In the Generic approach, you install
buildkit on top of an existing Unix-style environment.
- Pro: The Generic approach is compatible with many different environments, styles, and versions. You may freely tune your environment and process without concern for how it affects other developers.
- Con: The Generic approach requires configuring several subsystems (
mysql, etc). You need to understand each subsystem, track requirements, manage updates. Your environment may not match other developers' environments.
The system must already meet the basic requirements for PHP, MySQL, etc.
Apache HTTPD is very strongly recommended. Why?
Apache HTTPD is not strictly required. Many tools in buildkit work with any web-server (or no web server!).
However, one major tool (civibuild) works better with Apache.
civibuildfacilitates testing across different PHP CMS's (D7, D8, D9, WordPress, Backdrop, etc). Every CMS includes built-in Apache support (via
It is theoretically possible to run
civibuildand then serve sites with a different HTTPD. Or you could skip
civibuildcompletely. However, in either case, you would have to maintain the HTTPD configuration yourself.
Apache is the only option with automatic, canonical support in all CMS's.
Additionally, the configuration process requires sysadmin skills. You will be asked to configure several components and adapt them to match the local environment.
If you are not comfortable with sysadmin tasks, then consider using a Virtual Desktop instead.
civicrm-buildkit.git repo and run
$ git clone https://github.com/civicrm/civicrm-buildkit.git ~/buildkit $ cd ~/buildkit $ ./bin/civi-download-tools
In the above example, all tools are downloaded under
civi-download-tools will attempt to identify and report common issues (such as missing/unknown commands).
If it reports a problem, you should resolve that problem and retry.
Depending on the specific problem and its resolution, you may find it necessary to close and reopen the terminal.
Buildkit includes many CLI commands in the
You may execute the commands directly (e.g.
/path/to/buildkit/bin/civix). However, this would become very cumbersome. Instead, you should configure the shell's
PATH to recognize these commands automatically.
Throughout this document, we will provide examples which assume that buildkit was downloaded to
/path/to/buildkit. Be sure to adjust the examples to match your system.
If you want to ensure that the buildkit CLI tools are always available, then:
- Determine the location of your shell configuration file. This is usually
~/.profile. You may have to create one.
- At the end of the file, add
- If you are on a mac, you can close and re-open your terminal. On other systems, you will need to log-out or source your
- Enter the command
civibuild -h. This should display a help screen for civibuild. If you get 'command not found', then check your path and retry the steps above.
For most installations with the standard buildkit install script the following lines in your shell configuration file will work.
# Add ~/buildkit/bin to path if it exists. if [ -d "$HOME/buildkit/bin" ] ; then PATH="$HOME/buildkit/bin:$PATH" fi
More on bash
On most OS's
~/.profile is run only once when you login to your desktop. There is a distinction between "login shells" and "non-login shells" which you don't really need to worry about, except that the distinction is the reason that you should set your
$PATH in your
~/.profile and not your
When you open a terminal (non-login),
~/.bashrc will be executed. The common idiom for changing the path is to add to the
$PATH, not rebuild it, so if you update your
$PATH every time a shell is invoked, your
$PATH will continually grow. This is not really a problem, but you might want to be aware of this.
If you are on a mac, the situation is reversed. That is, your
$PATH is not set when you login into your desktop and every terminal you open is a "login shell" and
~/.profile will be executed every time.
You do not need to run
export PATH=... because your system certainly has already exported the
$PATH variable and you only need to update it.
Buildkit includes specific versions of some fairly popular tools (such as
wp-cli), and it's possible that you have already installed other versions of these tools.
By design, buildkit can coexist with other tools, but you must manually manage the
Whenever you wish to use buildkit, manually run a command like, e.g.:
To restore your normal
PATH, simply close the terminal and open a new one.
Each time you open a new terminal while working on Civi development, you would need to re-run the
Buildkit provides a tool called
amp which civibuild uses when it needs to set up a new site. Before you can use
civibuild, need to configure
amp by telling it a bit about your system (e.g. what webserver you're using).
Run the interactive configuration tool.
$ amp config
- Run this as a non-
rootuser who has
sudopermission. This will ensure that new files are owned by a regular user, and (if necessary) it enables
civibuildto restart your webserver and edit
- Pay close attention to any instructions given in the output of this command.
- To check which version of apache you have, run
We strongly recommend using Apache as your webserver because support for nginx is limited.
- Run this as a non-
Test amp's configuration
$ amp test
The test is successful if you see
Received expected responseat the end.
If the test produces any errors, you might try re-running the above config steps and/or asking for help in the developer chat room.
After configuring the
amp, you can move on to using
Node JS issues¶
- Nodejs version too old or npm update does not work:
Download the latest version from nodejs.org and follow their instructions
- Nodejs problems
It might be handy to run
npm update npm install fs-extra
Website login issues¶
If you find that when you try and login to a new buildkit build or similar and it doesn't seem to login just redirects to the same page. This may mean that the rewrite module for apache is not enabled. To enable it do the following
sudo a2enmod rewrite
After enabling the rewite module you will need to restart apache.
Appendix: Upgrade buildkit¶
New versions of buildkit are likely to include new versions of tools. The new tools will download automatically when you first run
civibuild. If you prefer to download explicitly, then re-run
The configurations and tools in buildkit are periodically updated. To get the latest, simply run:
cd ~/buildkit git pull ./bin/civi-download-tools
See the buildkit changelog for info about specific changes to buildkit.
civix, check upgrade instructions.
If you see an upgrade to
civix in the changelog, and if you maintain extensions with
then check the general civix upgrade documentation and UPGRADE.md.