You have started your project using one of the 2.x downloads. Now you are using Composer to pull in your plugins, but you are still having to commit the framework to your repo.

So it’s time to remove your CakePHP lib and start requiring it as a dependancy instead.

I will assume you are fimiliar with Composer.


So it’s actually pretty straight forward. For the sake of this example, we will assume that you have a standard layout in your current project.

If you are not familiar with the current layout, take a quick look at the 2.5.3 tag to check the folders.

To see what we are aiming at, check out the Friends of Cake app-template.

If you don’t already have a composer.json file, then you’ll want to create that. composer init inside your project folder.

Adding the framework

Firstly we want to let Composer know that you want to require the framework, so let’s update the composer.json to add the following to your require section.

"cakephp/cakephp": "2.5.3"

You can pick your version here if you want to lock in the version, which I’d recommend. Or you could specify another version, such as 2.5.*. Check the Composer docs for more on versions.

When you composer update now it should download the framework for you into vendors/cakephp/cakephp.

Pointing to the correct core

The next task is to tell CakePHP that we have a new place for it to find the core. There are only really a few files you need to update.

  • app/webroot/index.php
  • app/Console/cake.php

You’ll want to update the ROOT, APP_DIR, TMP and the CAKE_CORE_INCLUDE_PATH constants.

define('ROOT', dirname(dirname(__FILE__)));
define('APP_DIR', 'app'); // I define this as a string because why not right?
define('TMP', ROOT . DS . 'tmp' . DS);
define('CAKE_CORE_INCLUDE_PATH', ROOT . DS . 'vendor' . DS . 'cakephp' . DS . 'cakephp' . DS . 'lib');

So that the console commands can still find the right lib, we need to update the include path here too.

ini_set('include_path', '..' . $ds . 'vendor' . $ds . 'cakephp' . $ds . 'cakephp' . $ds . 'lib' . PATH_SEPARATOR . ini_get('include_path'));

As you are running your shell tasks from within app we can use a relative path.

Edit your bootstrap to build the new paths

// app/config/bootstrap.php
		'Plugin' => [ROOT . '/Plugin/', ROOT . '/app/Plugin/'],
		'Vendor' => [ROOT . '/vendor/', ROOT . '/app/Vendor/']


To check that the new setup is working you can run a Console/cake to check what the core value is.

$ cd app
$ Console/cake

Welcome to CakePHP v2.5.3 Console
App : app
Path: /Users/david/Sites/example/app/
Current Paths:

 -app: app
 -working: /Users/david/Sites/example/app
 -root: /Users/david/Sites/example
 -core: /Users/david/Sites/example/vendor/cakephp/cakephp/lib


Feel free to delete your old lib folder as you now don’t need it. Have fun updating your applications version of CakePHP using Composer.