Easily bootstrap a new October CMS project


oc-bootstrapper is a command line tool that enables you to reconstruct an October CMS installation from a single configuration file.

It can be used to quickly bootstrap a local development environment for a project or to build and update a production installation during a deployment.


  • Installs and updates private and public plugins (via Git or Marketplace)
  • Makes sure only necessary files are in your git repo by intelligently managing your .gitignore file
  • Built in support for GitLab CI deployments
  • Built in support for shared configuration file templates
  • Sets sensible configuration defaults using .env files for production and development environments


  • Zip PHP extension (sudo apt-get install php-zip)
  • Composer (via global binary or composer.phar in your working directory)

Tested on

  • Ubuntu 15.10
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • OSX 10.11 (El Capitan)

Works on Windows via Ubuntu Bash or Git Bash.

Example project

While using oc-bootstrapper it is a good idea to keep october.yaml, project's theme and project's plugins (those that are not shared among other projects) in project's repo.

Take a look at the OFFLINE-GmbH/ repo to see an example setup of oc-bootstrapper.


composer global require offline/oc-bootstrapper

You can now run october from your command line.

$ october -v
October CMS Bootstrapper version 0.5.0

Docker image

An official Docker image that bundles oc-bootstrapper, composer and Envoy is available on as offlinegmbh/oc-bootstrapper.

docker run offlinegmbh/oc-bootstrapper october -v
docker run offlinegmbh/oc-bootstrapper envoy -v
docker run offlinegmbh/oc-bootstrapper composer -v

It is intended to be used with CI pipelines but can also make getting started with an October project even easier as you don't need to install PHP and Composer locally.

You can execute any command in the context of the current working directory by using this docker command:

# alias this to "october" for easier access
docker run -it --rm -v "$(pwd)":/app offlinegmbh/oc-bootstrapper october

Be aware, that this will work great for commands like october init as it does not depend on any external services. To run october install some more plumbing is required so the container can connect to your database.


Initialize your project

Use the october init command to create a new empty project with a config file:

october init

Change your configuration

In your newly created project directory you'll find an october.yaml file. Edit its contents to suite your needs.

    name: my-new-project       # Give the project a unique name
    locale: en
    debug: true

    theme: name (user@remote.git)
    edgeUpdates: false
    disableCoreUpdates: false
    enableSafeMode: false
    # project: XXXX            # Marketplace project ID

    connection: mysql
    username: root
    database: bootstrapper
    host: localhost

    deployment: gitlab
    keepRepo: false       # Keep .git in plugins

# deployment:            # Automatically configure the Envoy file for GitLab deployments      
#     user: hostinguser  
#     server: servername                    

    - Rainlab.Pages
    - Rainlab.Builder
    - Indikator.Backend
    - OFFLINE.SiteSearch
    - OFFLINE.ResponsiveImages
    - ^OFFLINE.Mall (
    # - Vendor.Private (user@remote.git)
    # - Vendor.PrivateCustomBranch (user@remote.git#branch)

    name: User Name
    driver: log

Theme and Plugin syntax

oc-bootstrapper enables you to install plugins and themes from your own git repo. Simply append your repo's address in () to tell oc-bootstrapper to check it out for you. If no repo is defined the plugins are loaded from the October Marketplace.

# Install a plugin from the official October Marketplace

# Install a plugin from a git repository. The plugin will be cloned
# into your local repository and become part of it. You can change the
# plugin and modify it to your needs. It won't be checked out again (no updates).
- OFFLINE.Mall (

# The ^ marks this plugin as updateable. It will be removed and checked out again
# during each call to `october install`. Local changes will be overwritten.
# This plugin will stay up to date with the changes of your original plugin repo.
- ^OFFLINE.Mall (

# Install a specific branch of a plugin. Keep it up-to-date.
- ^OFFLINE.Mall (

Install October CMS

When you are done editing your configuration file, simply run october install to install October. oc-bootstrapper will take care of setting everything up for you. You can run this command locally after checking out a project repository or during deployment.

This command is idempotent, it will only install what is missing on subsequent calls.

october install 

Use the --help flag to see all available options.

october install --help 

Install additional plugins

If at any point in time you need to install additional plugins, simply add them to your october.yaml and re-run october install. Missing plugins will be installed.

Use a custom php binary

Via the --php flag you can specify a custom php binary to be used for the installation commands:

october install --php=/usr/local/bin/php72

Update October CMS

If you want to update the installation you can run

october update

Push changes to remote git repo

To push local changes to the current git remote run

october push

This command can be run as cron job to keep your git repo up-to-date with changes on production.

SSH deployments

Set the deployment option to false if you don't want to setup deployments.


You can use oc-bootstrapper with any kind of deployment software. You need to setup the following steps:

  1. Connect to the target server (via SSH)
  2. Install composer and oc-bootstrapper
  3. Run october install

You can run this "script" for each push to your repository. The october install command will only install what is missing from the target server.

Example setup for GitLab CI

To initialize a project with GitLab CI support set the deployment option in your config file to gitlab.

This will setup a .gitlab-ci.yml and a Envoy.blade.php.

  1. Create a SSH key pair to log in to your deployment target server
  2. Create a SSH_PRIVATE_KEY variable in your GitLab CI settings that contains the created private key
  3. Edit the Envoy.blade.php script to fit your needs
  4. Push to your repository. GitLab will run the example .gitlab-ci.yml configuration

Cronjob to commit changes from prod into git

If a deployed website is edited by a customer directly on the prod server you might want to commit those changes back to your git repository.

To do this, simply create a cronjob that executes october push every X minutes. This command will commit all changes to your git repo automatically with message [ci skip] Added changes from $hostname.

File templates

You can overwrite all default file templates by creating a folder called october in your global composer directory. Usually it is located under ~/.config/composer.

Place the files you want to use as defaults in ~/.config/composer/october. All files from the templates directory can be overwritten.

On Windows you can store your files in %USERPROFILE%/AppData/Roaming/Composer/october/

Variable replacements

It is possible to use placeholders in your configuration files which will be replaced by values from your october.yaml configuration:

// Example Envoy.blade.php
$url = '%app.url%'; // Will be replaced by the app.url value from your october.yaml file

There is a special placeholder %app.hostname% available that will be replaced by the host part of your app.url:

%app.url%      =
%app.hostname% =

File templates from a git repository

If your templates folder is a git repository oc-bootstrapper will pull the latest changes for the repo every time you run october init.

This is a great feature if you want to share the template files with your team via a central git repository. Just make sure you are able to fetch the latest changes via git pull and you're all set!

cd ~/.config/composer/october
git clone your-central-templates-repo.git .
git branch --set-upstream-to=origin/master master
git pull # Make sure this works without any user interaction

Development environments

oc-bootstrapper can set up a development environment for you. Currently, only Lando is supported out of the box.

To enable the Lando integration, run october init and select lando as a dev environment. A .lando.yml file will be placed in your project.

You can now simply run lando start to get everything up and running inside a Docker environment created by Lando.