Development Tools

Each PHP app you create also comes with a number of development tools you can use. Remember that these development tools run inside of their own containers so the experience will be slightly different than running the same tools natively. Please see the documentation below for some the differences for each command.

If you are interested in read more about how this all works, check out the core Kalabox docs on tooling.

General considerations

Here are a couple of small things to take into consideration for all your commands.

  • Your entire app directory is mounted inside each container at /src
  • Your entire HOME directory is mounted inside each container at /user

Here are a few examples of how these can be used:

# Export your database with drush to a files called dump.sql in your app root
kbox drush sql-dump --result-file=/src/test.sql

# Use an alternate SSH key with rsync
kbox rsync -Pav -e 'ssh -i /user/.ssh/mykey.rsa' [email protected]:/from/dir/ /to/dir/


Runs bower commands.

# Install bower packages
kbox bower install

# Get the bower version
kbox bower --version


Runs composer commands.

kbox composer

# Install dependencies with composer
kbox composer install

# Get the composer version
kbox composer --version


Runs drush commands.

  • We user either Drush 8 or Drush for Backdrop
  • The config/drush directory in your app will map to ~/.drush inside the container.
  • You can add custom command files or aliases in config/drush.
  • There is a drushrc.php you can configure in config/drush.

kbox drush

# Get the status of your drupal site
kbox drush status

# See all my Pantheon and custom aliases
kbox drush sa

# Download views
kbox drush dl views -y

# Get the drush version
kbox drush --version


Runs git commands.

kbox git

# Check the status of my git repo
kbox git status

# Stage all changes
kbox git add --all

# Commit all changes
kbox git commit -m "My amazing commit"

# Push master branch changes to some remote called origin
kbox git push origin master

# Get the git version
kbox git --version

Can I use my normal git?

We only officially support using kbox git but you may find it faster and more convenient to run your own local git.


Runs grunt commands.

kbox grunt

# Run a grunt task called "grunt harder"
kbox grunt harder

# Get the grunt version
kbox grunt --version


Runs gulp commands.

kbox gulp

# Run a gulp task called "gulp quietly"
kbox gulp quietly

# Get the gulp version
kbox gulp --version


Drops you into a mysql shell.

  • This command actually runs against the drush container.
  • By default we run commands as the root mysql user and against your application database.

kbox mysql

# Drop into a mysql shell
kbox mysql

# Get the mysql version
kbox mysql --version


Runs node commands.

  • We use node 4+

kbox node

# Run an arbitrary node script located locally at `~/myscript.js`
kbox node /src/myscript.js

# Get the node version
kbox node --version


Runs npm commands.

kbox npm

# Install dependencies
kbox npm install

# Get the npm version
kbox npm --version


Runs php commands.

kbox php

# Print out a list of enabled php modules
kbox php -m

# Run an arbitrary php script located in your code root
# We assume you are actually in your code root for this
kbox php hamsterdance.php

# Get the php version
kbox php --version


Runs rysnc commands on your files directory.

  • This command always runs relative to your files directory.

kbox rsync

# Get the rsync version
kbox rsync --version

# Sync down pantheon files manually
kbox rsync -rlvz --size-only --ipv4 --progress -e 'ssh -p 2222' [email protected] /media