CakePHP skeleton app

dev-main 2021-11-12 14:42 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-11-12 16:51:34 UTC


Improved version of the CakePHP official skeleton app for creating applications with CakePHP 4.x.

The CakePHP and the CakePHP official app itself does not contain any third-party tools, frameworks, bundlers, etc ... with a very good reason. After many deployed CakePHP app, I decided to build a template with the most used plugins/tools by me.

The framework source code can be found here: cakephp/cakephp.

The default skeleton application can be found here: cakephp/app.


Since this skeleton (like the official one) is a starting point for your application and various files would have been modified as per your needs, there isn't a way to provide automated upgrades, so you have to do any updates manually.


  1. Download composer create-project --prefer-dist bor-attila/cakephp-app2:dev-main [directory].
  2. Start your webserver.

You can now either use your machine's webserver, or you can use Vagrant

vagrant up

The is the main page

The is the mailhog address (to see the outgoing emails)

The is the phpmyadmin


Read and edit the environment specific config/app_local.php and setup the 'Datasources' and any other configuration relevant for your application. Other environment agnostic settings can be changed in config/app.php or in environment variables.


This repository contains the following changes compared to CakePHP App:

Additional environment requirements

  • PHP APCu

New dependencies

Changes in webroot

  • Added empty scss folder
  • The default css files was removed (milligram, normalize, etc ...)
  • The font directory was renamed to fonts and all fonts was removed
  • All default images from img directory was removed
  • The default favicon.ico was replaced. All default favicon was added (just use Favicon generator to generate favicons and replace the img/favicon content)
  • Added default config for ROLLUP
  • Added default config for Babel

General changes

  • The default template was modified
  • The Authorization plugin was added to middleware queue with requireAuthorizationCheck set to false
  • The Authentication plugin was added to middleware queue
  • Added Css helper
  • Added Javascript helper
  • Added Stylesheet helper
  • Added Vagrant support

Configuration changes

  • The default Email config headerCharset and charset was set to utf-8
  • The EmailTransport changed to SmtpTransport, and username and password was set to empty and port changed to 1025 to use MailHog
  • The default session handler was changed to cake cookie name was changed to s
  • The logging was changed to ConsoleLog
  • The default cache engine was changed to APCu
  • The app_secret.php file from config directory is automatically parsed and loaded if exists
  • app_secret.php added to .gitignore
  • webroot/node_modules added to .gitignore
  • All webroot/css/*.min.css files added to .gitignore
  • All webroot/js/*.min.js files added to .gitignore

Environment variables

  • The .env file from config directory is loaded does not matter if the APP_NAME is provided or not
  • The .env files overwrites the previously set configurations
  • Added APP_CACHE_CONFIG (default: false) and APP_CACHE_CONFIG_TIME (default: 600) environment variables to cache the loaded configuration
  • The default cache config prefixes now uses APP_NAME variable instead of 'myapp', however the 'myapp' the default value
  • The APP_ADDITIONAL_CONFIG added. Must be a full path to a valid config file. file from config directory is automatically parsed if exists. If you are planning to use this feature, caching is highly recommended.
  • Added DEBUG_KIT_ENABLED (default: true). Allows you to control conditionally loading the plugin
  • Added DEBUG_KIT_FORCE_ENABLE (default: false). Allows you to use DebugKit on non-whitelisted tlds.

Warning: NEVER upload .env file to production, set all variables from other source (docker-compose yaml file, webserver config, etc ...)

Warning: The APP_NAME should match to [a-z_]+ regex

Warning: In development since the .env file is cached the APP_NAME, and the APP_CACHE_CONFIG MUST be set earlier (by the environment/webserver). If you are using your own webserver you can set these in apache2:

SetEnv APP_NAME myapp




CSS helper

In View\AppView.php add this to the initialize method for expl:



$this->loadHelper('Css', [
    'storage' => [
        'body' => ['bodyclass'],

The CSS helper is just an array manipulation. In the container you can store class names.

add(string $container, string $class, ?string $overwrite = null): bool
remove(string $container, string $class): bool
has(string $container, string $class): bool
get(string $container): string
    <body <?= $this->Css->get(); ?>>

