Can You Php Artisan Serve Different Php Version

PHP Programming

As a developer, I have often encountered the need to work with different PHP versions for various projects. One common question that arises is whether it’s possible to use different PHP versions with the php artisan serve command in Laravel. Let’s delve into this topic and explore the possibilities.

Understanding the php artisan serve Command

The php artisan serve command is a convenient way to start the Laravel development server. By default, it uses the PHP version that is currently installed on your system. This can be verified by running the php -v command in your terminal.

Using Multiple PHP Versions

Now, the question arises: Can we use different PHP versions with php artisan serve? The short answer is no, we cannot directly specify a different PHP version when using php artisan serve. This is because the serve command relies on the PHP executable defined in the system’s PATH environment variable.

Workarounds and Solutions

While we cannot directly switch PHP versions with php artisan serve, there are alternative approaches to achieve this.

  1. Using Docker: Docker allows us to create containers with specific PHP versions, enabling us to run different versions concurrently for various projects. This provides a clean and isolated environment for each project, ensuring compatibility with specific PHP versions.
  2. Virtual Machines: Using virtualization tools such as Vagrant or VirtualBox, we can set up virtual machines with different PHP versions to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  3. Local Development Environments: Utilizing tools like Laravel Valet or Homestead, we can set up local development environments with specific PHP versions for individual projects, offering a seamless way to manage different PHP versions.


While we cannot directly serve different PHP versions using php artisan serve, there are alternative methods and tools that enable us to work with multiple PHP versions for our Laravel projects. Whether it’s through Docker, virtual machines, or local development environments, having the flexibility to switch PHP versions is essential in modern web development.