Jose Jimenez
Jose Jimenez
Software Architect & Developer
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How to Fork a Package and Point to Your Own Version Using Composer

Published in Composer on Jul 2, 2024

Why Fork and Point to Your Own Version?

There are several reasons why you might want to fork a package and use your own version:

  1. Bug Fixes: You may encounter bugs in a package that the original maintainer hasn't fixed yet.
  2. Custom Features: You might need to add custom features or modifications that are specific to your project.
  3. Development: Forking allows you to experiment and test changes without affecting the original package.
  4. Dependency Management: Sometimes, you need to update dependencies in a way that is not compatible with the original package.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Fork the Repository

  1. Go to the repository of the package you want to fork on GitHub (or another Git hosting service).
  2. Click the "Fork" button in the top-right corner. This will create a copy of the repository under your own GitHub account.

Step 2: Clone the Forked Repository

Clone the forked repository to your local machine to make changes.

1git clone
2cd forked-package

Step 3: Make Your Changes

Make the necessary changes to the package. You can fix bugs, add features, or make any other modifications required.

Step 4: Push Changes to Your Fork

After making your changes, commit and push them to your forked repository.

1git add .
2git commit -m "Describe your changes"
3git push origin main

Step 5: Update composer.json in Your Project

In your project's composer.json file, you need to tell Composer to use your forked version of the package. Add the repository section if it doesn't already exist.

2 "repositories": [
3 {
4 "type": "vcs",
5 "url": ""
6 }
7 ],
8 "require": {
9 "original-package/name": "dev-main"
10 }

Replace "original-package/name" with the actual package name and "dev-main" with the branch or version you want to use.

Step 6: Update and Install

Run Composer to update and install the package from your forked repository.

1composer update original-package/name

Step 7: Verify

Finally, verify that your project is using the forked package by checking the changes and ensuring everything works as expected.


Forking a package and pointing to your own version can be very useful for customizing dependencies to meet the specific needs of your project. By following these steps, you can easily manage and maintain your own versions of packages using Composer.