Setting up MailHog on Mac and configuring to run with PHP


Whilst developing a website it’s nice to have that extra piece of mind that emails won’t be sent out to clients or customers. I think a perfect tool for doing this is MailHog.

In a previous article I spoke about getting Mailcatcher setup which is another alternative to Mailhog. The functionality you get out of it is pretty much identical however people may prefer one over the other.

Installing MailHog

In these instructions I am assuming you already have PHP and brew installed on your mac. If you don’t you can follow this comprehensive guide to get them both installed.

Once that has been done already you can run the following commands:

These update the package list for brew, install the MailHog too and set it up to run.

Once done, visit this url to check it’s working:

Setup MHSendmail ready to use with PHP

Next we need to install a tool known as mhsendmail. This is a dropin replacement for the sendmail command in PHP and makes the setup of Mailhog much smoother.

First off mhsendmail tool is built on top of go so if you don’t already have it installed you can install it with the below command or download it manually from these instructions:

Then get the package for mhsendmail using a go get command:

Setup sendmail path

In order to link the mhsendmail command to PHP we need to locate our php.ini file. If you have installed PHP using brew the path will be:

If this is not the case you can locate it using the following command:

After which you should see the following output containing the path to PHP’s ini file:

Once you have found the file you can edit it with your command line text editor (I prefer vi however other options are available).

Find the line for sendmail path (it likely will be commented out if you haven’t touched it before) and edit it to point the following:

Once you have done this be sure to restart PHP using the following command:

You can copy and paste the below PHP script to see whether or not it is working:

You can then run the script from the command line:

After doing that you should then be able to see the email in mailhog at this url:

Setup mailhog to start on boot

When starting up my mac I like to know that all services I need are booted up and working correctly. In order to setup booting software on startup you can use the following command to link mailhog into it.

Whilst doing this I did encounter the following issue:

In order to resolve this, you can do the following:


After following the above steps you should now have Mailhog working within PHP on your local environment. Feel free to reach out with any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.