Working on Local Packages in Laravel with Composer

Recently, I've been working on developing a set of packages for Laravel to wrap up some of the code we write on a daily basis. Whilst developing I needed a way to reference a local package to my Laravel install and wanted to use composer.json to include, and update it's dependancies.

To do this, I found it often easier to symbolic link my package into a directory within my Laravel project called packages/namespace/package-name and then set up Composer to read it automatically.

  • Packages is the folder I store all the local packages I'm working on.
  • Package Group is usually the name (i.e. creator, user account on GitHub/composer)
  • Package Name is the name of the package I want to install.

An example of this would be


I store all the packages I write in a separate directory on my computer but I also often work with other developers to implement and test their packages. To keep a consistent workflow, I often clone and keep all of the packages into their own directory, away from all the business of the main Laravel package.

To include them in my Laravel project, I'll run a symlink which looks something like the following (changed to your own sources).

cd project
mkdir packages
mkdir packages/namespace
ln -s ../packages/admin packages/namespace/admin

Perfect, now we just need to get composer to read the files.

Setting Up Composer

To get composer to read a local package, we have to manually add the reference to the repositories section of the JSON. This would look something along the lines of the following:

"repositories": [
        "type": "path",
        "url": "packages/namespace/admin",
        "options": {
            "symlink": true

After that we need to require the file by adding it to our requires object, as so:

"require": {
    "namespace/admin": "dev-develop"

After that, within our Laravel project, we can run composer update (or install) and Composer will read our local package, create a copy in the vendor folder, download all other required packages and set up the autoload.