Laravel Homestead on Windows 10

Laravel Homestead on Windows 10

As the official documentation says, you need to enable hardware virtualization (VT-x). Now, you need to download the latest version of VirtualBox and vagrant. Now, we need to install git bash (if git bash is already installed in your PC, then skip this step).

It can sometimes feel like the documentation skips a few steps here and there. Other times, the documentation can feel overwhelming. Let’s demystify this process.

Goals to accomplish:

  • Introduction to Homestead
  • Setup Homestead on Windows 10 for all of your websites
  • Create a Laravel 8 application
  • SSH into Homestead and create a database
  • Migrate database tables
  • Verify that everything is working: able to type in domain.test in our browsers.

Introduction to Homestead

The first step, of course is to go to the Laravel documentation. We’ll follow it throughout this article so that if something changes in the documentation in the future, you can spot it and adapt to it. Also, if you do notice a change, let me know and I’ll update the content accordingly.

In the second paragraph, the docs state that “Laravel Homestead is an official, pre-packaged Vagrant box that provides you a wonderful development environment without requiring you to install PHP, a web server, and any other server software on your local machine.”

Ok cool. What is Vagrant?

Vagrant is just a tool that helps developers create predictable development environments for your application. If you’re familiar with Docker, it’s similar to that. While Docker uses containers, Vagrant uses Virtual Machines. The VM emulates an entire Operating System while containers rely on the host OS.

In a nutshell, Vagrant is a tool that helps to create and maintain Virtual Machines. You, as a software developer, will be required to maintain a Vagrant file. Well, in Homestead you’re not since Homestead manages the Vagrant file for you. Once the necessary properties are set in the vagrant file, you will be able to use the command _vagrant up _to start the virtual machine with the vagrant properties.

Alright, now that we understand what Vagrant is all about, let’s move on to Homestead. The documentation should make a little more sense now when it says that Homestead is just a “pre-packaged Vagrant box.” The pre-packaged Vagrant box comes with:

  • Nginx web-server
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Composer
  • Node/npm

That means that you will not need software like XAMPP or WAMP to have a web-server with PHP/MySQL; you can do it all from your virtual machine. You can even create new Laravel projects inside of your Virtual Machine and have them synced to your local machine. Pretty cool stuff which we’ll explore later.

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