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Frequently-asked questions organized into high-level functionality, investigating issues, daily usage, and connecting with our community.

Features & Requirements

What operating systems will DDEV work with?

DDEV works nearly anywhere Docker will run, including macOS, WSL2, Windows 10/11 Pro/Enterprise and Home, and every Linux variant we’ve ever tried. It also runs in many Linux-like environments, like ChromeOS (in Linux machine). DDEV works the same on each of these platforms since the important work is done inside identical Docker containers. This means that a team using diverse environments can share everything without trouble.

Does DDEV change or deploy my code?

You are responsible for your code and its deployment. DDEV does not alter any code or fix any bugs in it. DDEV does add DDEV-specific settings for some CMSes if the settings management is enabled. These items are excluded by .gitignore so they won’t affect a deployed project, but in most cases they would do no harm if deployed, because they check to see if they’re running in DDEV context.

Why do I have to type ddev in front of so many commands?

When you are using commands like ddev composer, ddev drush, ddev npm, or ddev yarn, you are telling DDEV to execute that very command inside the web container. That is where the exact tool for the exact environment required by your project lives. It’s possible to execute composer install without prepending ddev in your project folder, but often you won’t have the same PHP version on your host computer as your project is configured to use inside the container, or perhaps you’ll have a different version of composer even. This can lead into workarounds like having to use composer --ignore-platform-reqs or even introducing incompatibilities into your project. With tools like ddev composer you are able to run several projects at the same time, each with different configurations, but when you use the tool inside the container, you get the exact configuration for the project you’ve configured. You can run any tool inside the web container with ddev exec, but many commands like ddev composer have two-word shortcuts.

Where is my database stored in my DDEV project?

The MariaDB, MySQL, or PostgreSQL database for your project lives in a Docker volume, which means it does not appear in your DDEV project’s filesystem, and is not checked in. This configuration is for performance and portability reasons, but it means that if you change Docker providers or do a factory reset on your Docker provider, you will lose databases. By default many Docker providers do not keep Docker volumes where they are backed up by normal backup solutions. Remember to keep backups using ddev export-db or ddev snapshot. See How can I migrate from one Docker provider to another.

What Docker providers can I use?

We have automated testing and support for a staggering range of Docker providers.

Docker Provider Support Level
OrbStack (macOS) officially tested and supported on macOS
Docker Desktop for Mac officially tested and supported on both Intel and Apple Silicon
Docker Desktop for Windows officially tested and supported on WSL2 and traditional Windows
Colima (macOS) officially tested and supported, no longer recommended
Colima (Linux) reported working in DDEV v1.22+, but poor solution compared to docker-ce
Docker-ce (Linux/WSL2) officially supported with automated tests on WSL2/Ubuntu. Recommended.
Rancher Desktop (macOS) officially tested and supported on macOS
  • Docker Desktop for Linux does not work with DDEV because it mounts all files into the container owned as root.
  • Rancher Desktop for Windows does not work with DDEV.

How can I migrate from one Docker provider to another?

There are many Docker providers on DDEV’s supported platforms. For example, on macOS people use Docker Desktop and OrbStack along with Colima and Rancher Desktop. On Windows WSL2, people may use Docker Desktop or Docker CE inside WSL2. In all cases, if you want to switch between Docker providers, save your database and make sure the Docker providers don’t interfere with each other:

  1. Save away your projects’ databases. You can run ddev snapshot --all to make snapshots of all registered projects (that show up in ddev list). If you prefer a different way of saving database dumps, that works too!
  2. Stop the Docker provider you’re moving from. For example, exit Docker Desktop.
  3. Start the Docker provider you’re moving to.
  4. Start projects and restore their databases. For example, you could run ddev snapshot restore --latest to load a snapshot taken in step one.

Do I need to install PHP, Composer, nginx, or Node.js/npm on my workstation?

No. Tools like PHP, Composer, nginx, and Node.js/npm live inside DDEV’s Docker containers, so you only need to install Docker and install DDEV.

For most users we recommend that you do not install PHP or composer on your workstation, so you get in the habit of using ddev composer, which will use the configured composer and PHP versions for your project, which can be different for each project. See DDEV and Composer.

