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What Is Laravel Valet, and Why All the Fuss?

Yesterday, Taylor Otwell released Laravel Valet.

Valet icon

If you’re just interested in the broad strokes of what it is, who it’s for, and how it works, watch the funny (and slightly NSFW) video below. If you’d like to go more in depth and find out some more details about the product, and learn why it caused such a polarizing fuss on Reddit and Twitter, read on after the jump.

Broad strokes

Valet is a tool which makes spinning up demo or discardable projects a breeze.

It’s a tool which combines some of the default software on OS X with some ideas about filepaths and serving of PHP apps, and some additional tools for skipping the need to modify the /etc/hosts file. Additionally, it allows for forwarding of access to the local application over the public internet when needed.

Unlike Vagrant or Docker It offers no isolation, making all apps use the same globally available software. Why this is important to note will be explained below.


Let’s dive into the particulars, one by one.

OS X only

Valet is currently OS X only. This is currently the number one complaint from newcomers running into Valet.

While, technically, it should be possible to make it work on Linux given the amount of architecture the two systems share and the fact that most Linux distros have an old version of PHP pre-installed, Windows will likely never become an option without a full, OS-specific rewrite.

It’s not a conspiracy. Taylor does not belong to the cult of Apple, and he isn’t trying to be elitist. It’s just very easy to develop projects like these for OS X because of a very good package manager (Homebrew) and sensible defaults already being pre-installed.

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