How to Set Up a Laravel Project Cloned from GitHub on Your Machine

How to Set Up a Laravel Project Cloned from GitHub on Your Machine

When it comes to working with open-source projects or collaborating on software development, GitHub is the go-to platform for hosting and sharing code.

For developers looking to leverage existing projects, cloning a repository can save a significant amount of time.

However, setting up a cloned project, especially one built with Laravel, involves several steps to ensure it runs smoothly on your local machine.

This guide will walk you through the process of cloning a Laravel project from GitHub and setting it up on your machine.

Cloning the Project from GitHub

The first step to using a Laravel project on your local machine is to clone it from GitHub. To do this, locate the "Clone" button on the project's GitHub page and copy the URL from the HTTP tab. Open your terminal (iTerm for Mac users), navigate to the directory where you want to store the project, and execute the following command:

git clone [Paste the copied URL here]

This command copies all the project files to your specified directory.

Step 1: Clone the Environment File

Laravel applications use an .env file to manage environment specific configurations. After cloning the project, you need to create your own .env file by copying the .env.example file included in the project:

cp .env.example .env

This command creates a copy of the .env.example file and names it .env.

Step 2: Install Dependencies

Laravel projects have dependencies that need to be installed for the project to run. These dependencies are managed by Composer, a tool for dependency management in PHP. Install the dependencies by running the following command in your terminal:

composer install

Ensure you're in the project directory when executing this command.

Step 3: Generate Application Key

Laravel requires an application key, which is stored in the .env file, for encrypting cookies, session data, and other sensitive information. Generate an application key with the following command:

php artisan key:generate

This automatically updates your .env file with an application key.

Step 4: Set Up SQLite Database

For simplicity, this guide uses SQLite as the database. To configure SQLite, modify the database section of the .env file to specify SQLite as the database type and remove other database-related information. Then, in the database directory of your Laravel project, double-click on database.sqlite file (or create it if it doesn't exist) and click "OK" on the dialogue box that appears. This sets up your database file.

Step 5: Run Migrations

To set up the database schema, you'll need to run migrations. Migrations are version control for your database, allowing you to manage your schema easily. Execute the following command:

php artisan migrate

You might be prompted to confirm the migration operation; type "yes" to proceed. This command creates the necessary tables in your database.

Wrapping Up

With these steps, you've cloned a Laravel project from GitHub and set it up on your local machine. You're now ready to start exploring the project, developing new features, or making modifications as needed. Remember, Laravel has extensive documentation and a supportive community, so don't hesitate to seek resources or ask for help if you encounter challenges along the way.