Composer - creating a private package to include your own PHP class

I am currently in the midst of developing a new side-project and wanted to use the same class as a base for two separate elements of the project. This class features some helper classes I want available. Each element has its own repo which is using composer as its package manager. I wanted to create my own package from a git repo which will house my base class.

This post was written in July 2019 - I have just found it in my drafts so there might be some out of date info!
In the examples below, my reusable package will feature two classes, on called Utils and the other Base. They will both be scoped to the Mikestreety namespace.

This blog post also assumes you have basic knowledge of composer

Prepare your files and folders

Create a new repo with your classes in. A common convention is to put your classes in a src/ folder inside of the repository. Create a new composer.json file too - and place it in the root of the repo. The folder structure should be something like:

  • /
    • composer.json
    • src/
      • Base.php
      • Utils.php

The next step is to namespace you classes - this prevents any other classes with the same name in your application or in another package.

Open up each of your classes and add a namespace to the top, before you declare your class. For example:


namespace Mikestreety;

class Utils extends Base {

Lastly, create add the following to your composer.json. This tells composer to autoload the classes found in the src directory in to the Mikestreety namespace.

"autoload": {
	"psr-4": {
		"Mikestreety\\": "src/"

Commit your files and push to your git hosting package of choice.

Adding the files to your project

Open up the composer.json of your project or application and add the following to file (updating the URL of the git repository).

		"type": "vcs",
		"url": "[email protected]:mikestreety/utils.git"

This gives composer another resource to pull from.

Lastly in the composer file, add the following to the require object:

mikestreety/utils": "dev-master@dev"

The first part must match the name in the composer.json file you created for your package

You can now run composer install.

Note: If your repository is private, you will need to generate a token and add it to the composer config for it to be included in your project.

You can now use your classes, anywhere within your app. For example, if there was a Base class in my utils lib, I could do:

class App extends Mikestreety\Utils {


$a = \Mikestreety\Utils::doSomething();

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Mike Street

Written by Mike Street

Mike is a CTO and Lead Developer from Brighton, UK. He spends his time writing, cycling and coding. You can find Mike on Mastodon.