Do I lose data when I run ddev poweroff, ddev stop, or ddev restart?

No. Your code continues to live on your workstation, and your database is safely stored on a Docker volume—both unaffected by these commands.

How can I connect to my database?

The answer depends on where you’re connecting from.

The ddev describe command includes database connection details in a row like this:

│ db         │ OK   │ InDocker: ddev-mysite-db:3306 │ mariadb:10.3       │
│            │      │ Host: localhost:63161         │ User/Pass: 'db/db' │
│            │      │                               │ or 'root/root'     │

Inside your project container, where the app itself is running, the database hostname is db (not and the port is the default for your database engine—3306 for MySQL/MariaDB, 5432 for PostgreSQL.

Outside your project’s web container, for example a database GUI on your workstation, the hostname is localhost and the port is unique to that project. In the example above, it’s 63161.

The username, password, and database are each db regardless of how you connect.

Can I use additional databases with DDEV?

Yes, you can create additional databases and manually do whatever you need on them. They’re created automatically if you use ddev import-db with the --database option. In this example, extradb.sql.gz is extracted and imported to a newly-created database named extradb:

ddev import-db --database=extradb --file=.tarballs/extradb.sql.gz

You can use ddev mysql or ddev psql to execute queries, or use the MySQL/PostgreSQL clients within ddev ssh or ddev ssh -s db. See the Database Management page.

Can different projects communicate with each other?

Yes, this is commonly required for situations like Drupal migrations. For the web container to access the db container of another project, use ddev-<projectname>-db as the hostname of the other project.

Let’s say we have two projects, for example: project A, and project B. In project A, use mysql -h ddev-projectb-db to access the database server of project B. For HTTP/S communication (i.e. API calls) you can 1) access the web container of project B directly with the hostname ddev-<projectb>-web and port 80 or 443: curl https://ddev-projectb-web or 2) Add a .ddev/docker-compose.communicate.yaml to project A to access project B via the official FQDN.

      - ""

This lets the ddev-router know that project A can access the web container on project B’s DDEV URL. If you are using other hostnames or project_tld, you will need to adjust the value.

Can I run DDEV with other development environments at the same time?

Yes, as long as they’re configured with different ports. It doesn’t matter whether your other environments use Docker or not, it should only be a matter of avoiding port conflicts.

It’s probably easiest, however, to shut down one before using the other.

For example, if you use Lando for one project, do a lando poweroff before using DDEV, and then run ddev poweroff before using Lando again. If you run nginx or Apache locally, stop them before using DDEV. The troubleshooting section goes into more detail about identifying and resolving port conflicts.

Can I run DDEV on an older Mac?

Probably! You’ll need to install an older, unsupported version of Docker Desktop—but you can likely use it to run the latest DDEV version.

Check out this Stack Overflow answer for a walk through the process.

Performance & Troubleshooting

How can I get the best performance?

Docker’s normal mounting can be slow, especially on macOS. See the Performance section for speed-up options including Mutagen and NFS mounting.

How can I troubleshoot what’s going wrong?

See the troubleshooting, Docker troubleshooting and Xdebug troubleshooting sections.

How can I check that Docker is working?

See the troubleshooting section on the Docker Installation page.

Why do I get a 403 or 404 on my project after ddev launch?

Most likely because the docroot is misconfigured, or there’s no index.php or index.html in it. Open your .ddev/config.yaml file and check the docroot value, which should be a relative path to the directory containing your project’s index.php.

Why do I see nginx headers when I’ve set webserver_type: apache-fpm?

Apache runs in the web container, but when you use the https://* URL, it goes through ddev-router, which is an nginx reverse proxy. That’s why you see nginx headers even though your web container’s using Apache. Read more in this Stack Overflow answer.

Why does ddev start fail with “error while mounting volume, Permission denied”?

This almost always means NFS is enabled in your project, but NFS isn’t working on your machine.

