I'm not particularly tech minded so MAMP has served me well for a good while. However I more recently decided to give Craft Nitro a try. I got everything (Multipass and Nitro) set up really easy. I then went to create a project and got the error PHP extension ext-zip * is missing. I've seen this before and worked around it guided by This post.

All good... craft installed. However, now i'm confused? Why did I need to install an older version of PHP on my host machine (OSX) when Nitro is supposedly a self contained 'box' with everything needed for a Craft install?

  • Sounds like maybe you did composer install from your host machine instead of from inside the Nitro box? Sep 8, 2020 at 16:24
  • Hi James! Inside the Nitro box? The docs and a Mijingo vid tutorial both suggest the craft project should pre-exist? So how do I do composer create-project from within Nitro?
    – Martin
    Sep 8, 2020 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


You'll want to run that composer create-project command from inside of your Nitro VM. If you run it on your host machine, it'll use whatever version of PHP your host machine has installed.

Do this:

  1. Make sure Composer is installed in the VM by running nitro install composer from the host machine. https://craftcms.com/docs/nitro/commands.html#install-composer

  2. SSH into the box by running nitro ssh. https://craftcms.com/docs/nitro/commands.html#ssh

  3. Run composer create-project craftcms/craft to get a fresh new Craft project inside the VM.

  • Thanks for the pointers Brad. This has worked for me. Maybe the process of creating a project 'within' the Nitro box should be clearer in the docs?
    – Martin
    Sep 9, 2020 at 9:24
  • @Martin Nitro 1.1.0 added a create command for setting up new Craft projects without relying on local PHP or Composer: craftcms.com/docs/nitro/commands.html#create
    – Matt Stein
    Oct 13, 2020 at 15:27

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