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Quick way to get the platform for development set up

This repository provides a vagrant virtual machine so you can start contributing quickly. is a big project, so there a few parts involved.

Welcome welcomes all contributors regardless of your ability or experience. We especially welcome you if you are new to Open Source development and will provide a helping hand. To ensure that everyone understands what we expect from our community, our projects have a Contributor Code of Conduct and by participating in the development of you agree to abide by its terms.

Getting Started

  1. Install requirements. (Note: these are not required by itself, but are required for this quick start guide.)

  2. Make your own github fork of the following repositories:

  3. Clone joindin-vm

    Make sure that you are accessing your fork of the joindin-vm repo

    git clone{YourGitHubId}/joindin-vm.git --recursive

    For example:

    git clone --recursive
  4. Execute the script that will clone the other 2 repositories from your forks

    cd joindin-vm
    php scripts/cloneRepository.php

    If you are getting Git and PHP warnings and you have previously forked before the introduction of web2, you can safely remove your forks of joindin-legacy and the even older

  5. Run Composer Install and the Homestead make command:

    composer install
    php vendor/bin/homestead make

    This copies the Homestead.yaml.example file to Homestead.yaml (which is ignored from VCS) that has computer specific paths configured for the repositories.

  6. Start the VM

    vagrant up
  7. If you get asked for the vagrant user password during provisioning, try the password vagrant

  8. If you don't have the hostsupdater Vagrant plugin, then add hostname to /etc/hosts.

    If you are on Linux, run this:

    (echo ; echo "") | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

    If you are on macOS, run this:

    echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

    If you are on Windows, run this on the cmd line

    echo >> %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\Hosts
  9. Browse to the sites

  10. You can log in to the test site with these credentials for an admin account:

    • Username: imaadmin
    • Password: password
  11. For other users, look at the dbgen documentation.


  • The directory you cloned will be mounted inside the VM at /home/joindin-vm

  • You can develop by editing the files you cloned in the IDE of your choice.

  • The database is running inside the VM. You can get to it with the following commands:

    you@you> vagrant ssh
    vagrant@vm> mysql joindin -u joindin
  • The database is exposed on port 3306 of the VM, so you can also use:

    you@you> mysql -u joindin -h -P 3306 -ppassword joindin

    Or by its external port, 33060, on localhost:

    you@you> mysql -u joindin -h 127.0.01 -P 33060 -ppassword joindin
  • To stop the VM so that you can work on it later, issue the following command from the host machine:

    vagrant halt
  • To delete the VM completely, issue the following command from the host machine:

    vagrant destroy


Slim Application Error

Recreate the config files:

cd joindin-api/src
cp config.php.dist config.php
cp database.php.dist database.php

cd ../../joindin-web2/src
cp config.php.dist config.php

Configuration is missing

Update the config files:

you@you> vagrant ssh
vagrant@vm> cd ~/joindin-vm
vagrant@vm> sh scripts/


We use mailhog to grab emails before they leave the VM, and present them to you in a web interface so you can see what the system would be sending. To check the mails that have been sent, visit on your host machine.

Xdebug/PHPStorm Setup

Xdebug is setup on the dev VM, with remote_start enabled, by default. To start using this, visit, generate the bookmarklets with IDE key PHPSTORM, and the 'Start debugger' and 'Stop debugger' bookmarklets to your browsers bookmark bar. These bookmarklets set the required cookies to trigger or stop triggering remote debugging of scripts.

To test all is working OK, open the entry point index.php file for the relevant repo and add a breakpoint (Cmd+F8 on Mac), and visit a public URL for the relevant repo. If all is setup correctly, PHPStorm should prompt you to select the local file that the remote file maps to. Simply select the local index.php file for the repo and you should be good to go.

If testing from the command-line and not a browser:

  • Enable xdebug:

    vagrant ssh
  • Disable xdebug:

    vagrant ssh

Packaging the box from event with slow connection

If you are at an event with a slow connection it's possible to package the box and copy it on a usb key. This way others don't need to download it.

Repackage the box before the event

Build the environment on your local machine and then run the command:

vagrant box repackage laravel/homestead virtualbox 7.1.0

Then copy the resulting file to a USB key and share it at the event as per the instructions for using the packaged box.

Using the packaged box

  1. Copy the box file on your machine

  2. Import the box

    vagrant box add joindindev path/to/
  3. Follow the Getting Started instructions but before you run vagrant up and the following line to Homstead.yaml:

    box: joindindev
  4. Open vendor/laravel/homestead/scripts/homestead.rb and comment out the following line:

    config.vm.box_version = settings['version'] ||= '>= 7.0.0'
  5. Continue where you left of with vagrant up "Start the VM".

Exposing to the web via ngrok

If you want to expose the VM's websites to the web via ngrok, then you need to sign up with ngrok and register your authtoken with the ngrok command line tool. This is so that you can use ngrok's custom subdomains feature. Each website within the VM is set up to support a prefixed subdomain to which you append your own unique string.

For example, using the custom string example, you can run these commands to expose the given site to the Internet:

  • api : ngrok -subdomain apiexample
  • web2: ngrok -subdomain web2example

Therefore, running ngrok -subdomain web2example will enable anyone on the Internet to access your development version of web2 at

Debugging with wireshark

The VM has wireshark installed so that you can view the traffic between the api and web2 (or any other client).

On your local machine, in the joindin-vm directory, you can use this command to start wireshark with it reading traffic on the VM:

wireshark -k -i <(vagrant ssh -c "sudo dumpcap -P -i any -w - -f 'not tcp port 22'" -- -ntt)

Full details are in this article


Prefer Vagrant over Docker? New Contributors Start Here!


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