CakePHP plugin that converts your .less files to .css using only PHP

Installs: 6

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Type: cakephp-plugin

v2.0.2 2013-05-30 10:53 UTC


This little Helper converts your .less files into .css without relying on Node.js or client-side parsing. Everything is compiled on the server, cached, and served as regular css through PHP.


Get the files in place


If you are using composer, simply add

"dakota/cakephp_less": ">=2.0.0"

to your composer.json file.

Git submodule

If you are developing your application with Git already, you can install the plugin as a submodule. In your git base folder type

git submodule add https://github.com/dakota/less.git Plugin/CakephpLess
Git clone

In your plugin directory type

git clone https://github.com/Dakota/less.git CakephpLess

Initialize lessphp submodule and download files

If you are using Composer, you can skip this step.

In the plugin folder ('Plugins/CakephpLess') type

git submodule init
git submodule update

Create cache and less folders

  • Create a folder called less in app/webroot/
  • Create a folder called less in app/tmp/cache
  • Apply chmod 777 to your css folder. (The Less Helper will place all compiled css files in your css-directory)


Where you want to use LESS files, add the helper. Usually this will be your AppController.

public $helpers = array('CakephpLess.Less');

Next, simply add the less files to your views:

echo $this->Less->css('yourfile');

or if the less file is located in the webroot of a plugin

echo $this->Less->css('yourfile',array('plugin' => 'PluginFolderName'));


echo $this->Less->css(array(

It doesn't matter if you link to stolen .css files directly, the Helper will check for the existance of a .less version first, and fall back if it doesn't find one.

If it does find a corresponding .less file with the same name in your less directory, it will compile it to css and place it in your css directory