What Is Fuel PHP? How Does It Work? A Complete Overview

Fuel PHP

Fuel PHP is an open-source framework for web app development, written in PHP 5.3. It implements the HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) pattern that allows the controller to sub-request. In return, it shows the partial pages, such as menus, comments, etc instead of complete pages as in normal MVCs.

Fuel PHP was created with the idea to include the powers of advanced frameworks such as Kohana and CodeIgniter with improvements. Its scaffolding and database migration tools are inspired by one of the best and most popular frameworks right now – Ruby on Rails.

Want to know more about this advanced web framework? Continue reading this guide to understand how FuelPHP works, know about its salient features, and advantages, and lastly, learn how to install it. So, let’s get started!

How Does Fuel PHP Work?

As mentioned earlier, FuelPHP uses HMVC patterns to create dynamic and fully-functional web apps. Let’s understand how this framework works through simple steps –

  • The user sends a request to the web server, which passes it to the Fuel PHP application.
  • The application routes the request to the appropriate controller, which is a class that handles the logic and data processing for a specific feature or function.
  • The controller interacts with the model, which is a class that represents the data and business logic of the application. The model may access the database or other external sources to retrieve or manipulate the data.
  • The controller returns a response to the view, which is a file that contains the HTML and presentation logic of the application. The view renders the response and sends it back to the user.

Key Features of Fuel PHP

The best part about Fuel PHP is that it offers plenty of features, including simple configuration, flexible components, REST-based app development mode, easy-to-use ORM, etc. Here are some salient features of Fuel PHP:

  • Flexible and community-driven web framework
  • Extremely portable, and works on almost any server
  • Easy to configure and use
  • Rigid URI routing system
  • Supports RESTful API development
  • Advanced ORM model
  • Secure authorization and authentication
  • Input filtering and prevents SQL injection
  • Code reusability and easier to maintain
  • Session management, Autoloading classes, and Exception handling.

Advantages of Fuel PHP Over Other Frameworks

The efficiency and advanced features of FuelPHP offer a set of components for creating web apps with the following benefits –

  • Modular Design − FuelPHP lets you choose whether to use modules or an HMVC file structure. You can easily integrate them if you want to. FuelPHP apps are built with a modular design that makes development easier and more beneficial.
  • HMVC Architecture − The key feature of this framework is HMVC (Hierarchical Model View Controller) which simplifies the access and usage of any attributes, classes, functions, and files at a higher level.
  • Secure Hashing Technique − FuelPHP provides robust encryption tools and password-hashing methods. It performs encryption, decryption, and hashing using the powerful PHPSecLib.
  • Scaffolding Capability − Scaffolding is a technique of meta-programming for creating database operations. Fuel’s scaffolding is very simple. It enables you to create a basic CRUD application with just a few steps.

Installation Guide for Fuel PHP

This section will explain the FuelPHp installation on your device. It is very simple and easy to install. You can install FuelPHP in two methods –

The first one is Command line installation using the FuelPHP tool – Oil.

The second one is a Composer-based installation.

Let’s understand each of these methods, alongside detailed installation processes.

System Requirements

Before installing FuelPHP, let’s take a look at some minimum system requirements –

  • Web server
  • Microsoft IIS (Windows)
  • LAMP (Linux)
  • WAMP (Windows)
  • MAMP (Macintosh)
  • PHP in-built development web server (Multi-platform)
  • XAMP (Multi-platform)
  • Nginx (Multi-platform)
  • Browser support (Any of the following)
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • IE (Internet Explorer 8+)
  • PHP compatibility − PHP 5.3 or later.

Method I: FuelPHP Installation using Command Line

Installing Fuel PHP using the Command line is super easy and takes around five minutes. Here’s the complete process:

Step 1: Install Oil Package

Oil package is a specialized command offered by the FuelPHP framework. It is indeed the key aspect for installing, developing, and testing a web app.

Run the following command to install the Oil package  –

sudo curl https://get.fuelphp.com/oil | sh

The above command uses curl for downloading and installing the package. It shows similar results and installs the oil package properly.

Step 2: Create a New Project

Run the following command to create a new project using the Oil package –

oil create <project_name>

After that, create a new project “Hello World” with the below command.

oil create HelloWorld

Following the responses, now create a skeleton web app.

composer create-project fuel/fuel HelloWorld 

Installing fuel/fuel ( 

   - Installing fuel/fuel ( 

      Loading from cache  

Created project in HelloWorld  

Loading composer repositories with package information 

Updating dependencies (including require-dev) 

   - Installing composer/installers (v1.3.0) 

      Loading from cache

   - Installing fuelphp/upload (2.0.6) 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing michelf/php-markdown (1.4.0) 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing psr/log (1.0.2) 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing monolog/monolog (1.18.2) 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing phpseclib/phpseclib (2.0.0) 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/core ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/auth ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/email ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/oil ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/orm ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/parser ( 

      Loading from cache  

   - Installing fuel/docs ( 

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   Writing lock file

   Generating autoload files 

Step 3: Oil Version

Use the following command to test the availability of Oil and its version.

$ cd HelloWorld

$ php oil -v

The above command gives the following result –

Fuel: 1.8 running in "development" mode

Step 4: Oil Help Command

Run the following command to get Oil’s basic help documentation –

$ php oil help

As of now, you might have understood the installation of FuelPHP using Oil, let’s move forward to have a look at the composer-based installation.

Method II: Installing FuelPHP Using Composer-based Installation 

Let’s install FuelPHP using the Composer-based installation with the following command –

$ composer create-project fuel/fuel --prefer-dist.

Step 1: Git Repository Clones

Run the following command to install the latest version of the FuelPHP as a local git repository clone.

$ composer create-project fuel/fuel:dev-1.9/develop --prefer-source.

Step 2: Running the Application

Now, head to the project directory folder and run the web app using the production server with the following command –

$ cd path/to/HelloWorld/public

$ php -S localhost:8080 index.php

Step 3: Setting Up a Virtual Host

The next step is to set up a virtual host. You can do so by linking apache virtual host file to your web app. Redirect the system host file URL to the virtual host in case of the intranet.

Step 4: Virtual Host File

Make the following changes in the virtual host –

<VirtualHost *:80> 

   ServerName hello.app 

   DocumentRoot /path/to/public 

   SetEnv FUEL_ENV “development”

   <Directory /path/to/public> 

      DirectoryIndex index.php 

      AllowOverride All 

      Order allow,deny 

      Allow from all 



Step 5: System Host File

Use the following command to add a host entry to your device.

sudo vi /etc/hosts

No, add the lines to the file end. hello.app

Now, restart the Apache server and request http://hello.app. URL to make all changes available.


So, that’s it in this blog! Hope you have now understood the basics of Fuel PHP, its features, and the installation process. This guide has gone through every aspect of this advanced web development framework. In case you still need expert assistance, you can contact us anytime.

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