Setting Up Phalcon PHPs Docs

Gary A. Newsome | Sunday, Sep 10, 2017

I recently made my first open source contribution to the PhalconPHP docs. It was a small contribution, but nevertheless it felt nice, and it was a great way to start being an open source contributor. This post is basically just to document my experience setting up the docs and the docs-app for PhalconPHP. To note, I am using 2015 MacBookPro running macOS Sierra.

I started by following the setup guide at Which worked really well and it got me close, but there were a few tweaks I needed to make to get things running on my end.

The main difference between the conventional setup and the way I did it was, not using Nanobox to serve the docs-app. I tried a couple of times, but it just wasn’t working out for me. I did use it for the deploy step though. What I did, with the help of friend, boss, and Phalcon core team member Paul Scarrone, was install phalcon-devtools instead. This allowed me to run the app via a local development server instead.

So, onto the good stuff.

Installing Phalcon-Devtools

I used Composer for the install. composer global require phalcon-devtools Composer is a dependency manager for PHP, and can be found at This installs phalcon-devtools at ~/.composer/vender/bin. Worth mentioning here, is the global flag. I installed this globally, so I can use it from anywhere on my computer in the future.

Next, in my .bashrc file, I created the variable COMPOSERBIN which I set to the path COMPOSERBIN="$HOME/.composer/vendor/bin".

Then you add the variable to your PATH, export PATH=$COMPOSERBIN:$PATH.

The final step in the .bashrc was to create the alias, alias phalcon=$COMPOSERBIN/phalcon.php, this allows you to call the phalcon command from your terminal.

In the docs-app, the last change I need to make was in the .env file. I changed the APP_URL line to APP_URL=http://localhost:8000 instead of the default url listed in the documentation.

Now you can just cd into the docs-app folder and type phalcon serve, then visit http://localhost:8000 in your browser of choice.

A list of the available devtools commands can be found in the at phalcon-devtools or by typing phalcon --help in your terminal.

One final note, I actually cloned both the docs and the docs-app repos to my local machine. This allows me to work on the changes in the docs-app repo, then just copy/paste those changes into my docs repo, where I commit the changes.