Loïc Faugeron Technical Blog

Master Symfony2 - part 1: Bootstraping 05/08/2014

Deprecated: This series has been re-written - see The Ultimate Developer Guide to Symfony

You know the basics of the Symfony2 framework (Composer, empty application, bundle, controller and functional test with PHPUnit) and you want to learn more about how to extend it (and understanding what you're doing)?

Then this series of articles is for you :) .

If you don't feel confident about the prerequisites, have a look at the Learn Symfony2 series. Don't worry, we'll start with a bit of practicing before starting to learn anything new.

In the first article of this series, we'll discover our cutomer's needs and we'll bootstrap our application.

Our use case: creating a Fortune application

In order to have real world examples, we'll need a use case. The Knight of Ni were pretty satisfied with our previous work, and they recommended us to Nostradamus!

Nostradamus is a fortune teller and wants to jump on the internet bandwagon. He wants us to create a fortune application where users can submit quotes.

Our first task will be to create an empty application so we can start working. We could use the Symfony Standard Edition, but in order to understand what really happens behind the scene we'll use an emptier distribution.

Installing Symfony2 Emptier Edition

First make sure to have the last version of Composer installed:

curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Then ask Composer to create the boilerplate of our application, using the Symfony2 Emptier Edition:

composer create-project 'gnugat/sf2-emptier' fortune '0.1.*'
cd fortune

This distribution is similar to the empty application we created in the learn Symfony2 series. It contains the following files:

├── app
│   ├── AppKernel.php
│   ├── cache
│   │   └── .gitkeep
│   ├── config
│   │   ├── config_prod.yml
│   │   ├── config_test.yml
│   │   ├── config.yml
│   │   ├── parameters.yml.dist
│   │   └── routing.yml
│   ├── logs
│   │   └── .gitkeep
│   └── phpunit.xml.dist
├── composer.json
├── README.md
└── web
    └── app.php

Remove the documentation files:


Change the composer.json information:

    "name": "nostradamus/fortune",
    "license": "proprietary",
    "type": "project",
    "description": "A collection of quotes",
    "autoload": {
        "psr-4": { "": "src/" }
    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.3.17",

        "symfony/symfony": "~2.4"
    "require-dev": {
        "phpunit/phpunit": "~4.1"

Next you'll have to configure the project specific parameters:

cp app/config/parameters.yml.dist app/config/parameters.yml

Don't forget to edit app/config/parameters.yml and change the value of the secret parameter:

    secret: hazuZRqYGdRrL8ATdB8kAqBZ

Tip: Use random.org to generate your secret token.

Note: For security reason, this parameter file is ignored by git. It means that this file should be created on each installation.

Let's commit our hard work:

git init
git add -A
git add -f app/logs/.gitkeep app/cache/.gitkeep
git commit -m 'Created a Symfony2 Emptier application'

Creating the Application Bundle

We will also need an Application bundle. First we create the directories:

mkdir -p src/Fortune/ApplicationBundle

Then the Bundle class:

// File: src/Fortune/ApplicationBundle/FortuneApplicationBundle.php

namespace Fortune\ApplicationBundle;

use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Bundle\Bundle;

class FortuneApplicationBundle extends Bundle

And finally register it in the application's kernel:

// File: app/AppKernel.php

use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Kernel;
use Symfony\Component\Config\Loader\LoaderInterface;

class AppKernel extends Kernel
    public function registerBundles()
        return array(
            new Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\FrameworkBundle(),
            new Fortune\ApplicationBundle\FortuneApplicationBundle(), // <-- Here!

    public function registerContainerConfiguration(LoaderInterface $loader)

We're now ready to get started with our real concern, so let's commit our work:

git add -A
git commit -m 'Created ApplicationBundle'

Apache configuration

In order for your website to be browsed, you'll need to configure your web server. This configuration is well explained in the documentation, so here's a dump of an apache vhost:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName fortune.local

    DocumentRoot /home/loic.chardonnet/Projects/gnugat/fortune/web

    ErrorLog "/home/loic.chardonnet/Projects/gnugat/fortune/app/logs/apache_errors.log"
    CustomLog "/home/loic.chardonnet/Projects/gnugat/fortune/app/logs/apache_accesses.log" common

    <Directory /home/loic.chardonnet/Projects/gnugat/fortune/web>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride None
        Order allow,deny
        allow from all
        <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
            RewriteEngine On
            RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
            RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /app.php [QSA,L]

If you run into some permission problem (like writing in cache and logs), you might consider to change APACHE_RUN_USER and APACHE_RUN_GROUP environment variables present in /etc/apache2/envvars to your own user and group.


Using Composer's create-project command with a Symfony2 Distribution is the quickest way to bootstrap a project.

In the next article, we will start to work on our first User Story.