CakePHP is fast and easy to install. The minimum requirements are a webserver and a copy of CakePHP, that’s it! While this manual focuses primarily on setting up on Apache (because it’s the most commonly used), you can configure CakePHP to run on a variety of web servers such as lighttpd or Microsoft IIS.


  • HTTP Server. For example: Apache. mod_rewrite is preferred, but by no means required.
  • PHP 5.3.0 or greater (CakePHP version 2.6 and below support PHP 5.2.8 and above). CakePHP version 2.8.0 and above support PHP 7. To use PHP above 7.1 you may need to install mcrypt via PECL. See Security for more information.

Technically a database engine isn’t required, but we imagine that most applications will utilize one. CakePHP supports a variety of database storage engines:

  • MySQL (4 or greater)
  • PostgreSQL
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • SQLite


All built-in drivers require PDO. You should make sure you have the correct PDO extensions installed.


CakePHP is licensed under the MIT license. This means that you are free to modify, distribute and republish the source code on the condition that the copyright notices are left intact. You are also free to incorporate CakePHP into any commercial or closed source application.

Downloading CakePHP

There are two main ways to get a fresh copy of CakePHP. You can either download an archived copy (zip/tar.gz/tar.bz2) from the main website, or check out the code from the git repository.

To download the latest major release of CakePHP, visit the main website and follow the “Download” link.

All current releases of CakePHP are hosted on GitHub. GitHub houses both CakePHP itself as well as many other plugins for CakePHP. The CakePHP releases are available at GitHub tags.

Alternatively you can get fresh off the press code, with all the bug-fixes and up to the minute enhancements. These can be accessed from GitHub by cloning the GitHub repository:

git clone -b 2.x git://


CakePHP uses the app/tmp directory for a number of different operations. A few examples would be Model descriptions, cached views and session information.

As such, make sure the directory app/tmp and all its subdirectories in your CakePHP installation are writable by the web server user.

One common issue is that the app/tmp directories and subdirectories must be writable both by the web server and the command line user. On a UNIX system, if your web server user is different from your command line user, you can run the following commands just once in your project to ensure that permissions will be setup properly:

HTTPDUSER=`ps aux | grep -E '[a]pache|[h]ttpd|[_]www|[w]ww-data|[n]ginx' | grep -v root | head -1 | cut -d\  -f1`
setfacl -R -m u:${HTTPDUSER}:rwx app/tmp
setfacl -R -d -m u:${HTTPDUSER}:rwx app/tmp


Setting up CakePHP can be as simple as slapping it in your web server’s document root, or as complex and flexible as you wish. This section will cover the three main installation types for CakePHP: development, production, and advanced.

  • Development: easy to get going, URLs for the application include the CakePHP installation directory name, and less secure.
  • Production: Requires the ability to configure the web server’s document root, clean URLs, very secure.
  • Advanced: With some configuration, allows you to place key CakePHP directories in different parts of the filesystem, possibly sharing a single CakePHP core library folder amongst many CakePHP applications.


A development installation is the fastest method to setup CakePHP. This example will help you install a CakePHP application and make it available at We assume for the purposes of this example that your document root is set to /var/www/html.

Unpack the contents of the CakePHP archive into /var/www/html. You now have a folder in your document root named after the release you’ve downloaded (e.g. cake_2.0.0). Rename this folder to cake_2_0. Your development setup will look like this on the file system:


If your web server is configured correctly, you should now find your CakePHP application accessible at

Using one CakePHP Checkout for multiple Applications

If you are developing a number of applications, it often makes sense to have them share the same CakePHP core checkout. There are a few ways in which you can accomplish this. Often the easiest is to use PHP’s include_path. To start off, clone CakePHP into a directory. For this example, we’ll use /home/mark/projects:

git clone git:// /home/mark/projects/cakephp

This will clone CakePHP into your /home/mark/projects directory. If you don’t want to use git, you can download a zipball and the remaining steps will be the same. Next you’ll have to locate and modify your php.ini. On *nix systems this is often in /etc/php.ini, but using php -i and looking for ‘Loaded Configuration File’, you can find the actual location. Once you’ve found the correct ini file, modify the include_path configuration to include /home/mark/projects/cakephp/lib. An example would look like:

include_path = .:/home/mark/projects/cakephp/lib:/usr/local/php/lib/php

After restarting your webserver, you should see the changes reflected in phpinfo().


If you are on Windows, separate include paths with ; instead of :

Having finished setting up your include_path your applications should be able to find CakePHP automatically.


A production installation is a more flexible way to setup CakePHP. Using this method allows an entire domain to act as a single CakePHP application. This example will help you install CakePHP anywhere on your filesystem and make it available at Note that this installation may require the rights to change the DocumentRoot on Apache webservers.

Unpack the contents of the CakePHP archive into a directory of your choice. For the purposes of this example, we assume you chose to install CakePHP into /cake_install. Your production setup will look like this on the filesystem:

        webroot/ (this directory is set as the ``DocumentRoot``

Developers using Apache should set the DocumentRoot directive for the domain to:

DocumentRoot /cake_install/app/webroot

If your web server is configured correctly, you should now find your CakePHP application accessible at

Advanced Installation and URL Rewriting

Fire It Up

Alright, let’s see CakePHP in action. Depending on which setup you used, you should point your browser to or At this point, you’ll be presented with CakePHP’s default home, and a message that tells you the status of your current database connection.

Congratulations! You are ready to create your first CakePHP application.

Not working? If you’re getting timezone related errors from PHP uncomment one line in app/Config/core.php:

 * Uncomment this line and correct your server timezone to fix
 * any date & time related errors.