I know this is a very popular question but I haven't been able to find a working solution for Laravel 5. I've been trying to migrate from Codeigniter for a long time, but this convoluted installation process keeps putting me off.
I don't want to run a VM, this just seems awkward when switching between projects.
I don't want to set my document root to the public folder, this is also awkward when switching between projects.
I've tried the .htaccess mod_rewrite method
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ public/$1 [L]
1) I haven't found a working method for moving the public directory in L5. While you can modify some things in the bootstrap index.php, it appears several helper functions are based on the assumption of that public directory being there. In all honestly you really shouldn't be moving the public directory.
2) If your using MAMP then you should be creating new vhosts for each project, each serving that projects public directory. Once created you access each project by your defined server name. http://project1.dev, http://project2.dev