Installation from Source Control
SilverStripe core (and most of its modules) use git to version control their source code. We require you to use this method for any patch contributions, to ensure you're working on the latest codebase, and the problem you're looking at is not already fixed.
For getting a project up and running quickly with a release, you are typically best off with the official silverstripe.org/download. If you want to get the "latest and greatest" pre-release code (either on a release branch, or on "trunk"), you need to use our version control.
See frequently asked questions below.
The core and its parts
SilverStripe core is currently hosted on github.com/silverstripe. The core consists of four parts:
- A sample theme called
First, you'll have to decide what you want to do with your project:
These options aren't very clear cut, you can mix-and-match approaches to suit your needs
(e.g. core modules are downloaded as files, but your own modules are still managed through
- A git client to check out the core repositories, see "Getting started with Git and Github".
- A webserver+database environment to run SilverStripe (see server requirements).
- The php commandline utility (to run scripts in the
- (optional) Piston (website): A thirdparty tool to manage files from an external repository. It is our recommended way to start your own project, and still provide an easy way to update from our repository. You will need Ruby and the "Rubygems" package manager to install it:
gem install pistonNote for Windows users: The installation process assumes a Linux/Unix/OSX system. Most commands are the same for Windows, but you will have to use the
*.batscripts instead for anything in the
Option 1: Installation for new projects
Your own projects are typically hosted in a version control system of your choice, with SilverStripe files copied or linked into that repository. We assume you already have an empty repository set up, either in git or subversion.
If you don't use version control, we recommend that you stick to the official silverstripe.org/download instead.
Step 1: Getting the installer
- Create a new project repository in your own version control (we assume the working copy folder is called
- Download and extract silverstripe-installer master or the latest release.
- Add and commit the files to your repository
Step 2: Installing phing with git version control support
Run the following commands to install the Phing build system:
sudo pear channel-discover pear.phing.info sudo pear install phing/phing sudo pear install VersionControl_Git-0.4.4
Step 3: Getting the required modules
Run the following command to download all core dependencies using Phing:
This will add
cms and the
simple theme to your project.
Step 4: Committing the modules
Some files in your project will be unversioned after running the Phing script and need to be added to your own repository. The commands depend on your repository type:
# for subversion cd my-silverstripe-project/ svn add * svn commit -m "adding configuration files generated by phing" # for git cd my-silverstripe-project/ git add . git commit -m "adding configuration files generated by phing"
Step 5: Switch branches
The Phing script makes it easy to switch branches and/or modules. Just edit the
dependent-modules file in
your project's root folder. This file contains documentation about how to specify which modules (and which branches)
you want to include in the project. After updating the file run the
phing update_modules command again.
Note: Phing can do some more useful things. Run
phing help to see everything you can do with it.
Step 6: Running the web-based installer
You can now run through the web-based installer for your operating system of choice (instructions).
Option 2: Installation for contributions
This way of installing SilverStripe will allow you to commit back directly to version control for a module. We recommend it for module and core development (as opposed to development on a client project).
Step 1: Forking the installer and projects
First of all, you need to fork the installer and modules into your own github account, so you can push changes (github.com/silverstripe is only writeable by the core team).
A fork gives you write access to your own repository copy, and makes it efficient to
contribute back changes. This approach won't add the modules to version control in the containing
which means it only works for local development.
Note: You only need to fork the modules you actually plan to work on, feel free to keep the original repository URLs for all other modules.
Step 2: Getting the installer and required modules
To get started you just need to check out your fork of the
installer project (this will take a minute or two).
This folder will be your webroot, and eventually contain all other modules.
<username> below with your github username.
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:<username>/silverstripe-installer.git my-silverstripe-project cd my-silverstripe-project git clone email@example.com:<username>/sapphire.git framework git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:<username>/silverstripe-cms.git cms git clone email@example.com:<username>/silverstripe-simple.git themes/simple
Now you need to add the original repository as
upstream, so you can keep your fork updated later on.
cd my-silverstripe-project (git remote add upstream git://github.com/silverstripe/silverstripe-installer.git && git fetch upstream) (cd framework && git remote add upstream git://github.com/silverstripe/sapphire.git && git fetch upstream) (cd cms && git remote add upstream git://github.com/silverstripe/silverstripe-cms.git && git fetch upstream) (cd themes/simple && git remote add upstream git://github.com/silverstripe-themes/silverstripe-simple.git)
Now that you're set up, please read our "Contributing Code" guide,
as well as our general "Contributor guidelines".