Start by completely turning NFS off for your projects with ddev config --performance-mode=none && ddev config global --performance-mode=none. Then later, get NFS working. NFS can improve macOS and traditional Windows performance, but is never needed on Linux or Windows WSL2. Most people on macOS and Windows use Mutagen instead of NFS because of its vastly improved performance, so instead of trying to fix this you can use Mutagen which is enabled by default. On Linux you can enable Mutagen for the project by running ddev config --performance-mode=mutagen or globally ddev config global --performance-mode=mutagen.

Why are my Apache HTTP → HTTPS redirects stuck in an infinite loop?

It’s common to set up HTTP-to-TLS redirects in an .htaccess file, which leads to issues with the DDEV proxy setup. The TLS endpoint of a DDEV project is always the ddev-router container and requests are forwarded through plain HTTP to the project’s web server. This results in endless redirects, so you need to change the root .htaccess file for Apache correctly handles these requests for your local development environment with DDEV. The following snippet should work for most scenarios—even outside of DDEV—and could replace an existing redirect:

# http:// -> https:// plain or behind proxy for Apache 2.2 and 2.4
# behind proxy
RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-FORWARDED-PROTO} ^http$
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

# plain
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_SCHEME} ^http$ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

My browser redirects http URLs to https

Several browsers want you to use https, so they will automatically redirect you to the https version of a site. This may not be what you want, and things may break on redirect. For example, the Apache SOLR web UI often doesn’t work with https, and when it redirects it things might break.

To solve this for your browser, see:

Why is ddev-webserver such a huge Docker image?

When you update DDEV you’ll see it pull a ddev-webserver image which is almost half a gigabyte compressed, and this can be an inconvenient thing to wait for when you’re doing an upgrade, especially if you have a slow internet connection.

The reason that ddev-webserver is so big is that it’s built for your daily requirements for a local development environment. It lets you switch PHP versions or switch between nginx and apache web servers with a simple ddev restart, rather than a lengthy build process. It lets you use Xdebug with a simple ddev xdebug on. It has many, many features and tools that make it easy for you as a developer, but that one would not include in a production image.


How can I update/upgrade DDEV?

You’ll want to update DDEV using the same method you chose to install it. Since upgrading is basically the same as installing, you can follow DDEV Installation to upgrade.

You can use the self-upgrade command for getting instructions tailored to your installation.

  • On macOS you likely installed via Homebrew; run brew update && brew upgrade ddev.
  • On Linux + WSL2 using Debian/Ubuntu’s apt install technique, run sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade ddev like any other package on your system.
  • On Linux + WSL2 with a Homebrew install, run brew update && brew upgrade ddev.
  • On macOS or Linux (including WSL2) if you installed using the script, run it again:
    curl -fsSL | bash
  • On traditional Windows, you likely installed with Chocolatey or by downloading the installer package. You can upgrade with choco upgrade ddev or by visiting the releases page and downloading the installer. Both techniques will work.
  • On Arch-Linux based systems, use the standard upgrade techniques, e.g. yay -Syu.

How can I install a specific version of DDEV?

If you’re using Homebrew, first run brew unlink ddev to get rid of the version you have there. Then use one of these options:

  1. Download the version you want from the releases page and place it in your $PATH.
  2. Use the script with the version number argument. For example, if you want v1.21.5, run curl -fsSL | bash -s v1.21.5.
  3. On Debian/Ubuntu/WSL2 with DDEV installed via apt, you can run sudo apt update && sudo apt install ddev=<version>, for example sudo apt install ddev=1.21.5.
  4. If you want the very latest, unreleased version of DDEV, run brew unlink ddev && brew install ddev/ddev/ddev --HEAD.

Why do I have an old DDEV?

You may have installed DDEV several times using different techniques. Use which -a ddev to find all installed binaries. For example, you could install a DDEV in WSL2 with Homebrew, forget about it for a while, and then install it again with apt:

$ which -a ddev

You can check each binary version by its full path (/usr/bin/ddev --version) to find old versions. Remove them preferably in the same way you installed them, i.e. /home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/ddev should be removed with Homebrew: brew uninstall ddev.

How can I back up or restore all project databases?

