PHP Caddy


PHP Caddy is a tiny PHP development environment for Windows, inspired by Laravel Valet.

No hosts file, no configuration, no frills. Just run it and go write some code.

PHP Caddy is basically a stripped down Valet: no *.dev domain proxy (only localhost), no linking multiple sites or parked directories, and no sharing over local tunnels. It also doesn’t require elevated privileges to run like some of the other Windows alternatives, which can make things easier for people in corporate environments.

Built with Caddy web server, PHP Caddy also includes Mailhog for catching email sent by your application.

This package is for minimalists. It does not have the full feature set of Valet, and it doesn’t provide the robust features of a virtualized environment like Homestead.


502 Bad Gateway

There seems to be an issue with long-running php-cgi.exe processes in PHP 7.0 and earlier on Windows. The process randomly crashes after a period of time, causing a 502 Bad Gateway in PHP Caddy.

PHP 7.1 introduced the ability to run multiple php-cgi.exe processes, which seems to alleviate this problem.

If you are getting frequent 502 Bad Gateway errors, try upgrading to PHP 7.1 and make sure you’re running the latest PHP Caddy by running composer global update.

If you can’t upgrade PHP, then you can restart PHP when this happens using caddy service php restart.

Installation instructions

composer global require samojled/php-caddy


Make sure your global composer vendor/bin folder is in your system path.

Start it up

cd {your php project directory}
caddy start

Shut it down

caddy stop

Switch directories (serve a different project)

cd {another php project}
caddy link

Control individual services

# Mailhog
caddy service mailhog start
caddy service mailhog stop
caddy service mailhog restart

# Http (Caddy)
caddy service http start
caddy service http stop
caddy service http restart

caddy service php start
caddy service php stop
caddy service php restart

Available Commands

Command Description
caddy install Install PHP Caddy services
caddy link Link Caddy to the current directory
caddy start Start the Caddy services and Link the current directory.
caddy start --without-mailhog For a slightly lighter resource footprint
caddy stop Stop the Caddy services
caddy which Determine which Valet driver serves the current working directory
caddy uninstall Remove PHP Caddy services
caddy service [service] [command] Start/Stop/Restart individual services

Supported Frameworks and Applications

PHP Caddy comes with the same default set of drivers as Valet, so out of the box it supports:

Custom Valet Drivers

You can write your own Valet driver to support PHP applications not in the list above, in the same way you can with Laravel Valet.

When you install PHP Caddy, a ~/.phpcaddy/Drivers directory is created which contains a SampleValetDriver.php file you can use as a guide. To use your custom driver, either place it in the ~/.phpcaddy/Drivers directory, or in the root path of your project, and it will be picked up by PHP Caddy.

See more info on creating custom drivers in the Laravel Valet docs: Custom Valet Drivers


You can update PHP Caddy using the composer global update command. After upgrading, you may need to run caddy install to make any necessary configuration changes.

License and Attribution

Parts of the original Laravel Valet source code were used in whole or in part in building this project, and are covered under the original Valet License

The Caddy and Mailhog binaries are covered under their respective licenses.

PHP Caddy is Copyright (c) 2017 Dave Samojlenko and licensed under the MIT license

Powered by Caddy