Please read "Module installation" to find out how to install additional modules like
forum from source.
Step 3: Committing the modules
You don't need to commit the module code into the repository, as our project is only for local development.
Changes within the module code are committed back directly to their own repository, not into the
installer project. To the
installer project, these modules are unversioned files (although you can explicitly add them to
.gitignore as well).
Step 4: Switch branches
By default, the "master" is checked out, which contains the latest code. You can optionally select a "release branch" to work on. Any work happens on a local branch, that you have to create first:
cd my-silverstripe-project git checkout -b 2.4 origin/2.4 (cd framework && git checkout -b 2.4 origin/2.4) (cd cms && git checkout -b 2.4 origin/2.4) (cd themes/simple && git checkout -b 2.4 origin/2.4) # repeat for all modules in your project...
After creating the local branch, you can simply switch between branches:
cd my-silverstripe-project git checkout 2.4 (cd framework && git checkout 2.4) (cd cms && git checkout 2.4) (cd themes/simple && git checkout 2.4) # repeat for all modules in your project...
To switch back to master:
cd my-silverstripe-project git checkout master (cd framework && git checkout master) (cd cms && git checkout master) (cd themes/simple && git checkout master) # repeat for all modules in your project...
You can't switch branches if your working copy has local changes (typically in
Either revert these changes before switching, or temporarily store them with
Once you switch back you can retrieve these changes via
git stash pop (see further instructions on
Step 5: Running the web-based installer
You can now run through the web-based installer for your operating system of choice (instructions).
Updating from source
tools/ scripts provide an easy start, but don't allow you to add, remove or update modules.
Please read the following instruction on how to udpate modules and the installer depending
on your setup.
Updating the installer
If you've done a straight
git clone as described above, the update process is very simple:
cd my-silverstripe-project/ git pull origin
If you have copied the installer files into a new project, we recommend to repeat the copying process manually.
Updating modules via git
In case you chose the "Installation for contributions" option, all modules in your project will be standard git repositories, and you can update them as usual.
cd my-silverstripe-project/framework git pull
Updating modules via piston or download
For the "Installation for a new project" option, modules like
are added as plain files without a direct link to their originating repository.
If these plain files are managed by piston, the update process is simple:
cd my-silverstripe-project piston update framework # Use "svn" instead of "git" for subversion repositories git add framework/* git commit -m "udpated dependencies"
For file downloads without piston, you can simply download the source code again and replace it.
Contributing changes from piston
If you have started your own project, and made improvements to code managed through piston within this - great! While it is a bit easier to contribute code from direct git repositories, there is another way to get these changes back to the original module repository: piston-export.
This script finds all changes to a certain module and exports them as patch files that you can send to the module author (either as "pull requests" from your own fork, or as flat files through tickets or emails).
Manual installation of other modules
Modules listed on silverstripe.org/modules can be hosted in any version control system (typically subversion or git). Please read the module page for source code locations and installation instructions. The general process of module installation is documented as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm not a big fan of git, can I use Subversion for my own projects?: Of course, you can manage your own project files any way you want. To get SilverStripe modules from version control, you will have to use git to check out the code, and then add it to your own version control.
- Can I use svn:externals?: If your project is hosted on subversion, you can add your own svn:externals as usual. To include most SilverStripe modules and themes from github, you have two options: Copying the files directly into your own version control, or use "piston" to manage this for you.
- Some modules I use are still in subversion, can I mix and match with git?: Yes, through "piston".
- I've cloned a module repository and now I want to make changes to it (that shouldn't go into the main version):
You can either run
piston importand then apply your changes to the imported source, or edit your "git remote" for those modules.
- Why don't you use git submodules or subtree merging instead of piston?: In our experience, Git submodules only work well if used in a readonly way, not for committing to the submodule repository.