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Nicholas Winston
Nicholas Winston

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Upgrading from Laravel 8 to Laravel 9: Installation and Migration Tips

Are you a Laravel developer looking to stay up-to-date with the latest features and improvements in the framework? Upgrading your Laravel application from version 8 to version 9 can provide you with enhanced performance, security, and access to new functionalities. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of upgrading your Laravel 8 project to Laravel 9, covering important installation and migration tips along the way.


Laravel is a popular PHP framework known for its elegant syntax, extensive feature set, and developer-friendly environment. With each major release, Laravel introduces new functionalities, performance enhancements, and security improvements. Upgrading to the latest version ensures that your application remains compatible with the latest technologies and benefits from the most recent advancements in the Laravel ecosystem.

Understanding the Laravel Upgrade Process

What is Laravel?

Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework designed to make web application development more efficient and enjoyable. It follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and provides a wide range of features and tools to simplify common web development tasks.

Benefits of Upgrading

Upgrading your Laravel application to version 9 offers several benefits. Firstly, you gain access to the latest features and improvements introduced in the framework, such as performance optimizations, bug fixes, and new APIs. Additionally, staying updated ensures compatibility with the latest PHP versions and other dependencies, improving the security and stability of your application.

Considerations before Upgrading

Before starting the upgrade process, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure that your server meets the minimum requirements for Laravel 9. Check the Laravel documentation for the specific server requirements, including supported PHP versions and extensions. It's also crucial to review the dependencies of your application, such as third-party packages and libraries, to ensure they are compatible with Laravel 9. Finally, make a comprehensive backup of your Laravel 8 project, including the database and any custom configurations or files.

Preparing for the Upgrade

To begin the upgrade process, you need to prepare your development environment and ensure all necessary prerequisites are met.

Checking Server Requirements

Before installing Laravel 9, verify that your server meets the minimum requirements specified by the framework. These requirements typically include a supported version of PHP, as well as extensions like OpenSSL, PDO, Mbstring, and others. Ensuring compatibility with the server environment will prevent any unexpected issues during the upgrade process.

Reviewing Application Dependencies

Laravel applications often rely on various third-party packages and libraries. Before upgrading, review the documentation and release notes of these dependencies to ensure they are compatible with Laravel 9. It's essential to update any outdated or incompatible packages to their latest versions to avoid conflicts or compatibility issues.

Backing up the Project

Before proceeding with the upgrade, make a backup of your Laravel 8 project. This includes the entire codebase, configuration files, and the database. In case any issues arise during the upgrade process, having a backup allows you to revert to the previous state without losing critical data or configurations.

Installing Laravel 9

Once you've prepared your environment and backed up your project, you can start installing Laravel 9.

Updating Composer

Ensure you have the latest version of Composer, the PHP dependency manager, installed on your system. Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command to update Composer:

composer self-update
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This ensures you have the latest version, which is recommended for compatibility with Laravel 9.

Creating a New Laravel 9 Project

To create a new Laravel 9 project, use the following command in your terminal or command prompt:

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel:^9.0 your-project-name

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Replace "your-project-name" with the desired name for your Laravel 9 project. Composer will download and install the necessary files and dependencies to set up a new Laravel 9 installation.

Migrating Configuration Files

After creating a new Laravel 9 project, you need to migrate your custom configuration files from your Laravel 8 project. This includes files such as .env, config/app.php, and any other modified configuration files. Review the changes between Laravel 8 and Laravel 9 configuration files and apply any necessary modifications to ensure compatibility.

Migrating Code and Features

Upgrading from Laravel 8 to Laravel 9 involves migrating your existing codebase to adapt to the changes introduced in the latest version.

Identifying Deprecated Code

One crucial step is to identify any deprecated code in your Laravel 8 project. Laravel provides detailed release notes documenting the changes and deprecations in each version. Review these release notes and identify any deprecated functions, methods, or classes used in your codebase. Replace deprecated code with the recommended alternatives to ensure compatibility with Laravel 9.

Updating Routes and Controllers

Laravel 9 might introduce changes to the routing system or the structure of controllers. Review the Laravel documentation and the upgrade guide to understand any modifications required for your routes and controllers. Update your route definitions and controller code accordingly to avoid any errors or unexpected behavior after the upgrade.

Adapting Blade Templates

If your Laravel 8 project utilizes Blade templates for the frontend, you'll need to adapt them to the changes in Laravel 9. Some Blade directives or syntax might be deprecated or modified in the latest version. Review the Blade template changes in the Laravel documentation and update your templates to align with the new syntax and directives.

Handling Authentication Changes

Laravel 9 might introduce changes to the authentication system or the default authentication middleware. If your application relies on Laravel's built-in authentication features, review the upgrade guide to understand any changes required. Update your authentication-related code, such as login and registration logic, to ensure seamless authentication functionality in Laravel 9.

Updating Database Migrations

When upgrading Laravel, it's crucial to update your database migrations to reflect any changes in the database schema or structure.

Reviewing Database Changes

Review the database changes introduced in Laravel 9. The upgrade guide and release notes provide information about any alterations to the default database schema, such as new columns, modified relationships, or table renames. Understanding these changes helps you plan and execute the necessary modifications to your existing migrations.

Modifying Existing Migrations

Based on the database changes identified, modify your existing migrations to align with the Laravel 9 schema. Update column definitions, foreign key constraints, and any other schema-related code to reflect the changes introduced in the latest version. It's crucial to ensure the migrations are updated correctly to avoid database inconsistencies or errors during the migration process.

Running Database Migrations

After updating your migrations, run the database migration command to apply the changes to your database:

php artisan migrate

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This command executes the modified migrations, updating the database schema according to the Laravel 9 changes. Ensure you have a backup of your database before running migrations to prevent data loss in case of any issues.

Testing and Debugging

Once you've migrated your codebase and database, it's essential to thoroughly test and debug your application to ensure it functions as expected.

Running Tests

If your Laravel 8 project includes tests, run them in the Laravel 9 environment. Tests help identify any compatibility issues, regressions, or errors introduced during the upgrade process. Fix any failing tests and ensure they pass successfully, guaranteeing the stability and functionality of your application.

Fixing Compatibility Issues

During testing, you might encounter compatibility issues with third-party packages, libraries, or custom code. Address these compatibility issues by updating the affected code to be compatible with Laravel 9. Consult the documentation, release notes, or the support channels of the respective packages or libraries for guidance on the necessary changes.

Monitoring Error Logs

After deploying your Laravel 9 application to a production environment, closely monitor the error logs for any runtime errors or exceptions. Logs can provide valuable insights into any remaining issues or compatibility problems that need to be resolved. Regularly check and analyze the error logs to ensure your application runs smoothly and to identify and fix any potential issues that arise.


Upgrading from Laravel 8 to Laravel 9 is a significant step to keep your Laravel application up-to-date with the latest features and improvements. By following the installation and migration tips provided in this article, you can successfully upgrade your project while minimizing compatibility issues and ensuring a smooth transition. Remember to thoroughly test your application after the upgrade and address any remaining issues promptly.

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