Opinionated way to start a new Lumen project.
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Lumen Boilerplate

Opinionated way to start a new Lumen project.

I also have an opionionated Laravel Boilerplate repository.



Lumen is a very lightweight version of Laravel. Even if Taylor managed to keep a lot of things for real world needs, it's still too light to me. Here is a list of useful packages I added to the project:


Lumen Boilerplate comes with Laravel Homestead and Vessel support out of the box, but you are free to run it in whatever environment you wish.

If you are familiar with Lumen, let's create a new project via Composer (if not, just read the documentation):

composer create-project benjamincrozat/lumen-boilerplate example

Set up your .env file. The php artisan key:generate command isn't available in Lumen, but you can just do:

php artisan tinker

Psy Shell
>>> 'base64:' . base64_encode(Illuminate\Encryption\Encrypter::generateKey(config('app.cipher')))
=> "base64:6D+I2mFMJHdw0VRDamdcy0XrgUGdHiv7ALd1+aKDmhc="

Then, run your migrations. You can even seed some fake data for users:

php artisan migrate --seed

You can also use Tinker to quickly get an API token...

php artisan tinker

Psy Shell
>>> App\User::first()->api_token
=> "fIj2rTFTWbB2UO2ZrVhEdHhLMV1XNLgHGzIMZk5FlRqww4tP2y0yyWCktTfg"

... and send your first GET request to http://example.test/api/v1/user:

curl --request GET http://example.test/api/v1/user?api_token=fIj2rTFTWbB2UO2ZrVhEdHhLMV1XNLgHGzIMZk5FlRqww4tP2y0yyWCktTfg

    "data": {
        "id": 1,
        "name": "Mr. Kamron Toy",
        "email": "fkoelpin@example.org"

Sample code

Lumen Boilerplate integrates basic CRUD for blog posts, integration tests and sample files that can be quickly duplicated and changed for whatever you want to build. The code is IDE-friendly and as clean and comprehensive as I can. Note that type-hinting is used only when needed, because it adds runtime checks.


It's probably a good idea to test your code. Lumen Boilerplate comes with tests to show you the way.

# Run all tests.
php vendor/bin/phpunit

# Run only unit tests.
php vendor/bin/phpunit --testsuite Unit

# Run only integration tests.
php vendor/bin/phpunit --testsuite Integration

# Run only tests within a given file.
php vendor/bin/phpunit tests/Integration/UserControllerTest.php

# Run only a given test method.
php vendor/bin/phpunit --filter user_can_read_his_own_data

# You can also do both.
php vendor/bin/phpunit tests/Integration/UserControllerTest.php --filter user_can_read_his_own_data

Here are some of my thoughts on testing:

  • Unit Tests don't ensure a working API. Good Integration Tests make your API a hell lot more reliable and you don't have to switch back and forth between your code and a HTTP client;
  • Be exhaustive. Test your validations rules, permissions, JSON structure, etc.
  • I recommend to use Facades inside your tests to make mocking and team work smoother.