Install Composer on Elementary

How to install the PHP dependency manager Composer on Elementary OS.

Posted by Kirk on 4 January 2016

Installing Composer is fairly straight forward, however using it properly is a bit more complicated.

Installing Locally

Installing Composer locally is a matter of just running the installer in your project directory:

curl -sS | php

If the above fails for some reason, you can download the installer with php instead:

php -r "readfile('');" | php

The installer will just check a few PHP settings and then download composer.phar to your working directory. This file is the Composer binary. It is a PHAR (PHP archive), which is an archive format for PHP which can be run on the command line.

Now just run php composer.phar in order to run Composer.

You can install Composer to a specific directory by using the --install-dir option and additionally rename it as well using the --filename option:

curl -sS | php -- --install-dir=bin --filename=composer

Now just run php bin/composer in order to run Composer.

Installing Globally

You can place the Composer PHAR anywhere you wish. If you put it in a directory that is part of your PATH, you can access it globally. On unixy systems you can even make it executable and invoke it without directly using the php interpreter.

Run these commands to globally install composer on your system:

curl -sS | php
mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

If the above fails due to permissions, run the mv line again with sudo. A quick copy-paste version including sudo:

curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

To add /usr/local/bin to your path:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin

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