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I use Cloud9 as my primary IDE – it handles all my PHP projects, my Domo app projects, and when I start seriously developing Ionic-based mobile apps, I’ll find a way to use Cloud9 for that too.
I’ve found it particularly handy for Laravel development: A lot of the prerequisite software provided by Homestead comes pre-installed on the Ubuntu VM that Cloud9 provides, and with a few small config tweaks, it’s possible to get up and running very quickly.
1. VM Setup
One of my cardinal rules: All your code should exist in a repository. Especially with web development, there’s basically zero excuse to keeping substantial amounts of code locally.
My first step is to always create a blank repository, and use that as the clone URL for a new Cloud9 VM.
The Blank Ubuntu VM is good enough for our purposes – there’s no benefit to selecting the PHP VM, since we’ll be installing the latest PHP in any case.
2. Services Setup
Chances are, whatever you’re building in Laravel will need the MySQL service to be running, and in most cases, you’ll probably want Redis too. Cloud9 has made it a little bit more difficult to automate service startup (presumably to minimize unnecessary resource utilization), but there’s a way around that.
If you’re using a premium workspace, Cloud9 will keep it “hot” between sessions – everything you start will continue to run even after closing the IDE window itself. But that will expire after a while, and it can be a hassle to keep restarting your services.
So, the first change we’ll make to our new VM is editing the
/.profile file, and adding two new lines to the bottom:
$ cd ~/ $ echo 'sudo service mysql start > /dev/null 2>&1' >> .profile $ echo 'sudo service redis-server start > /dev/null 2>&1' >> .profile
That will start the services (and skip startup if they’re already running), won’t show any console output, and will run whenever a new terminal window is created. So now, every time you open up a new terminal window, you’re guaranteed to have those services running:
It’s not as ideal as having the server start it automatically, but in my opinion, this is a small trade-off to make.
3. PHP 7 Setup
If you’re deploying code to a new server on DO, or AWS, or Rackspace, or most other places, chances are it’s running PHP 7. By default, Cloud9 does not include PHP 7 (for reasons which escape me), so we need to take a quick detour into apt-get land.
There are two ways to set up PHP here – apt, or phpbrew. For a while I was using phpbrew, which builds PHP from source. It’s a decent option, but using ondrej/php is faster.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
Then you’ll need to
sudo apt-get update. When that’s done, you should have access to the php7 packages:
I’m using php 7.1 here, because that’s what my DigitalOcean VM is running. Laravel will need that, plus a few other modules:
$ sudo apt-get install php7.1 php7.1-mysql php7.1-curl php7.1-xml php7.1-mbstring
That shouldn’t take more than a minute. And now we’re good to go:
4. Laravel Project Setup
There are quite a few ways to get Laravel installed. It has a CLI-type thing that lets you do
laravel new, you can clone it directly from github, or you can use Composer.
I tend to favor composer since it’s a once-off command for this workspace. There’s no benefit to installing any more tools here, since we’re only going to create 1 Laravel project in this VM. And since we’ve already got our workspace folder linked to our project repository, git can get messy.
So my favorite – use composer to set up Laravel in a temporary directory, then move it all across:
$ cd ~/ $ composer create-project laravel/laravel tmp --prefer-dist $ mv tmp/* workspace/ $ mv tmp/.* workspace/ $ rmdir tmp
Why two move commands? The first catches all the files, but Laravel does include a few dotfiles that aren’t caught by the first move command. Sure, you could configure dotglob to modify mv’s behavior, but we’re only doing this move once for the workspace.
Just one more setup step – the database. Start by adjusting the .env file to set the username to root, and a blank password:
DB_CONNECTION=mysql DB_HOST=127.0.0.1 DB_PORT=3306 DB_DATABASE=homestead DB_USERNAME=root DB_PASSWORD=
Then we’ll create that database in one go:
$ mysql -uroot -e "CREATE DATABASE homestead;"
You can now run the initial migrations if you want.
5. Node Setup
If you’re planning on using Elixir to compile frontend assets, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the latest version of Node. Cloud9 makes this easy:
$ nvm install 7.2 $ nvm alias default 7.2
All node commands will now use the 7.2 binary. You can now install the necessary components in your workspace folder:
$ npm install
6. Running Laravel
Cloud9 features a reverse proxy – anything that binds to port 8080 in the VM will be accessible via a URL unique to your workspace. It also has a dedicated “runner” feature, which we’ll configure like so:
The name can be anything, but the run command will be:
php artisan serve --host=0.0.0.0 --port=8080
Cloud9 does make mention of $HOST and $PORT variables, but they’re always the same values anyway. Fill that in and click the Run button on the left:
Cloud9 should open up an in-IDE browser window that points to your site. You can click the little pop-out button on the right of the “address bar” to bring it up in a new browser tab.
That domain (c9users.io) will check for cloud9 authentication before proxying to your VM – in short, that URL will only work for you, and anyone else on cloud9 that you’ve shared the workspace with. Those settings are managed via the Share button on the top right:
From that popup, you can invite new users to the workspace (cloud9 does issue free accounts), or you can just make the application URL public:
You can now share that URL to anyone.
7. Get coding!
You’ve now got just about everything you need for proper Laravel development! It’s usually at this point I then take the extra step of configuring Amazon S3 as a cloud disk, push the blank Laravel project to bitbucket, and deploy my repo as a site on Forge.