How to generate key in Laravel

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This is an article which is specifically written to generate key used in a Laravel web-based application project. The key generated is very special for several features which is needed by the Laravel web-based application itself. It is important because the key is going to be used further for generating cookies and even password across the application. It is actually generated a 32-length of random string.

Actually, it is going to be automatically generated upon the creation of the Laravel web-based application using composer utility or command which is represented with ‘composer create-project laravel/laravel’ command.

The key generated by typing a command which is executed as follows :

php artisan key:generate

So, the  command itself will  sets the APP_KEY value in your .env file. On the other hand, if the Laravel web-based project is created by using a version control system like git to manage it for further usage, for an example calling git push to be able to push the source to a certain repository, it will definitely push a copy of the Laravel project to wherever it is going, but will not include the existing .env file . So, in order to run the project after cloning the project using git clone, it must be manually execute ‘php artisan key:generate’ for the application itself to function correctly.

But the command will failed as shown below :

user@hostname:/var/www/html/laravel$ php artisan key:generate

[ErrorException]
file_put_contents(/var/www/html/laravel/.env): failed to open stream: Permission denied

user@hostname:/var/www/html/laravel$ sudo su -
root@hostname:~# cd /var/www/html/laravel/

This is a command which is needed to be carried out by a specific user account. It is might be the permission which is needed to write the .env file doesn’t fit enough. Only specific file is allowed to write or to modified the .env file since executing the command will actually insert a certain key value generated by the command to a specific file named ‘.env’. Try to re-execute the command and in the following output, it is executed using ‘root’ account as shown below :

root@hostname:~# cd /var/www/html/laravel/
root@hostname:/var/www/html/laravel# php artisan key:generate
Application key [base64:HMAa5DN5Ycj9mD5VpsM3I8GSxoUW4b3UQA/QsClTyvM=] set successfully.
root@hostname:/var/www/html/laravel#

The generated key can actually be viewed in the file .env as shown below for an example :

APP_KEY=base64:1RfxZT785MHjMkAsIouOaukQHk77Ov+/0Y95EfHmhA8=

To generate the key, make sure that the entry in config/app.php which is defining the cipher used and the location of the exact 32 characters string will be inserted.

/*
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Encryption Key
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| This key is used by the Illuminate encrypter service and should be set
| to a random, 32 character string, otherwise these encrypted strings
| will not be safe. Please do this before deploying an application!
|
*/

'key' => env('APP_KEY'),

'cipher' => 'AES-256-CBC',

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