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Advanced PHP Buildpack

This buildpack is a fork from CHH/heroku-buildpack-php which has been improved for the PaaS to have a better PHP support.

The changelog for this buildpack is in Scalingo public changelog.


  • Nginx 1.3 to 1.10 - PHP 5.3 (without extension), 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1 - PHP FPM
  • Lightweight stack compared to Apache-ModPHP
  • Composer support
  • Various frameworks support out of the box (no configuration)
  • Dynamic installing of PHP extensions, listed as ext- requirements in composer.json.
  • Interfacing with PECL platform to download and build extensions dynamically

How to use it

This buildpack is used automatically by Scalingo. So you just need to create a PHP application and to deploy it.

scalingo create my-php-app

Install CLI tool →

Node.js for assets building

If you have package.json file in your repository, Node.js will be installed automatically and dependencies will be installed according to the package.json file. The dependencies are installed, including those declared in devDependencies. This is the default behaviour as most of the time, dependencies to bundle the assets are declared as development dependencies.

You can disable this feature by defining the environment variable PHP_BUILDPACK_NO_NODE=true.

You might want to disable it when you want a fined grained management of the Node.js part by using the official Node.js buildpack in combination with this buildpack thanks to the Multi buildpack.

More information on this documentation page.

Available versions

Stack scalingo-20

Stack scalingo-22


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.

When a composer.json is detected, then the buildpack does composer install --no-dev.

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

Web concurrency

The number of php-fpm workers is defined dynamically according to the size of the container you are using.

If you want to override this value, you can define the environment variable WEB_CONCURRENCY



Wordpress sites are automatically detected and all the URL rewriting configuration is automatically set.


Is used when the app requires the Pear package or when the extra.paas.framework key is set to cakephp2 in the composer.json. This project assumes the layout given in the FriendsOfCake/app-template composer project.


  • index-document: With CakePHP apps, this should be the file where $Dispatcher->dispatch(new CakeRequest(), new CakeResponse()); is called. All requests which don't match an existing file will be forwarded to this document.

Classic PHP

Used when no framework is detected, serves all the .php files from the document root.

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


Is used when the extra.paas.framework key is set to magento in the composer.json.


Is used when the app requires the silex/silex package or when the framework setting 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.


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


  • index-document: With Slim 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.


Is used when the app requires the laravel/lumen-framework package or when the extra.paas.framework key is set to lumen in the composer.json.


Is detected when the app requires the symfony/symfony package or when the framework setting is set to symfony in the composer.json.

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

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.

Custom configuration

  • ASSETS_ROOT: If you're using webpack or any other tool to handle your assets, you can specify an additional directory, relative to web/ to read your assets. For instance if you build your assets in `web/dist/, please define:

The application document root is already the web directory, you don't need to specify it


Detected when laravel/framework is required in your composer.json

Change 4

Detected when rbschange/core is required in your composer.json.


Detected when yiisoft/yii is required in your composer.json.


Detected when yiisoft/yii2 or yiisoft-yii2-dev is required in your composer.json


When the buildpack encounters ext- requirements in your composer.json, it will look up the extension name in the supported extensions and install them.

The version constraint is ignored currently.

For example, to install the Sundown extension:

    "require": {
        "ext-sundown": "*"

Note that the extension requirements defined by dependencies are not taken into account there. It must be required by the project itself.


This buildpack defines default log files by framework. It also defines log files nginx and php.


The buildpack support automatically Blackfire for monitoring if the following environment variables are set:



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": {
        "paas": {
            "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 paas key in the extra object.


Default: Null

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

Available presets:

  • cakephp2
  • magento
  • silex (needs document-root and index-document set)
  • slim
  • symfony


"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 1.4.4 and PHP 5.5.10.

The version identifiers can also include wildcards, e.g. 5.4.*. At the time of writing, PHP 5.4.26 would be used in this case. This also works for NGINX.

When a file named .php-version exists in the project root, then the PHP version is read from this file instead.

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. You need to define the environment variable NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY for your application on your dashboard.

"new-relic": true


Default: false

Enable support for Datadog, and specifically:

  • Datadog APM (Application Performance Monitoring)
  • Datadog ASM (Application Security Management)


To enable Datadog support, set the extra.paas.datadog property to true:

    "datadog": true

This will automatically install the latest available version of the Datadog Tracer and enable Datadog APM. To disable the tracer, set the DATADOG_TRACER_VERSION environment variable to 0 (latest by default). Note that disabling the tracer will disable APM and all other extensions (like ASM).

The Datadog ASM (Application Security Management) extension will be disabled by default. To install and enable ASM, set the DATADOG_APPSEC_VERSION environment variable to latest (0 by default).




Default: false

Enable support for Scout APM.

To enable Scout support, set the extra.paas.scout property to true:

    "scout": true

To install a specific version of the extension, use the SCOUT_APM_VERSION environment variable (1.7.0 by default).




Default: []

The buildpack defines default log files by framework and some log files for php-fpm and nginx. Any file put in log-files will be be appended to the list. A tail on each unique log file will be run at application startup

"log-files": [

PHP Extensions

Different types of extensions can be added to the PHP runtime, with different levels of compatibility. All these extensions can be added in the require block of the composer.json and this buildpack will try to install them.

  "require": {
    "ext-sodium": "*",
    "ext-calendar": "*",

Internal PHP Extensions

The PHP binary is not built with all modules embedded. To reduce build size and attack surface, these extensions have to be enabled manually. The supported list can be found here:

PECL PHP Extensions

PECL extensions are registered on the platform. This buildpack will try to download and build them during deployments.

Some extensions may require system dependencies absent from the stack your application is based on. In this case you're encouraged to prepend the APT Buildpack and install the missing package according to the extension documentation.

You may need to add extra compilation flags, in this case define them through environment variables with the following pattern:

# replace $extension_name by the right extension name

If the extension you are trying to install is a Zend extension, please define

# replace $extension_name by the right extension name

Third Party PHP Extensions

Some third party extensions can also be installed, list can be found here


If your app contains a package.json, Node.js and its dependencies will be installed

The Node.js 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
  • 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 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 Node.js script at that time.


Please see the CONTRIBUTING file for all the details.


Official Scalingo buildpack - Based on CHH php buildpack, Nginx/PHP-fpm stack







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