Vagrant boxes for local development: Laravel Homestead vs Scotchbox pro

If you’re looking to use a preconfigured Vagrant box for your local development environment, you might be wondering which  is better for LAMP/LEMP development.  After spending the last few months using two of the most popular options, I can compare Laravel Homestead to Scotchbox Pro. Let’s find out!

Laravel Homestead:

  • Free!
  • Well documented
  • Frequent updates and healthy community
  • Supports per project installation via composer
  • PHP version switching
  • Multiple PHP version switching is only compatible with Nginx
  • Meant for use with Laravel projects, although I haven’t ran into any issues, it’s just something to keep in mind

Scotchbox Pro

  • Has a free version (I would opt for the pro version, the free version caused me some headaches)
  • Made for beginners
  • Good tutorials and documentation
  • PHP version switching is not supported
  • Doesn’t always have the latest versions of software
  • Smaller community, expect limited support for issues, or outdated information
  • $15 – I put this as a con, but I thought it was a pretty fair price


Laravel Homestead feels more stable and mature to me, and with it being the official development environment of Laravel, I would have to say is my top choice! But if all you need a quick and easy LAMP box, won’t need PHP version switching, and are happy with the version of software it comes with, then Scotchbox Pro would fit the bill.

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