Using Composer in IONOS web hosting packages

Composer helps you manage external sources and libraries in your PHP projects. Although the tool isn’t included in IONOS web hosting by default, it can be installed in just a few steps.

Step 1: update your PHP version

Before downloading and launching Composer, it’s best to update your PHP version. To do that, log into your IONOS account and navigate to the hosting section where you’ll find the PHP settings. Select the domain you want to check and update the PHP version for. Now you’ll be presented with a list of available PHP versions. It’s best to choose one of the latest versions and then save the new settings. You can find more information about this topic in our article ‘Display or Change PHP Versions’ in the IONOS Help Centre.

Tip

Still looking for the right server? Web hosting from IONOS can be scaled flexibly, making it suitable for large and small projects alike.]]

Step 2: create an SSH connection

By default, Composer isn’t operated via a graphical user interface (GUI), but via Secure Shell (SSH) access. To do this, use an SSH client like PuTTY and enter the credentials for your server. Now you can control your server from the command line. Detailed instructions on how to establish an SSH connection with PuTTY are available in the IONOS Help Centre.

Note

Almost all IONOS packages enable shell access via SSH. If your package doesn’t support SSH access, it’s best to switch to a different hosting package.

To use Composer in your IONOS web hosting package, log in via SSH and follow the steps. You can find more information about how to install and use Composer with Composer documentation.

Step 3: download PHP Composer

Use the following command to download the installation file:

php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"
bash
Note

On some systems, the command php may not automatically use PHP CLI, but instead uses PHP CGI FCGI, which can prevent the execution of some commands.

To see if this applies to your system, use the command php -v. If the output is PHP x.x.x (cgi-fcgi), then you should not use php at the beginning of the commands outlined in this guide. Instead, use phpX.Y-cli, where ‘X.Y’ is your PHP version number, such as php8.2-cli.

Step 4: verify the checksum

For security purposes, it’s best to compare the checksum in the terminal. This way you can be sure that you haven’t downloaded malicious software but an original file:

php -r "if (hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php') === '55ce33d7678c5a611085589f1f3ddf8b3c52d662cd01d4ba75c0ee0459970c2200a51f492d557530c71c15d8dba01eae') { echo 'Installer Verified'; } else { echo 'Installer Corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"
bash
Note

The checksum (that’s the long string of numbers) changes with each new Composer version. The current version of the checksum can be found on the official GitHub page. To ensure that you are comparing the checksum for the most recent version of Composer, use the checksum provided on their GitHub page.

Step 5: install Composer

Launch the installation file:

php composer-setup.php
bash

The system will confirm the successful installation of Composer. Afterwards you can remove the setup file again:

php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"
bash

Following this, there’ll be a file named ‘composer.phar’ in your webspace. Move it into an extra folder:

sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer
bash

You can use Composer globally across the system.

Step 6: launch Composer for the first time

Now you can launch Composer:

composer
bash

The result is an overview of all the Composer commands.

Overview of all Composer commands in the shell
Overview of all Composer commands in the shell.

To make sure you are always using the latest Composer version, use the following command to activate self-update:

sudo -H composer self-update
bash
Note

IONOS’ Digital Guide provides installation instructions for PHP Composer for different operating systems. These can be helpful if you don’t have a web hosting package with IONOS:

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