How to Install PHP Composer on Ubuntu Linux

computer screen with text editor
computer screen with text editor

PHP Composer is a package dependency management tool for PHP used by developers to manage their PHP-based projects/applications. You probably have seen some PHP applications requiring that you have a composer installed on the system to get the package installed and working.

PHP composer is frequently used to facilitate the installation and update of dynamic PHP applications that need easier management. These packages can easily be installed and managed using the composer dependencies tool.

It maintains a list of required packages in a JSON file called composer.json.

This brief tutorial is going to show students how to quickly install PHP Composer on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04

One requirement for installing Composer is to have PHP installed. So when you’re ready, follow the steps below to get Composer installed.

Install PHP

Composer requires PHP 5.3 or higher. To install PHP on Ubuntu, run the commands below

sudo apt install php

If you need to install other PHP versions that are unavailable in Ubuntu default repositories for your system, run the commands below to install a third-party repository that contains PHP 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, and up.

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update

Now run the commands below to install PHP 7.2. change the number value to install 7.1, 7.3, and so forth.

sudo apt install php7.2

Install Composer

Now that PHP is installed. You can now run the commands below to install Composer

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

The commands above will download Composer from its maintainer page and install it into the /usr/local/bin directory. This is a local-global directory for application executables.

All settings correct for using Composer

Composer (version 1.6.4) successfully installed to: /usr/local/bin/composer
Use it: php /usr/local/bin/composer

Now run the commands below to test whether Composer is installed.


The output should look like something below.

richard@ubuntu1804:~$ composer
  / ____/___  ____ ___  ____  ____  ________  _____
 / /   / __ \/ __ `__ \/ __ \/ __ \/ ___/ _ \/ ___/
/ /___/ /_/ / / / / / / /_/ / /_/ (__  )  __/ /
\____/\____/_/ /_/ /_/ .___/\____/____/\___/_/
Composer version 1.6.4 2018-04-13 12:04:24

  command [options] [arguments]

  -h, --help                     Display this help message
  -q, --quiet                    Do not output any message
  -V, --version                  Display this application version
      --ansi                     Force ANSI output
      --no-ansi                  Disable ANSI output
  -n, --no-interaction           Do not ask any interactive question

When you want to install a PHP-based application that requires Composer, reference this page to learn how to install Composer. After that, continue with getting your PHP application on Ubuntu.

The Composer can also be upgraded by running the commands below. This will upgrade all packages associated with Composer.

sudo composer self-update

That’s it!

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