Setting Up Dev Environment

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I guess this is a follow-up to a previous post The Quest For The Ultimate Dev Environment. Some of the setup has gotten simpler with advances in technology as well as synching. I’ve recently rebuilt my PC with Windows 11 so these are some notes on the current set up.

Install WSL2

This has gotten much easier. Simply open a terminal window and type wsl2. All the relevant dependencies are installed automatically.

Install Docker Desktop

Again, Docker Desktop now includes docker-compose so simply install. WSL2 support is out-of-the-box.

Install VSCode

Install VSCode and sign in to sync your extensions with GitHub. Now you don’t need to remember what you had that worked well or not.

Configure VSCode for XDebug

Your .vscode/launch.json should look something like this (assuming you are using the twohill/silverstripe4 docker image)

    // Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
    // Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
    // For more information, visit:
    "version": "0.2.0",
    "configurations": [
            "name": "Listen for Xdebug",
            "type": "php",
            "request": "launch",
            "port": 9003,
            "pathMappings": {
                "/var/www/html": "${workspaceFolder}"
            "hostname": "localhost"

Install relevant PHP versions and modules

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt-get install php*-{curl,cgi,cli,fpm,pdo,gd,mbstring,mysqlnd,opcache,xml,zip,intl}

Install composer

Get coding!! 🧑‍💻