How to Set Up PHP Composer

Last modified: February 22, 2024


Because WebPros International, LLC doesn’t develop or ship PHP Composer, cPanel Technical Support can’t help you set it up.


Composer is a dependency and package manager for PHP. For more information about Composer, read the Composer documentation. You can search for packages to download at the website.


Your cPanel account must possess SSH access in order to use Composer.

How to set up Composer

In order to use Composer, you must install several PHP modules. You must also verify that you have properly configured your server’s php.ini file to allow Composer to run.

By default, when you call Composer, it only uses the server’s php.ini file. The system stores this file in the /opt/cpanel/ea-*/root/etc/php.ini location.

Required PHP modules


You must perform these steps as the root user.

To use Composer, you must enable several PHP modules in EasyApache. For more information about EasyApache 4, read our EasyApache 4 documentation.

  • Phar — This module provides a way to store entire PHP applications into a single “phar” file (PHP Archive) for easy distribution and installation.


    EasyApache4 installs this module by default.

  • Iconv — This module provides a Character Set Conversion.


    If you install this module, the MBstring module is not required.

  • Mbstring — This module provides enhanced Chinese, Japanese, and other language support.


    If you install this module, the Iconv module is not required.

Required PHP directives

You must update the following PHP directives in the php.ini file:


We strongly recommend that you only edit your server’s php.ini files with cPanel’s MultiPHP INI Editor interface (cPanel » Home » Software » MultiPHP INI Editor).

  • allow_url_fopenOn
  • zend.detect_unicodeOff

For servers that use PHP version 5.3 and earlier, use the detect_unicode directive instead of the zend.detect_unicode directive.

Servers that use Suhosin

If you use Suhosin, you must add the Phar PHP module to the Suhosin whitelist in the server’s php.ini file. Add the following line to your server’s php.ini file:


We strongly recommend that you only edit your server’s php.ini files with cPanel’s MultiPHP INI Editor interface (cPanel » Home » Software » MultiPHP INI Editor).

What if I cannot edit the php.ini file

If you cannot make changes to the php.ini file, you must manually run the following command each time you run Composer:

  • With Suhosin:
php -d allow_url_fopen=1 -d zend.detect_unicode=0 -d suhosin.executor.include.whitelist=phar $(which composer)
  • Without Suhosin:
php -d allow_url_fopen=1 -d zend.detect_unicode=0 $(which composer)

If you use Composer often, you can create a Bash alias to perform this step for you. If you add an alias, you can run the composer command without any additional flags or options. Add the following line to your .bashrc file to create this alias each time that you log in to the server:

  • With Suhosin:
alias composer="php -d allow_url_fopen=1 -d zend.detect_unicode=0 -d suhosin.executor.include.whitelist=phar $(which composer)"
  • Without Suhosin:
alias composer="php -d allow_url_fopen=1 -d zend.detect_unicode=0 $(which composer)"

Troubleshoot Composer

Command not found

If you receive the command not found error message, you may need to add the proper path to your account’s .bash_profile file.

Add the following lines to your account’s .bash_profile file:

source /etc/profile.d/

If you experience problems with the source option, add the PATH option to the .bash_profile file instead:


You must log in to the server again for any changes to the .bash_profile file to take effect.

The Composer self-diagnostic tool

Composer contains a self-diagnostic tool to ensure that you have properly configured PHP.

Run the diagnostic tool with the following command:

composer diagnose

The Checking platform setting section provides feedback about your server’s PHP configuration. It will also inform you of any PHP configuration failures.

The following example demonstrates this section:

$ composer diagnose
Checking platform settings: OK
Checking git settings: OK
Checking http connectivity to packagist: Warning: Accessing over http which is an insecure protocol.
Checking https connectivity to packagist: OK
Checking rate limit: OK
Checking disk free space: OK
Checking pubkeys: FAIL
Missing pubkey for tags verification
Missing pubkey for dev verification
Run composer self-update --update-keys to set them up
Checking composer version: FAIL
You are not running the latest stable version, run `composer self-update` to update (1.1.1 => 1.1.2)

Alternative diagnostic tools

If you require an alternate diagnostic tool, use the diagnostic tool from Composer’s Github account. Run the following command:

curl | php -- --check

This utility only checks the server’s PHP configuration, as in the following example:

# curl | php -- --check
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  286k  100  286k    0     0   466k      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 1002k
All settings correct for using Composer

Additional Documentation