Home » Php » How to set up different environments on Laravel 4?

How to set up different environments on Laravel 4?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


I am trying to set up multiple environments on a Laravel 4 app, and naturally different Databases depending on which environment we are on.

For my local machine, I set up a virtual host for “local.elders.dev”

Unfortunately, for some reason the following code is not working.

$env = $app->detectEnvironment(array(
    'local' => array('http://local.elders.dev'),

Maybe I need to run an artisan command or something else. I feel I am close, but not quite there yet !

Thanks to all !


Another method is to use the name of the folder the project is in. This works in console and web. I found this to be the only reliable way if different environments are hosted on the same server.

$env = $app->detectEnvironment(array(
  'staging'     => strpos(getcwd(), '/staging')>-1, 
  'acceptance'  => strpos(getcwd(), '/acceptance')>-1, 
  'production'  => strpos(getcwd(), '/production')>-1, 

A big advantage is that you can move staging to production by simply renaming or copying the project folder without changing files, db records or environment variables.


I know this is answered but for others looking for a solution…

My environment detection setting looks like this:

$env = $app->detectEnvironment(array(

// Development
// any machine name with the term "local" will use the local environment
'local' => array('*local*'),

// Stage
// any machine name with the term "stage" will use the stage environment
'stage' => array('*stage*')

// Production
// production is default, so we don't need to specify any detection


This is handy because it will work on any project as long as I use “local” for development (like “localhost”, “localhost:8000”, “my.app.local”, etc.). Same goes for “stage”. And production is default so anything without “local” or “stage” works for production.


Handling multiple environments on the same machine with Laravel 4x

What if you wanted to run multiple environments on the same machine with the same name- for example, a staging and production AND local environment?

There is a better solution for handling environments in Laravel 4x- and it can be done by adding a one liner to you vhosts file- or .htaccess:

Set local environment variable

In vhost or .htaccess add for your local installation, for staging, for example add:

SetEnv LARAVEL_ENV staging

and the same in your production .htaccess or vhost:

SetEnv LARAVEL_ENV production

Then the usual detectEnvironment() function in start.php.

$env = $app->detectEnvironment(function()
// Default to local if LARAVEL_ENV is not set
return getenv('LARAVEL_ENV') ?: 'local';

We didn’t forget local… and that’s the the cool part– your installation will default to local if neither environment variable is found in vhost or .htaccess, as they would be found in the other installations.


OK ! I just solved the issue… The code was actually working ok ! The problem is that I was using

$_SERVER['DB1_HOST'] //for Pagodabox.

Of course this was not set on my local environment, which pretty much broke the app…

I fixed by simply doing :

isset($_SERVER['DB1_HOST']) ? $_SERVER['DB1_HOST'] : '';

Thanks to @jeroen and @theshiftexchange 🙂


Try replacing it with 'local.elders.dev', I’m not 100% sure but it’s probably matching hostnames, not full paths.


Laravel 4 detects the environments through the machine names specified in the “bootstrap/start.php” file.

For example, in my case the config becomes:

$env = $app->detectEnvironment(array(
  'local' => array('Victor.local', 'Victor-PC'),

This means that Laravel will use the ‘local’ environment settings for both machines: ‘Victor.local’ (a Mac) and ‘Victor-PC’ (Windows).

In order to know the current machine name, you can use the following PHP code:

<?php echo gethostname(); ?>

For each environment you can create a folder in app/config and replace the desired configuration files and properties.