The ultimate Magento local development environment

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Time is money and therefore every developer should strive for an optimal setup in which he can operate the fastest. Since I began with Magento in 2008 a lot has changed tool-wise and I am constantly improving to find the optimum Magento local development setup.

The perfect Tooling

Now let's have a look at which software pieces do you need for fast and qualitative development of Magento Extensions:

  • PhpStorm: since many years now the state-of-the-art IDE for PHP, this software is worth every penny and is continually updated every few months
  • Magicento: the plugin that makes PhpStorm incredible useful for Magento by providing auto-completion, automatically generating module structure and many more features.
  • PHP Inspections (EA Extended): also a plugin for PhpStorm that massively supports you in writing correct, clean and effective code. I basically use this in conjunction with the code sniffer and the mess detector (see below)
  • PhpCodesniffer in combination with Magento ECG Coding Standards
  • Php Mess Detector: easily find duplicate code contents before someone other will find it
  • Xdebug with code coverage: run directly in PhpStorm you will get visual feedback about your code coverage
  • while in the good old days you had the Magento installation completely directly on your local PC, then switched to a Vagrant box with Magento and now we arrived at the beautiful container techniques like Docker. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful Docker is in my daily routine, especially when switching between different clients or module developments, Magento versions, etc.
  • modman: this tools was created by one of the Magento gurus to help maintaining magento modules in different installations – very helpful for testing in different PHP/Magento/.. versions
  • n98-magerun: every Magento developer always has to do some repeating stuff like cache-flush, resetting admin password, install specific version with sample data, etc.; this tool is absolutely unbeatable in these things.
  • ngrok is a ideal tool if you have to access your local environment from the outside (like e.g. give test links to your clients, access APIs from third-party-services and so on)
  • a MacBook Pro ;-)

The perfect Docker Setup

As mentioned above Docker is a massive help in easily setting up a local Magento development environment and also switching between different PHP or Magento versions. Below you will find my perfect docker-compose.yml that I use for each Magento project.

The setup has the following features:

  • The Magento Docker image is based on FrankenPHP which is based on the Caddy Webserver bundled together with PHP and boy it is lightening fast - I have never seen a faster development environment!
  • It uses Mailpit to test local email delivery. Mailpit is also perfect in analyzing the email compatibility for different email clients (and there are many!)

Now let's have a look at the Docker Compose file:

version: "3.4"

    build: ./frankenphp
      - "80:80"
      - "443:443"
      - "mysql:mysql"
      - "cache:cache"
      - "mailhog:mailhog"
      - ../htdocs/:${WEBSERVER_DOCROOT}/htdocs
      - ../src/:${WEBSERVER_DOCROOT}/src:delegated
      - ../vendor/:${WEBSERVER_DOCROOT}/vendor
      - ./magento/local.xml:${WEBSERVER_DOCROOT}/htdocs/app/etc/local.xml:ro

    image: mariadb:10.6
     - "3306"
      - /var/lib/mysql

    image: redis:latest

    image: axllent/mailpit
      - "1025:1025"
      - "8025:8025"

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