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Working with Local Laravel Packages Using Composer

Learn how to create symbolic links for your local packages, set up Composer to automatically read these packages, and require them in your Laravel project. This guide offers step-by-step instructions and best practices for Laravel package management, ideal for developers aiming to streamline their workflow and increase productivity.

Here is your step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a new directory for your package

    Create a new directory for your package inside a packages/vendor/my-package directory in the root of your Laravel application. For instance, if your package is named my-package and your vendor name is my-vendor, you could create a directory like so: packages/my-vendor/my-package.

  2. Develop your package

    Inside the my-package directory, you can start developing your package. The structure of a Laravel package can vary, but it usually includes a src directory, a composer.json file, and various other files and directories as needed (e.g., routes, views, migrations, etc.).

You can use this excellent Laravel package boilderplate from BeyondCode here:

  1. Update your root composer.json file

    In your Laravel application's root composer.json file, you need to add a path repository pointing to your local package. This tells Composer where to find your package. Here's an example of what that might look like:

    "repositories": [
         "type": "path",
         "url": "./packages/vendor/my-package",
         "options": {
             "symlink": true

    In this example, "./packages/vendor/my-package" is the relative path from the root of your Laravel application to the directory containing your package.

  2. Require your package

    Next, in the "require" array of your composer.json file, you'll need to include your package, like so:

   "require": {
      "/vendor/my-package": "*"

In this example, "/vendor/my-package" is the name of your package as defined in the composer.json file of your package.

  1. Install your package

    Then, you'll need to include your package. Run composer update from the root of your Laravel application. This will install your package into the vendor directory, creating a symbolic link to your local package directory.

  2. Use your package

    Now you can start using your package within your Laravel application. Note that since you're using a symbolic link, any changes you make to the package in the packages/my-vendor/my-package directory will be reflected in the vendor directory.

Remember to follow the standards and best practices for developing Laravel packages, such as using service providers to register your package's resources (routes, views, migrations, etc.) and publishing assets and configuration files.


If you are developing multiple packages and you want composer to symlink all the packages inside of the packages directory, you can include a wildcard /packages/* value to your composer.json file, like so:

"repositories": {
   "type": "path",
   "url": "./packages/*",
   "options": {
      "symlink": true

Working with local Laravel packages doesn't have to be a complex task. By creating symbolic links for your packages and setting up Composer to read them, you can streamline your development workflow significantly. Whether you're working on your own packages or collaborating with other developers, these strategies will help you manage your local packages with greater efficiency and ease.

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