You can back up all projects that show in ddev list with ddev snapshot -a. This only snapshots projects displayed in ddev list; any projects not shown there will need to be started so they’re be registered in ddev list.

How can I share my local project with someone?

See Sharing Your Project.

How do I make DDEV match my production environment?

You can change the major PHP version and choose between nginx+fpm (default) and Apache+fpm and choose the MariaDB/MySQL/PostgreSQL version add extra services like Solr and Memcached. You won’t be able to make every detail match your production server, but with database server type and version, PHP version and web server type you’ll be close.

The lightly maintained rfay/ddev-php-patch-build add-on may allow you to use a specific PHP patch version.

How do I completely destroy a project?

Use ddev delete <project> to destroy a project. By default, a ddev snapshot of your database is taken, but you can skip this using ddev delete --omit-snapshot or ddev delete --omit-snapshot -y. See ddev delete -h for options. It’s up to you to then delete the code directory.

What if I don’t like the settings files or gitignores DDEV creates?

You have several options:

  • Use the disable_settings_management: true option in the project’s .ddev/config.yaml file. This disables DDEV from updating CMS-related settings files.
  • Use the more generic “php” project type rather than a CMS-specific one; it basically means “don’t try to create settings files for me”. The “php” type works great for experienced developers.
  • Take over the settings file or .gitignore by deleting the line #ddev-generated in it, then check in the file. If that line is removed, DDEV will not try to replace or change the file.

How can I change a project’s name?

Delete it and migrate it to a new project with your preferred name:

  1. Export the project’s database: ddev export-db --file=/path/to/db.sql.gz.
  2. Delete the project: ddev delete <project>. (This takes a snapshot by default for safety.)
  3. Rename the project: ddev config --project-name=<new_name>.
  4. Start thew new project with ddev start.
  5. Import the database dump from step one: ddev import-db --file=/path/to/db.sql.gz.

How can I move a project to another directory?

Run ddev stop --unlist, then move the directory, then run ddev start in the new directory.

How can I move a project to another workstation?

Take a snapshot, move the project files, and restore the snapshot in a new project on the target workstation:

  1. ddev start && ddev snapshot.
  2. ddev stop --unlist.
  3. Move the project directory to another computer any way you want.
  4. On the new computer, run ddev start && ddev snapshot restore --latest.
  5. Optionally, on the old computer, run ddev delete --omit-snapshot to remove its copy of the database.

How can I move a project from traditional Windows to WSL2?

This is exactly the same as moving a project from one computer to another described above. Make sure you move the project into a native filesystem in WSL2, most likely /home.

Why does DDEV want to edit /etc/hosts?

If you see “The hostname is not currently resolvable” and you can successfully ping <hostname>, it may be that DNS resolution is slow.

DDEV doesn’t have control over your computer’s name resolution, so it doesn’t have any way to influence how your browser gets an IP address from a hostname. It knows you have to be connected to the internet to do that, and uses a test DNS lookup of <somethingrandom> as a way to guess whether you’re connected to the internet. If it’s unable to do a name lookup, or if the hostname associated with your project is not *, it will try to create entries in /etc/hosts, since it’s assuming you can’t look up your project’s hostname(s) via DNS. If your internet (and name resolution) is actually working, but DNS is slow, run ddev config global --internet-detection-timeout-ms=3000 to set the timeout to 3 seconds (or higher). See this GitHub issue for more. (If DNS rebinding is disallowed on your network/router, this won’t be solvable without network/router changes. Help here and here.) For more detailed troubleshooting information, please see the troubleshooting section.

How can I configure a project with the defaults without hitting RETURN a bunch of times?

Use ddev config --auto to set the docroot and project type based on the discovered code. If anything in .ddev/config.yaml is wrong, you can edit that directly or use ddev config commands to update settings.

Getting Involved

How do I get support?

See the support options, including Discord, Stack Overflow and the issue queue.

How can I contribute to DDEV?

We love and welcome contributions of knowledge, support, docs, and code:

How do financial contributions support DDEV?

Thanks for asking! Contributions made via GitHub Sponsors go to the DDEV Foundation and are used for infrastructure and supporting development.