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⚠️ NativePHP is currently in alpha. We do not recommend distributing production releases of your applications yet.

Files & Paths

Working with files in NativePHP is just like working with files in a regular Laravel application. To achieve this, NativePHP rewrites the Application::$storagePath() (and thus app()->storagePath() and the storage_path() helper) to the Electron app.getPath('appData') path, which is different for each operating system.

This means that you can continue to use Laravel's Storage facade to store and retrieve files on your user's file system just as you would on your server.

If you use the default Storage configuration for the local filesystem, your local disk will also point to this appdata directory, followed by storage/app.

Here you may see some folders you recognise, namely database and storage. The other folders are managed by Electron. The storage folder is exactly the same storage directory you are used to seeing in your Laravel application. It stores various caches and also application logs.

You should use this Application::storagePath() when storing files on your user's computer that need to remain available even when your application is updated or removed from the system, e.g. your application's configuration, settings and any user data that the user doesn't need direct access to.

It's also the location where your SQLite database will be stored.

Storing files elsewhere

NativePHP doesn't interfere with any of your existing filesystem configuration, so you may continue to configure Filesystem as you normally would, however you should be aware that it does add some new default filesystems for your convenience.

Consider that your users want to store their files in locations other than the obscure appdata directories on their preferred OS. To that end, NativePHP provides a variety of convenient filesystems which are configured at runtime to point to the respective, platform-specific directories for the current user.

[warning] If your application also defines any of these filesystems, NativePHP will override their configuration with its own. [/warning]

You can use these filesystem simply using the Storage facade like this:


Note that the PHP process which runs your application operates with the same privileges as the logged-in user, this means your application is able to read and write files wherever your user is authorised to.

Generally, you should only read and write files to the user's home directory or your app's appdata directory. Be aware that some operating systems now actively prompt the user to grant permissions to apps when they first attempt to access directories in the user's home directory.

See Security for more considerations.

[aside] You can also continue to use cloud storage providers if you wish.

However, be mindful that an application installed on a user's device is even more likely to experience network disruption than one operating on a server in the cloud, as your users may be without an internet connection at any time.

You should prepare more carefully for such scenarios when interacting with any APIs that require network connectivity by checking for a connection before making a request and/or handling exceptions gracefully should a request fail.

This will help maintain a smooth user experience [/aside]

NativePHP uses the local disk by default. If you would like to use a different disk, you may configure this in your config/filesystems.php file.

Remember, you can set the filesystem disk your application uses by default in your config/filesystems.php file or by adding a FILESYSTEM_DISK variable to your .env file.