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Note: You are currently reading the documentation for Bolt 4.0. Looking for the documentation for Bolt 5.2 instead?

With the stable release of Bolt 4, there will be a number of ways to install the application. For now, we recommend the composer create-project as the fastest way to get an installation of Bolt up and running.

What is composer you may ask? It is a dependency manager for PHP, or in other words it helps you manage the third-party libraries and tools, such as Bolt itself, that your project relies on.

Step 1: Make sure you have composer installed.

If you don't have composer installed yet, see here.

Note: This documentation makes the assumption that you're setting up Bolt on a local development machine. Not on the server where you intend to run a production website. If you do not have a local development environment, we recommend taking the time to set this up.

Note: This documentation makes the assumption that you know how to run composer on your machine. If not, the quickest way to get started is to follow the composer getting started section of the composer documentation.

Step 2: Set up a new Bolt project

Open the command line (command prompt on Windows) and go to the folder inside of which you want to create your new Bolt project.

Set up a new Bolt 4 project, using the following command, replacing myprojectname with your desired project's name.

composer create-project bolt/project myprojectname

Step 3 (optional): Configure the database

Note: This step is optional. If you are not sure about setting up a database connection, you can leave this step out. Bolt will automatically use a default SQLite database without further configuration needed.

Navigate into the newly created folder, and configure the database in .env or your environment variables, replacing db_user, db_password and db_name where appropriate:

# SQLite (note: _three_ slashes)

# MYSQL / MariaDB

You can read more information about configuring the database here.

Step 4: Initialise your new project

Run bin/console bolt:setup. This will create and initialise the Database for you, then lets you create the first (admin) user, and add some dummy content ("fixtures") to the database.

Alternatively, run the following commands in sequence to do it step by step:

# In one go
bin/console bolt:setup

# As separate steps
bin/console doctrine:database:create
bin/console doctrine:schema:create
bin/console bolt:add-user --admin
bin/console doctrine:fixtures:load

Tip: Depending on your configuration and what webserver you're going to use, you might need to set some permissions on a number of files and folders. Read more about it on the File system permissions page.

Note: Make sure to create at least one admin user, using either bolt:setup or by running bin/console bolt:setup --admin. Otherwise, you won't be able to log into the backend.

Step 5: Start the server to view your new site

Start PHP's built-in webserver by running:

bin/console server:start

After it runs, you will see a message similar to this:

 [OK] Server listening on                           

Open up a browser and go to to view your new Bolt project. To access the Bolt Editor, go to

Starting a webserver (additional tips)

This section gives you additional options on configuring the web server to run your Bolt project.

You can run Bolt locally using the built-in webserver, Symfony CLI, Docker or your own preferred webserver. If you choose to set up a web server yourself, you can either set up something like Mamp, Xampp, Laragon or otherwise there's docs for Apache and Nginx.

Note: The folder you've just created has a public/ folder. This is the actual web root of the site. If you're not using one of the options below, but are configuring a webserver yourself, make sure you use public/ as the web root. Bolt does not support putting all of its files inside the webroot itself, as that is considered to be a bad practice.

Start PHP's built-in webserver…

bin/console server:start

or use the Symfony CLI (download here) …

symfony serve -d
symfony open:local

or use Docker…

make docker-install

Finally, open the new installation in a browser. If you've used one of the commands above, you'll find the frontpage at

The Bolt admin panel can be found at

Log in using the credentials you created when setting up the first user.

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