Laravel 5.3 has been in development for quite some time now, and just this week at Laracon 2016 US, we saw a demonstration version of 5.3 with a host of new features. Personally, I am more excited about Laravel 5.3 then I have been for other versions of this framework.

In another post we will discuss the new features coming to Laravel 5.3 which include a new Mailing system, a broadcasting system, a notifications system, and oAuth2 setup (in addition to the actual changes and new features)! There is definetely a lot to try out.

As for me, I am starting a new Laravel project that I expect to be working on for many years to come. This is a large project that I need to get started on right away. I would prefer to just start working in 5.3 instead of getting 2 weeks into the project and then upgrading it. For others, you may be interested in just trying some of the new features early before its’ release. Regardless of your motivations I am going to show you how you can play around in Laravel 5.3 before its’ release.

To make a new Laravel project that uses the latest development version you can simply run this command:

laravel new --dev ProjectName

Of course make sure you replace ProjectName with the actual name of your project.

Now this command also assumes you have the Laravel installer, which if you are a Laravel developer then why wouldn’t you? But if you run it the old fashioned composer way then please take a moment to question your life, then type in this command to do it the less-cool method:

composer create-project laravel/laravel ProjectName dev-develop

That is so many words! Such an ugly syntax, but then again you were the one that doesn’t have the Laravel installer on your computer, so you only have yourself to blame.

Heads Up!

One thing I wanted to mention is that Laravel 5.3 now requires php 5.6+ to run. For those Mac users out there, the system php that comes with our computers is only 5.5 so you might run into errors when composer updates. You will want to make sure you get php 5.6 or higher on your computer (preferably php 7) before composer update will successfully run and install all of the Laravel 5.3 components.

What’s Next?

I have a long series about all of the new features coming to Laravel 5.3 so be sure to stay tuned for those on this blog. Now that you have Laravel 5.3 installed, what are you planning on doing? Are you like me and starting a new project or did you just want to play around and check it out? Let me know in the comments below.