Laravel Homestead is one development platform that developers have grown to love since its launch in June 2011. This pre-packed vagrant “container” allows you the development freedom without being tied to installations of server software on your local machine.

With Laravel Homestead at hand, you can code at ease since it comes packed with plenty of goodies alongside Redis, PHP 5.6, Nginx web server, Postgres, and Memached.  

homestead alternatives

Laravel Homestead has placed the benchmark for development platforms out there. However, there are web development apps that do measure up and do deliver when put to task. So let’s jump in and look into a few of them here.


XAMPP is an open source application from Apache distribution containing Perl, MariaDB, and PHP.

XAMPP provides an extremely easy way for testing and deploying applications via a local web server. Simplicity and lightness characterize this Apache distribution.

homestead alternatives

The extractable file contains everything a developer may need; database (MariaDB), server application (Apache), and scripting language (PHP). XAMPP is cross-platform working well in Windows, Mac, and Linux environments. Working with XAMPP is a plus since transitioning from a test server to live server is seamless since most web server deployments incorporate similar components as XAMPP.

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Need that Local Server environment set up quickly, then MAMP is the option to go for. Available for both OS X and Windows.

MAMP is one web platform that puts together web development programming languages Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, and Python to form the open source web platform built upon macOS. MAMPs popularity is evident due to its components and because it is free.

homestead alternatives

Mac OS X and above come preloaded with PHP and MySQL which when used with MAMP support application servers. Popular CMS like Drupal can be used alongside MAMP to set up local development environments.

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3. WampServer

WampServer was created by Roman Bourdon as a software stack meant for the Windows OS. The stack contains Apache web server, MySQL database, OpenSSL (for SSL support) and PHP programming language.

homestead alternatives

The application development fraternity at Windows will definitely refer fondly to experience working with WampServer.

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4. Vagrant

In a single workflow Vagrant is your tool for virtual machine environment building and management. Vagrant is characterized by its impact on set up times. The time required for setting up development environments is greatly reduced and production parity greatly increases for you. No more excuses here.

homestead alternatives

Developers can easily craft and construct development environments that are portable, reproducible and lightweight.

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5. Laragon

Web development has taken a modern kick forward with Laragon. Laragon is a feature-rich well maintained, exceptional local development environment. Improved, quick and easy are traits that developers testify hen using Laragon.


Laragon may be a young entrant in the development tool arena it still ranks among the top 100 awesome web development tools. Laragon contains PHP Memcahed, MySQL, Redis, and Apache. Should you be working on a Laravel project do consider Laragon to deliver an awesome project.

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6. Laradock

Laradock is Laravel community favorite that initially begun as an environment where Docker only run Laravel projects. It has been transformed and is now a complete PHP development environment for Docker.


Laradock provides developers with a PHP environment that is wonderful with its pre-packed and preconfigured Docker images. Its popularity with PHP users resulted in the creators extending support into several PHP projects like Drupal, Symfony, WordPress, and CodeIgniter.  

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7. PuPHPet

Juan Treminio decided to give PHP developers an avenue for developing on stacks that is simple and also perfectly suited for them.homestead alternative

By focusing on five key areas this was achieved. PuPHPet focuses on the following 5 areas to deliver on simplicity;

  •    Server Basics
  •    Deploy Target (memory, IP address, port forwarding)
  •    PHP (modules, libraries, config settings)
  •    Web server (Apache 2, Nginx)
  •    Database (PostgreSQL, MySQL)
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8. Docker

Docker is a project that performs OS level virtualizations that are portable self-sufficient and lightweight. Developers use Docker to run software packages known as containers in isolation. Each container has its own configuration, tools, and libraries but can communicate.

docker homestead alternative

with other containers by defining specific channels. Since all containers are run by one OS kernel they are lightweight compared to virtual machines.


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WPИ-XM consists of preconfigured and bundled software components which when installed create a professionally laid out environment for PHP development. At the base of WPИ-XM’s stack are MariaDB, NGINX, and PHP.

laravel homestead

A web interface incorporated into it allows you to easily start and stop the servers through a server control and server admin panel. You will find essential utilities like PHPUnit, phpcsfixer, Pickle, PEAR out-of-the-box and Composer in the stack.


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10. VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a by far the most accessible and convenient development app in the market.

It allows developers to work from any type of operating system, laptop or desktop computer at hand. Software development, testing, and virtualization are done with considerable flexibility and ease.

laravel homestead

With VirtualBox, you can run several apps that you normally wouldn’t get on a normal operating system.

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Want to develop Laravel in Eclipse?  Try CodeMIx now!

In Closing

Laravel Homestead seeks to capture the attention of the web development community with its development experience. However, other web development apps will continue to have a role to play in the web application development universe. As technology advances and the Git Hub communities grow you can expect more ingenious web development apps to be created.