Install and Configure PHP, MariaDB and Laravel Valet on MacOS

After using MAMP for years and never being really happy with it I’ve finally found a solution that is faster and, once configured properly, way more convenient than anything I’ve used before for local web development with PHP on a Mac.

These are some quick notes I took while figuring it all out, maybe they help somebody else, too.





brew install php


brew install php@version, e.g. php@7.3

Change versions

brew link php[@version]

follow instructions to unlink currently used keg first and use force if required

Increase Memory Limit

Loaded configuration file might have other limits than seen on the web.

These limits are configured in files listed under Additional .ini files parsed:


After changes don’t forget to run:

valet restart



brew install mariadb

Launch add login

To have launchd start mariadb now and restart at login:

brew services start mariadb

Launch manually

Or, if you don’t want/need a background service you can just run:

mysql.server start
mysql.server stop

Connect to DB:

mariadb comes without a root passsword yet I want to have a root password.

mysql -uroot

Use sudo if not permitted

Create Root Password for MariaDB

mysql -uroot

USE mysql;

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'root‘;

Despite this returning Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.000 sec) it will set a root password to root.



Avoid Dependency Conflicts with CGR

To avoid dependency conflicts with other global composer reqs you might consider using cgr to manage global composer requirements. If doing so, simply replace composer global require with the cgr command.

composer global require consolidation/cgr

Watch out for existing aliases to the cgr command (oh-my-zsh can provide those) and remove them to avoid conflict:

unalias cgr


composer global require laravel/valet
# or using cgr
cgr laravel/valet


Avoid having to use sudo

valet trust

Run valet install if this tells you „Command trust is not defined“. It’s likely that you’ve once had an old version of Valet installed.

Go to the directory where your sites will live (here ~/www) and run valet park

mkdir ~/www && cd ~/www
valet park

Run a site a site on https

valet secure <site-name>

valet unsecure <site-name

Firefox still needs you to add an exception for every site manually. Here’s how to change that

TL:DR import ~/.config/valet/CA/LaravelValetSelfSigend.pem as a trusted Authority in Firefox Certificate Manager (Authorities tab)

Change the TLD

By default, *.test is used. To change to *.localhost (which is the safest option in my experience, local will cause issues on MacOS, site makes same-named the public TLD unavailable) run:

valet tld localhost

⚠️ Be careful using local as a domain, it probably won’t work on MacOS

Show parked sites

valet parked

Change PHP Version used by Valet

Valet allows you to switch PHP versions using the valet use php@<version> command. Valet will install the specified PHP version via Brew if it is not already installed:

valet use php@7.3
use php

Link a subfolder

cd ~/www/mysite/subfolder/xyz
valet link mysite

Avoid conflicts with MAMP

When running MAMP in parallel it’s best to set it to use MAMP’s the default ports.

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