Local Development with ddev

ddev is an open-source, PHP development tool, built upon Docker. It can easliy create local hosting environments, and its server configurations can be version controlled. Originally meant for Drupal development, ddev easily can host Drupal, Wordpress, and GravCMS sites. Since it is based on Docker, ddev is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Installing ddev

Please see the official ddev documentation for the most up to date instructions for installing ddev.


  • Place the Grav files in a folder on the host machine (/home/USER/projects/grav).
  • In your terminal, cd to that folder cd /home/USER/projects/grav
  • Type ddev config. The following prompts will display:
    • Project name (defaults to [GRAV_ROOT]'s folder name
    • Docroot path (defaults to the [GRAV_ROOT])
    • Project type (use type php for this option)
  • ddev is configured to use nginx, so copy the configuration from [GRAV_ROOT]\webserver-configs\nginx-ddev-site.conf to [GRAV_ROOT].ddev\nginx-site.conf
  • run ddev startfrom the [GRAV_ROOT] folder.
  • Let ddev build out the containers it requires. Root/ Sudo credentials may be required in order to make local hosts changes.

Using ddev

Run these commands from the [GRAV_ROOT] on the host machine:

  • ddev describe - Views all available services
  • ddev ssh - Connects a shell to the webserver at the docroot.
  • ddev exec params - Executes params at the docroot (e.g. ddev exec bin/grav clear to clear the cache)

I need to intall [insert plugin/ theme here]. How do I access bin/gpm?

From the [GRAV_ROOT], type ddev ssh and you'll be connected to the web server at the docroot. From here, you can run any php command (composer, bin/gpm, bin/grav, etc).

Where do I edit my files?

An editor on the host machine can edit the files at [GRAV_ROOT]. Changes will reflect into the ddev container automatically. Changes performed in the container (i.e. bin/gpm install admin) will reflect to the host machine.