How To Install Composer on Ubuntu 18.04



Composer is a popular dependency management tool for PHP, created mainly to facilitate installation and updates for project dependencies. It will check which other packages a specific project depends on and install them for you, using the appropriate versions according to the project requirements.

Installing the Dependencies

Before you download and install Composer, you’ll want to make sure your server has all dependencies installed. First, update the package manager cache by running:

sudo apt update

Now, let’s install the dependencies. We’ll need curl in order to download Composer and php-cli for installing and running it. The php-mbstring package is necessary to provide functions for a library we’ll be using. git is used by Composer for downloading project dependencies, and unzip for extracting zipped packages. Everything can be installed with the following command:

sudo apt install curl php-cli php-mbstring git unzip

With the prerequisites installed, we can install Composer itself.

Downloading and Installing Composer

Composer provides an installer, written in PHP. We’ll download it, verify that it’s not corrupted, and then use it to install Composer.

Make sure you’re in your home directory, then retrieve the installer using curl:

cd ~ 
curl -sS -o composer-setup.php

Next, verify that the installer matches the SHA-384 hash for the latest installer found on the Composer Public Keys / Signatures page. Copy the hash from that page and store it as a shell variable:


Make sure that you substitute the latest hash for the highlighted value.
Now execute the following PHP script to verify that the installation script is safe to run:

php -r "if (hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php') === '$HASH') { echo 'Installer verified'; } else { echo 'Installer corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"

You’ll see the following output.

Installer verified

If you see Installer corrupt, then you’ll need to redownload the installation script again and double check that you’re using the correct hash. Then run the command to verify the installer again. Once you have a verified installer, you can continue.

To install composer globally, use the following command which will download and install Composer as a system-wide command named composer, under /usr/local/bin:

sudo php composer-setup.php --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

You’ll see the following output:

All settings correct for using Composer

Composer (version 1.6.5) successfully installed to: /usr/local/bin/composer
Use it: php /usr/local/bin/composer

To test your installation, run:


And you’ll see this output displaying Composer’s version and arguments.

  / ____/___  ____ ___  ____  ____  ________  _____
 / /   / __ \/ __ `__ \/ __ \/ __ \/ ___/ _ \/ ___/
/ /___/ /_/ / / / / / / /_/ / /_/ (__  )  __/ /
\____/\____/_/ /_/ /_/ .___/\____/____/\___/_/
Composer version 1.6.5 2018-05-04 11:44:59

  command [options] [arguments]

  -h, --help                     Display this help message
  -q, --quiet                    Do not output any message
  -V, --version                  Display this application version
      --ansi                     Force ANSI output
      --no-ansi                  Disable ANSI output
  -n, --no-interaction           Do not ask any interactive question
      --profile                  Display timing and memory usage information
      --no-plugins               Whether to disable plugins.
  -d, --working-dir=WORKING-DIR  If specified, use the given directory as working directory.
  -v|vv|vvv, --verbose           Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug
. . .

This verifies that Composer installed successfully on your system and is available system-wide.

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