        //In the tempalte
        $this->Css->add('body', 'green');

        //Or conditionally
        if (true) {
            $this->Css->add('body', 'red', 'green');// the green will be replaced with red
            $this->Css->remove('body', 'red');// or remove

StyleSheet helper

In View\AppView.php add this to the initialize method:

$this->loadHelper('Stylesheet', [
    'cache' => 'default'

The StyleSheet helper helps to load CSS file content and inject it directly into the body. These methods search for specified CSS files, opens, creates a style tag and stores it into cache (if it's set).

global(array $stylesheets = []): string

Returns the global stylesheet's content. Automatically searches for the css/style[.hash]?[.min]?.css You can add more CSS files as parameter.

local(): string

Returns the local stylesheet's content. Automatically searches for:

  • css/{prefix}-{controller}-{action}[.hash]?[.min]?.css
  • css/{controller}-{action}[.hash]?[.min]?.css if there is no prefix.
inline(string $name): string

Returns the given stylesheet's content. Automatically searches for the css/{name}[.hash]?[.min]?.css

Javascript helper

In View\AppView.php add this to the initialize method:

$this->loadHelper('Javascript', [
    'cache' => 'default'

How to use:

        <?= $this->Html->script($this->Javascript->files('main', 'debug', 'awesome')); ?>
            This returns
            <script src="js/main.laknsdn78t7f34t79.min.js" />
            <script src="js/debug.sanibiobrevoybowueb.min.js" />
            <script src="js/awesome.wqojndiqwd766686.min.js" />
            or even
            <script src="js/main.min.js" />
            <script src="js/awesome.min.js" />

The Javascript and Stylesheet helpers not clears caches. After you a rebuild the project, you must do it yourself.

If you are using kubernetes/docker then memory cache isn't a problem, in other cases you can use FileCache engine.

Front-end development

Your frontend development directory is the: webroot directory. Should look like this:

+-- css
+-- scss
|   +-- style.scss
+-- plugins
+-- js
|   +-- src
|       +-- components
|       +-- mixins
|       +-- store
|       +--
|   +-- static
|       +-- script.js
+-- babel.config.json
+-- rollup.config.js
+-- packages.json

The css folder contains the compiled stylesheets.

The scss folder contains the stylesheet source code.

The plugins folder contains static production ready third party libraries (eg. bootstrap, axios, select2).

The js folder contains the compiled javascript files.

The js/src folder contains javascript app(!) source files - vue, react etc... Eg:,

The js/src/components folder contains javascript app components source files.

The js/src/mixins folder contains javascript reusable components.

The js/static folder contains javascript source code that can be included directly into page ('old way').

To install all dependencies just run: yarn install in the webroot directory

This will install every dependency for your basic setup.

Your vagrant machine contains all frontend development tool what you need (yarn, npm, mysql, etc ..)

To see every tool just check the fatbox readme's.

Working with stylesheets


When you run yarn rollup:scss:build all sass files from scss folder which starts with a letter (^[a-zA-Z]) will be compiled into CSS and minimized.

For example:

  • scss/style.scss -> css/style.min.css
  • scss/mystyle.scss -> css/mystyle.min.css
  • scss/_variables.scss remains untouched (ofc if you included in your style.scss then will be compiled)

WARNING: All *.min.css files are git ignored. You should use your own CI/CD for build.


When you run yarn rollup:scss:watch all sass files from scss folder which starts with a letter (^[a-zA-Z]) will be compiled into CSS, and the sass compiler will listen to file changes.

Working with Javascript

You can use yarn rollup:js:build for production and yarn rollup:js:watch to development. yarn rollup:js:clean will remove all compiled minified js file.

This package contains a basic rollup configuration and a basic babel configuration for modern JS development.

Known issues

With vagrant can happen that the yarn rollup:scss:watch and yarn rollup:js:watch does not listen to file changes, and does not re-trigger the build on save.

You can try:

  • In case of SCSS to use --poll option. Just run yarn rollup:scss:watch --poll instead of yarn rollup:scss:watch
  • In case of Rollup you can disabled fsEvents

Alternatively you can try to use winnfsd instead of native vbox mount option.