Valet runs only on macOS and runs directly on top of the operating system, not in a virtual container.
The key software components needed are Homebrew; a package manager and Laravel; a PHP framework.
Valet itself has an Nginx, PHP 7.3 and DnsMasq and by default uses the .test domain name, you add in a database MariaDB or MySQL. Once the software is all installed Valet itself will launch automatically on startup of macOS.
Set Up Local Development Environment
First up is to install Homebrew so the key parts of the web stack such as PHP and MySQL/MariaDB can get installed easily.
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
This will install the Homebrew package manager and Xcode command line tools if not already installed.
Install composer with Homebrew
brew install composer
Get PHP and MySQL set up
brew install php
For the database you can choose between MariaDB and MySQL and which version of MySQL, since version 8 is not supported at a number of hosting panels, version 5.7 maybe safer – otherwise drop the @5.7 suffix. For mariaDB I would use 10.3 as 10.4 has some root password changes.
Also if you are using a version of the app using @10.3 etc, after install you need to add the path to your shell as it is an older Homebrew formula, you are remonded of this at the shell prompt after Homebrew installs – example below of path with mariaDB path in .bash_profile
Install MySQL/MariaDB – background service works after restart
brew install firstname.lastname@example.org
brew install email@example.com
Start it as background service
brew services start firstname.lastname@example.org or...
brew services start email@example.com
MySQL/MariaDB installs as user root with no password.
Get Laravel and Valet set up
composer global require "laravel/installer"
Install Valet with composer
composer global require laravel/valet
Make sure your macOS shell path has the following location, this will allow you to easily use valet commands on the command line – if you don’t include it you will need to prefix all valet commands with ~/.composer/vendor/bin/
Now it will install dnsmasq and set up Nginx and PHP and start valet, some basic valet commands below…
Do a ping test to a fictitious domain, look for some pingbacks from 127.0.0.1
A responding ping will verify dnsmasq and the other components have been successfully set up.
Confirm you have dnsmaq, mysql, Nginx and php running…
brew services list
Output should be…
admin@192-168-1-104 ~ % brew services list Name Status User Plist dnsmasq started root /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.dnsmasq.plist firstname.lastname@example.org started admin /Users/admin/Library/LaunchAgentsemail@example.com nginx started root /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.nginx.plist php started root /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.php.plist
To update Laravel Valet
composer global update
Webroot & park
Probably the best method for a webroot directory is to use the Sites folder in your home, this was a traditional webroot in the past of the macOS user account filing system – if one is not there either make one in the Finder or via the Terminal
Register the Sites folder with Valet, so any top level folders will be treated as a serving site – use the park command
There is also a valet link command that allows a directory somewhere else in the filing system to serve its content as a webroot, it does so by putting a symbolic link in the park directory – Sites.
To set up new Laravel project sites you can use the command
laravel new sitename
The first site created this wat takes a while with a number of downloads when it is done a new http://sitename.test is viewable in the browser – but what about with an actual WordPress install? – see next.
WordPress and Valet
brew install wp-cli
Increase your PHP memory size, especially if you installed PHP with Homebrew – otherwise, a fatal error will occur when installing wp-cli-valet-command package, find your PHP memory limits .ini config file
Change limits to 1024M in all 3 places
Also, make sure your MySQL or mariadb is running…
brew services start mariadb
Once you have wp-cli add the wp-cli-valet-command package
wp package install firstname.lastname@example.org:aaemnnosttv/wp-cli-valet-command.git
Once this is installed you are ready to create some WordPress sites…
To install a new site, move into your Sites folder and run a wp valet command
wp valet new newsitename
This will set up https://newsitename.test ready to go WP-Admin defaults are admin/admin for username and password.
All new sites are by default set up with https – to set one up just as http – run…
wp valet new newsitename --unsecure
To remove a site…
wp valet destroy newsitename
For more commands and options check out the GitHub repo for wp-cli-valet and also you can create custom sites with a certain theme, plugins, etc by rolling your own bash scripts.
To toggle between whether or not a site uses an SSL cert..
valet unsecure mysitename
valet secure mysitename
Restarting nginx... The [mysitename.test] site has been secured with a fresh TLS certificate.
To deal with MySQL via phpmyAdmin – create a new site
wp valet new phpmyadmin
So now you have a https://phpmyadmin.test – remove all the WordPress files and download and move into the folder the latest phpmyadmin files – if your MySQL install is no password then change the config file as prompted to AllowNoPassword. Now all your databases are easily accessible.
You can take WordPress site installation further with Valet by adding a bash script that includes further refining the install with plugins and themes tailoring – see the next article on Valet, wp-cli and bash scripting.
mariaDB 10.4 ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’
Since v10.4 mariadb has had some root/password major changes, if you are getting this error when creating new sites with valet use your macos shortname instead with a db user variable like so…
wp valet new sitename --dbuser="admin"
So a new site ‘sitename’ is created with the macOS shortname of the account ‘admin’
Toggling PHP Versions
The initial PHP Hombrew downloaded version is 7.3, you can add other PHP versions and set Valet to use a different version…
valet use email@example.com
Valet will download PHP7.2 via HomeBrew and use it, you can also use…
valet use firstname.lastname@example.org
Using PHP 5.6
To use PHP 5.6 you need to add an unofficial Homebrew tap as these have been removed from regular Homebrew taps.
brew tap exolnet/homebrew-deprecated
Then try Valet
valet use email@example.com
If you get a syntax error .composer/vendor/illuminate/support/Collection.php on line 103 – run…
composer global update
Using Valet without an admin password
The default behaviour is for an admin password to be requested for each valet command, this can be surpasses with…
Which allows both valet and Homebrew commands to be password free.
Sudoers entries have been added for Brew and Valet.