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Getting Started


Koel consists of two parts: the server and the client. The server is a Laravel application acting as the API, and the client is a Vue.js application responsible for the user interface. The requirements for each part are as follows:



  • Koel has been tested on Chrome 47, Firefox 42, Safari 8, Opera 34, and Edge, but having the latest version is always recommended.


There are three methods to install and start using Koel:

Using a Pre-Compiled Archive

Koel supports installing from a pre-compiled archive, which eliminates the need of manually compiling the front-end assets.

First, go to the Releases page on GitHub, download either the .tar.gz or .zip file found under "Assets," and unzip it into the destination web root directory. From there, run the two following commands:

php artisan koel:init --no-assets

# Follow the wizard to populate necessary configurations

php artisan serve

Building from Source

From your console, run the following commands:

git clone .
git checkout latest # Check out the latest version at
composer install
php artisan koel:init

# Follow the wizard to populate necessary configurations

php artisan serve

In both cases, you should now be able to visit http://localhost:8000 in your browser and start using Koel.

Use a proper webserver

http://localhost:8000 is only the development server for Koel (or rather, Laravel). For optimal performance, you'll want to set up a production server (Apache, nginx, Caddy etc.) and point it to the public directory of Koel. Koel provides a sample configuration for nginx in nginx.conf.example, but the process shouldn't be any different from that of a standard PHP application.

Using Docker

Koel has an official Docker image: koel/docker. Please refer to the repository for detailed instructions and issue reporting.


Koel’s configuration is stored in the .env file at the root of the project, which is created during the installation process by copying the .env.example file and filling it with sensible values. You can always modify the values to suit your environment.

Configure a Mailer

Though Koel can work without a mailer, certain features like "forgot password" and user invitation require a mailer to be set up. To determine if that's the case, Koel relies on the MAIL_MAILER value in the .env file. Any non-empty value other than log or array is considered a proper mailer. As such, if you don't need email-required features, you can simply set MAIL_MAILER to log or array and leave the rest of the mailer-related values empty, and Koel will know to remove/disable these features.


Backup your database

Remember to always back up your database before upgrading.

Check out Releases for upgrade guides corresponding to your Koel version and installation method. In general, the upgrade process involves updating the source code and dependencies, running database migrations, and occasionally, adding/updating some configuration values.

Upgrade an installation from source

If you installed Koel from source, upgrading is as simple as running the following commands:

git pull
git checkout latest
composer install
php artisan koel:init

Upgrade a pre-compiled archive installation

For pre-compiled archived users, download the latest archive, extract it, and replace the existing files with the new ones. Make sure, however, that old application code (typically app and config folders) is removed.

rm -rf app config
# assuming we're upgrading to v7.0.0
wget -qO- | tar -xvzC . --strip-components=1
php artisan cache:clear
php artisan koel:init --no-assets

Upgrade a Docker installation

For Docker users, the upgrade process is as simple as pulling the latest image and restarting the container.

Always read release notes

Again, no matter which installation method, always read the release notes for specific guides as well as other important changes you might be missing.


Koel does not provide a built-in downgrade mechanism. In the unlikely event that you need to downgrade, simply restore your database from a backup and follow the installation guide for the version you want to downgrade to.