CodeIgniter - Presets

Start a CodeIgniter Project with Docker in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Run kool create codeigniter my-project
  2. Update env
  3. Run kool run setup

Yes, using kool + Docker to create and work on new CodeIgniter projects is that easy!


If you haven't done so already, you first need to install Docker and the kool CLI.

Also, make sure you're running the latest version of kool. Run the following command to compare your local version of kool with the latest release, and, if a newer version is available, automatically download and install it.

$ kool self-update

Please note that it helps to have a basic understanding of how Docker and Docker Compose work to use Kool with Docker.

1. Run kool create codeigniter my-project

Use the kool create PRESET FOLDER command to create your new CodeIgniter project:

$ kool create codeigniter my-project

Under the hood, this command will run composer create-project --no-install --no-scripts --prefer-dist codeigniter4/appstarter my-project using a customized kool Docker image: kooldev/php:7.4.

After installing CodeIgniter, kool create automatically runs the kool preset codeigniter command, which helps you easily set up the initial tech stack for your project using an interactive wizard.

$ Preset CodeIgniter is initializing!

? Which app service do you want to use [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
> PHP 7.4
  PHP 8.0

? Which database service do you want to use [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
> MySQL 8.0
  MySQL 5.7
  MariaDB 10.5
  PostgreSQL 13.0

? Which cache service do you want to use [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
> Redis 6.0
  Memcached 1.6

$ Preset codeigniter initialized!

Now, move into your new CodeIgniter project:

$ cd my-project

The kool preset command auto-generated the following configuration files and added them to your project, which you can modify and extend.


Now's a good time to review the docker-compose.yml file and verify the services match the choices you made earlier using the wizard.

2. Update env

You need to update some default values in CodeIgniter's env file to match the services in your docker-compose.yml file.

Database Services

MySQL 5.7 and 8.0 or MariaDB 10.5

-database.default.hostname = localhost
+database.default.hostname = database

-database.default.database = ci4
+database.default.database = "${DB_DATABASE}"

+database.default.port = 3306

PostgreSQL 13.0

-database.default.DBDriver = MySQLi
+database.default.DBDriver = Postgre

-database.default.hostname = localhost
+database.default.hostname = database

-database.default.database = ci4
+database.default.database = "${DB_DATABASE}"

+database.default.port = 5432

In order to avoid permission issues with mysql and mariaDB, add a user other than root and a password to your env file

-database.default.username = root
+DB_USERNAME = <some_user>
+database.default.username = "${DB_USERNAME}"

-database.default.password = root
+DB_PASSWORD = <somepass>
+database.default.password = "${DB_PASSWORD}"

3. Update app/Config/Cache.php

You need to update some default values in CodeIgniter's app/Config/Cache.php file to match the services in your docker-compose.yml file.

Cache Services


public $redis = [
-    'host' => '',
+    'host' => 'cache'


public $memcached = [
-    'host' => '',
+    'host' => 'cache'

4. Run kool run setup

Say hello to kool.yml, say goodbye to custom shell scripts!

As mentioned above, the kool preset command added a kool.yml file to your project. Think of kool.yml as a super easy-to-use task helper. Instead of writing custom shell scripts, add your own scripts to kool.yml (under the scripts key), and run them with kool run SCRIPT (e.g. kool run spark). You can add your own single line commands (see composer below), or add a list of commands that will be executed in sequence (see setup below).

To help get you started, kool.yml comes prebuilt with an initial set of scripts (based on the choices you made earlier using the preset wizard), including a script called setup, which helps you spin up a project for the first time.

  composer: kool exec app composer
  spark: kool exec app php spark
  phpunit: kool exec app php ./bin/phpunit

    - cp env .env
    - kool start
    - kool run composer install
    - kool run spark key:generate

    - kool run composer install
    - kool run spark migrate:refresh -f

Go ahead and run kool run setup to start your Docker environment and finish setting up your project:

# CAUTION: this script will reset your `.env` file with `env`
$ kool run setup

As you can see in kool.yml, the setup script will do the following in sequence: copy your updated env file to .env; start your Docker environment; use Composer to install vendor dependencies; generate your APP_KEY (in .env); and then build your Node packages and assets.

Once kool run setup finishes, you should be able to access your new site at http://localhost and see the CodeIgniter welcome page. Hooray!

Verify your Docker container is running using the kool status command.

Run kool logs app to see the logs from the running app container.

Use kool logs to see the logs from all running containers. Add the -f option after kool logs to follow the logs (i.e. kool logs -f app).

Run Commands in Docker Containers

Use kool exec to execute a command inside a running service container:

# kool exec [OPTIONS] SERVICE COMMAND [--] [ARG...]

$ kool exec app ls

Try kool run spark --help to execute the kool exec app php spark --help command in your running app container and print out information about CodeIgniter's CLI commands.

Open Sessions in Docker Containers

Similar to SSH, if you want to open a Bash session in your app container, run kool exec app bash, where app is the name of the service container in docker-compose.yml. If you prefer, you can use sh instead of bash (kool exec app sh).

$ kool exec app bash

$ kool exec app sh
/app #

Connect to Docker Database Container

You can easily start a new SQL client session inside your running database container by executing kool run mysql (MySQL) or kool run psql (PostgreSQL) in your terminal. This runs the single-line mysql or psql script included in your kool.yml.

Access Private Repos and Packages in Docker Containers

If you need your app container to use your local SSH keys to pull private repositories and/or install private packages (which have been added as dependencies in your composer.json or package.json file), you can simply add $HOME/.ssh:/home/kool/.ssh:delegated under the volumes key of the app service in your docker-compose.yml file. This maps a .ssh folder in the container to the .ssh folder on your host machine.

  - .:/app:delegated
+ - $HOME/.ssh:/home/kool/.ssh:delegated

Staying kool

When it's time to stop working on the project:

$ kool stop

And when you're ready to start work again:

$ kool start

Additional Presets

We have more presets to help you start projects with kool in a standardized way across different frameworks.

Missing a preset? Make a request, or contribute by opening a Pull Request. Go to and browse the code to learn more about how presets work.