Getting Started with Symfony2


In a follow up to my popular post on Symfony2, the open source PHP framework we use at OpenSky, I’m providing an easy guide to getting started using Symfony2. This isn’t your basic “Hello World”, but a practical guide to beginning a project with Symfony2.


To get started with Symfony2 you should have a working install of Git as well as a well made install of PHP version 5.3+.

Symfony2 also requires internationalization support compiled into PHP.

Bootstrapping your Symfony2 application

Symfony2 uses the Phar capability included in 5.3 to package an entire program into a single file.

You can get the Symfony2 bootstrapper from github.

git clone git://

Before going any further, let’s make sure your version of PHP will work with Symfony2 provided you’re still in the same directory, run this:

php symfony-bootstrapper/symfony.phar

Did you see this options screen?
If yes, skip to Creating your application.

Symfony Bootstrapper version 2.0.0-DEV
  [options] command [arguments]

  --help           -h Display this help message.
  --quiet          -q Do not output any message.
  --verbose        -v Increase verbosity of messages.
  --version        -V Display this program version.
  --ansi           -a Force ANSI output.
  --no-interaction -n Do not ask any interactive question.

Available commands:
  help   Displays help for a command (?)
  list   Lists commands

If you didn’t see the options screen chances are you saw a series of ?s


Fixing PHP in Mac OSX

The OSX stock install of PHP doesn’t quite work right for Symfony2 due to some critical missing dependencies. If you see …

php symfony.phar

You’re going to need to install a new version. My colleague and friend Justin Hileman has the easiest method of installing PHP on OSX.

Once that is completed resume with Creating your Application

Creating your application.

Somewhere web accessible create a new directory for your application.

cd ~/Sites/
mkdir myApp
cd myApp

Now you will use the phar package you just grabbed from github to create a skeleton of sorts. Make sure to supply the path to your phar file.

php ~/Code/symfony-bootstrapper/symfony.phar init --name="App" --format="yml"

If you want to see what other options you have just run php symfony.phar help init

php ~/Code/symfony-bootstrapper/symfony.phar help init Usage: init [--name="..."] [--app-path="..."] [--src-path="..."] [--web-path="..."] [--format="..."]

 --name The application name (App) (default: App)
 --app-path The path to the application (app/) (default: app/)
 --src-path The path to the application (src/) (default: src/)
 --web-path The path to the public web root (web/) (default: web/)
 --format Use the format for configuration files (php, xml, or yml) (default: xml)

Installing Symfony

Again we will fetch this from GitHub.

git clone git:// src/vendor/symfony

Installing Symfony’s 3rd party libraries

sh src/vendor/symfony/

Coming Soon

See part 2. Creating your own symfony2 bundle

See part 3. Creating your own symfony2 console command