Deploying TYPO3

This guide outlines the steps required to manually deploy TYPO3 and ensure the installation is secure and ready to be used in a production context. This guide also highlights a number of automation tools that can help automate the deployment process.

There are several different ways to deploy TYPO3. One of the more simple options is to manually copy its files and database from a local machine to the live server, adjusting the configuration where necessary.

General Deployment Steps

  • Build the local environment (installing everything necessary for the website)
  • Run composer install --no-dev to install without development dependencies
  • Copy files to the production server
  • Copy the database to the production server
  • Clearing the caches

Production Settings

To ensure a secure installation of TYPO3 on a production server, the following settings need to be set:

  • Admin Tools > Settings > Configuration Presets The "Live" preset has to be chosen to make sure no debug output is displayed.
  • HTTPS should be used on production servers and $GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['BE']['lockSSL'] should be set to true.
  • Enforce HSTS (Strict-Transport-Security header) in the web servers configuration.
  • The TYPO3_CONTEXT environment variable should be set to a main context of Production (can be verified on the top right in the TYPO3 backend Application Information). It should be used to select the appropriate base variant for the target system in the Site Configuration.
  • Configure the TYPO3 logging framework to log messages of high severity including and above WARNING or ERROR and continue to rotate log files stored in var/log.
  • Verify the file permissions are correct on the live system.

Deployment Automation

A typical setup for deploying web applications consists of three different parts:

  • The local environment (for development)
  • The build environment (for reproducible builds). This can be a controlled local environment or a remote continuous integration server (for example Gitlab CI or Github Actions)
  • The live (production) environment

To get an application from the local environment to the production system, the usage of a deployment tool and/or a continuous integration solution is recommended. This ensures that only version-controlled code is deployed and that builds are reproducible. Ideally setting a new release live will be an atomical operation and lead to no downtime. If there are errors in any of the deployment or test stages, most deployment tools will initiate an automatic "rollback" preventing that an erroneous build is released.

One widely employed strategy is the "symlink-switching" approach:

In that strategy, the webserver serves files from a virtual path releases/current/public which consists of a symlink releases/current pointing to the latest deployment ("release"). That symlink is switched after a new release has been successfully prepared. The latest deployment contains symlinks to folders that should be common among all releases (commonly called "shared folders").

Usually the database is shared between releases and upgrade wizards and schema upgrades are run automatically before or shortly after the new release has been set live.

This is an exemplatory directory structure of a "symlink-switching" TYPO3 installation:

├── shared/
│    ├── fileadmin/
│    └── var/
│        ├── var/charset/
│        ├── var/lock/
│        ├── var/log/
│        └── var/session/
├── releases/
│    ├── current -> ./release1 (symlink to current release)
│    └── release1/
│        ├── public/ (webserver root, via releases/current/public)
│        │   ├── typo3conf/
│        │   ├── fileadmin -> ../../../shared/fileadmin/ (symlink)
│        │   └── index.php
│        ├── var/
│        |   ├── var/build/
│        |   ├── var/cache/
│        |   ├── var/charset -> ../../../shared/var/charset/ (symlink)
│        |   ├── var/labels/
│        |   ├── var/lock -> ../../../shared/var/lock/ (symlink)
│        |   ├── var/log -> ../../../shared/var/log/ (symlink)
│        |   └── var/session -> ../../../shared/var/session/ (symlink)
│        ├── vendor/
│        ├── composer.json
│        └── composer.lock

The files in shared are shared between different releases of a web site. The releases directory contains the TYPO3 code that will change between the release of each version.

When using a deployment tool this kind of directory structure is usually created automatically.

The following section contains examples for various deployment tools and how they can be configured to use TYPO3:

TYPO3 Surf is a deployment tool written in PHP.

/** @var \TYPO3\Surf\Domain\Model\Deployment $deployment */

$node = new \TYPO3\Surf\Domain\Model\Node('');
    ->setOption('username', 'myuser')
    ->setOption('phpBinaryPathAndFilename', '/usr/local/bin/php_cli');

$application = new \TYPO3\Surf\Application\TYPO3\CMS();
    ->setOption('baseUrl', '')
    ->setOption('webDirectory', 'public')
    ->setOption('symlinkDataFolders', ['fileadmin'])
    ->setOption('repositoryUrl', 'file://' . dirname(__DIR__))
    ->setOption('keepReleases', 3)
    ->setOption('composerCommandPath', 'composer')
    ->setOption('rsyncExcludes', [
        $application->getOption('webDirectory') . '/fileadmin',
    ->setOption(TYPO3\Surf\Task\TYPO3\CMS\FlushCachesTask::class . '[arguments]', [])
    ->addSymlink($application->getOption('webDirectory') . '/typo3conf/LocalConfiguration.php', '../../../../shared/Configuration/LocalConfiguration.php')

            function () use ($deployment, $application) {
                    ->beforeTask(\TYPO3\Surf\Task\TYPO3\CMS\SetUpExtensionsTask::class, \TYPO3\Surf\Task\TYPO3\CMS\CompareDatabaseTask::class, $application)
                    ->beforeStage('transfer', \TYPO3\Surf\Task\Php\WebOpcacheResetCreateScriptTask::class, $application)
                    ->afterStage('switch', \TYPO3\Surf\Task\Php\WebOpcacheResetExecuteTask::class, $application)
                    // CreatePackageStatesTask is done by post-autoload-dump script and can be removed
                    ->removeTask(\TYPO3\Surf\Task\TYPO3\CMS\CreatePackageStatesTask::class, $application)
                    ->removeTask(\TYPO3\Surf\Task\TYPO3\CMS\CopyConfigurationTask::class, $application);

Deployer is an alternative deployment tool written in PHP. An full description about how to get deployer running for TYPO3 can be found at


namespace Deployer;

require_once(__DIR__ . '/vendor/sourcebroker/deployer-loader/autoload.php');
new \SourceBroker\DeployerExtendedTypo3\Loader();

set('repository', '');
set('bin/php', '/home/www/example-project-directory/.bin/php');
set('web_path', 'public/');

    ->set('branch', 'master')
    ->set('public_urls', [''])
    ->set('deploy_path', '/home/www/example-project-directory/live');

Yet another deployment tool for PHP applications written in PHP:

 log_dir: ./.mage/logs
   path: composer
   - ./.ddev
   - ./.git
   - ./.mage
   - ./public/fileadmin
   - ./public/typo3temp
   - ./var
   - ./.mage.yml
   - ./composer.json
   - ./composer.lock
   - ./LICENSE
   - ./
     user: ssh-user
     from: ./
     host_path: /srv/vhosts/target-path/site/mage
     releases: 3
       - exec: { cmd: "composer install --no-dev --no-progress --optimize-autoloader"}
       - fs/link: { from: "../../../../shared/public/fileadmin", to: "public/fileadmin" }
       - fs/link: { from: "../../../../shared/public/typo3temp", to: "public/typo3temp" }
       - fs/link: { from: "../../../shared/var", to: "var" }
       - exec: { cmd: './bin/typo3 backend:lock', timeout: 9000  }
       - exec: { cmd: './bin/typo3cms database:updateschema *.add,*.change', timeout: 9000  }
       - exec: { cmd: './bin/typo3cms cache:flush', timeout: 9000  }
       - exec: { cmd: './bin/typo3 upgrade:run', timeout: 9000  }
       - exec: { cmd: './bin/typo3 backend:unlock', timeout: 9000  }