How to Install PHP Composer on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install PHP Composer on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04.

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 composer installed on the system in order to get the package installed and working.

PHP composer is frequently used to facilitate the installation and update of dynamic PHP applications that needs easier management. using composer dependencies tool, these packages can easily be installed and managed. It maintains a list of required packages in a JSON file called composer.json.

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

Step 1: 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 versions of PHP that’s not available in Ubuntu default repositories for your system, run the commands below to install a third-party repository which contains PHP 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and up.

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

Now simple run the commands below to install PHP 7.4. change the number value to install 7.2, 7.3 and so forth.

sudo apt install php7.4

Step 2: Install Compser

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


The output should look like something below

  / ____/___  ____ ___  ____  ____  ________  _____
 / /   / __ \/ __ `__ \/ __ \/ __ \/ ___/ _ \/ ___/
/ /___/ /_/ / / / / / / /_/ / /_/ (__  )  __/ /
\____/\____/_/ /_/ /_/ .___/\____/____/\___/_/
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
      --profile                  Display timing and memory usage information
      --no-plugins               Whether to disable plugins.
  -d, --working-dir=WORKING-DIR  If specified, use the given directory as working directory.
  -v|vv|vvv, --verbose           Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug

Now when you want to install a PHP based application that requires Composer, simple reference this page to learn how to install Compser. after that, continue with getting your PHP application on Ubuntu.

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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