by briankilgore

GitHub Readme.md

Advanced PHP Heroku Build Pack

What makes it unique?

  • Fast deployments, because the runtime environment is built from precompiled binaries via Heroku's "vulcan"
  • Supports PHP 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5
  • Uses the memory of the dyno more efficiently by going with NGINX and PHP-FPM.
  • Supports Composer out of the box
  • No writing NGINX configuration files: supports Classic PHP, Silex and Symfony 2 apps with simple configuration driven by your composer.json.
  • Zero-Configuration Symfony 2 deployment.

What works?

  • Basic provisioning
  • NGINX Configuration for frameworks silex and symfony2
  • Reading configuration from composer.json

How to use it

Use the --buildpack parameter when creating a new app:

heroku create --buildpack https://github.com/CHH/heroku-buildpack-php myapp

Or set the BUILDPACK_URL config var on an existing app:

heroku config:set BUILDPACK_URL=https://github.com/CHH/heroku-buildpack-php

If you want to be on the bleeding edge and use pre-release features, then use git://github.com/CHH/heroku-buildpack-php#development as buildpack url.



This buildpack detects apps when the app has a composer.json in the app's root.

If an index.php is detected in the app's root, then it switches to "classic mode", which means that every ".php" file is served with PHP, and the document root is set to the app root.

This buildpack also detects when the app has a node package.json in the app's root. And will install node dependencies like less for example.


Symfony 2

Is detected when the app requires the symfony/symfony package or when the extra.heroku.framework key is set to symfony2 in the composer.json.

This framework preset doesn't need any configuration to work.

It's recommended to enable the user-env-compile Heroku labs feature for better compatibility with Symfony's Composer hooks. But please note that if you use config vars in Composer hooks, or in compile scripts, then a new code push may be necessary if you decide to change a config variable.

You can enable the labs feature for your app with:

$ heroku labs:enable user-env-compile


Is used when the app requires the silex/silex package or when the extra.heroku.framework key is set to silex in the composer.json.


  • index-document: With Silex apps, this should be the file where $app->run() is called. All requests which don't match an existing file will be forwarded to this document.

Classic PHP

The classic PHP configuration is used as fallback when no framework was detected. It serves every .php file relative to the document root.

This is also used when an index.php file was found in the root of your project and no composer.json.


Configuration is done via a file named composer.json in the app's root.

A simple configuration could look like this:

    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.4.0",
        "silex/silex": "~1.0@dev"
    "extra": {
        "heroku": {
            "document-root": "web",
            "index-document": "index.php"

This configures an app with the document root set to the project's web directory, and sets that all requests should go through web/index.php which contains the application's front controller.

Configuration Directives

This buildpack supports configuration through directives placed in the heroku key in the extra object.


Default: Null

Use a framework preset for configuration. Some configuration keys cannot be overriden!

Available presets:

  • silex (needs document-root and index-document set)
  • symfony2


"framework": "silex"


Document root relative to the app root. Defaults to the app root.

"document-root": "web"


Default: "index.php"

Index Document relative to the document root.

"index-document": "app.php"


Set PHP and NGINX versions.

To launch the app with PHP 5.3.23 and NGINX 1.3.14:

"engines": {
    "php": "5.3.23",
    "nginx": "1.3.14"

Set the version to "default" to use the current default version. The current default versions are NGINX 1.4.2 and PHP 5.5.3.

The version identifiers can also include wildcards, e.g. 5.4.*. At the time of writing, PHP 5.4.19 would be used in this case. This also works for NGINX.

See also:


Default: []

Add directives to the php.ini.

"php-config": [


Default: []

Include additional .ini files that should be parsed after the default php.ini. File paths are treated relative to the app root.


"php-includes": ["etc/php.ini"]


Default: []

Include additional config files into the NGINX configuration. Config files are included into the server scope and are loaded after the framework provided config. File paths are treated relative to the app root.


"nginx-includes": ["etc/nginx.conf"]


Default: []

Run console commands on slug compilation.

"compile": [
    "php app/console assetic:dump --env=prod --no-debug"

Note: pecl is not runnable this way.


Default: false

Enable instrumentation support via New Relic. It's recommended to add the New Relic addon to your Heroku app, but you can also set your license key manually by setting the NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY config var via heroku config:set.

"newrelic": true


If your app contains a package.json node and its dependencies will be installed

The nodejs buildpack is based on the heroku diet node.js buildpack. This diet branch of the buildpack is intended to replace the official Node.js buildpack once it has been tested by some users.

It :

  • Uses the latest stable version of node and npm by default.
  • Allows any recent version of node to be used, including pre-release versions, as soon as they become available on nodejs.org/dist.
  • Uses the version of npm that comes bundled with node instead of downloading and compiling them separately. npm has been bundled with node since v0.6.3 (Nov 2011). This effectively means that node versions <0.6.3 are no longer supported, and that the engines.npm field in package.json is now ignored.
  • Makes use of an s3 caching proxy of nodejs.org for faster downloads of the node binaries.
  • Makes fewer HTTP requests when resolving node versions.
  • Uses an updated version of node-semver for dependency resolution.
  • No longer depends on SCONS.
  • Caches the node_modules directory across builds.
  • Runs npm prune after restoring cached modules, to ensure that any modules formerly used by your app aren't needlessly installed and/or compiled.

A minimal package.json file with less will look like this :

    "author": "Your Name",
    "name": "App",
    "dependencies": {
        "less": ">= 1.4.*"

Node and its modules will be available at compilation meaning you could process nodejs script at that time.


Please see the CONTRIBUTING file for all the details.