Symfony advanced tutorial. Project set up and configuration. Part Two.
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Symfony advanced tutorial. Project set up and configuration. Part Two.

Symfony advanced tutorial. Project set up and configuration. Symfony docker configuration.
Symfony advanced tutorial. Project set up and configuration. Part Two.

Hi, this is a series of tutorials. On how to build a Symfony application from scratch. Second part. Symfony project set up and configuration.

Docker configuration

Let's start with the docker image. Let's create a Dockerfile

FROM php:8.0-fpm

# Copy composer.lock and composer.json
COPY composer.json /var/www/

# Set working directory
WORKDIR /var/www

# Install dependencies
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y \
    build-essential \
    libssl-dev \
    acl \
    locales \
    zip \
    vim \
    git \
    curl \
    nodejs \

RUN apt-get install -y libicu-dev \
    && docker-php-ext-configure intl

RUN npm install -g yarn

# Install extensions
RUN docker-php-ext-install pdo_mysql exif pcntl intl

# Install composer
RUN curl -sS | php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

# Add user
RUN groupadd -g 1000 www
RUN useradd -u 1000 -ms /bin/bash -g www www

# Copy existing application directory contents
COPY . /var/www

# Copy existing application directory permissions
COPY --chown=www:www . /var/www

# Change current user to www
USER www

# Expose port 9000 and start php-fpm server
CMD ["php-fpm"]

Now let's make a docker-compose.yml file in the root directory. It should look like this.

version: '3'

  #PHP Service
      context: .
      dockerfile: Dockerfile
    container_name: application
    tty: true
      SERVICE_NAME: application
      SERVICE_TAGS: dev
    working_dir: /var/www
      - ./:/var/www
      - ./docker/php/local.ini:/usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/local.ini
      - app-network

  #Nginx Service
    image: nginx:alpine
    container_name: nginx
      - "80:80"
      - "443:443"
      - ./:/var/www/
      - ./docker/nginx/conf.d/:/etc/nginx/conf.d
      - ./docker/nginx/ssl/:/etc/ssl
      - app-network

  #MySQL Service
    image: mysql:5.7.22
    container_name: database
    restart: unless-stopped
    tty: true
      - "3306:3306"
      - dbdata:/var/lib/mysql
      - ./docker/mysql/my.cnf:/etc/mysql/my.cnf
      - ./docker/tmp/database:/tmp/database
    command: mysqld --init-file="/tmp/database/init.sql"
      - app-network

#Docker Networks
    driver: bridge
    driver: local

With docker-compose, I can build multiple containers and configure a database and a webserver along with PHP. Also, you need to created additional folders in your root directory. The tree should look like this:

Symfony project docker.

Now, I need to configure each container.

MySQL configuration

Create a docker folder in a root directory and MySQL directory, and my.cnf file.
Inside my.cnf you can add additional MySQL configuration; in my case, it's just an empty file. Also, create tmp/database/init.sql. This is just a SQL file with predefined commands to create a user and database. Here is what it looks like:

CREATE USER 'user'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

If you want, you can change your password and username. Also you can grant privileges to a single database. But for dev environment, it's ok.


Next, php/local.ini add whatever PHP configuration you need, for example



Now we need to configure our web server, Nginx. I use NGINX because it's faster than apache, and it serves static files and data without PHP. Why would you use something else? So, create the main Nginx folder and two child folders - conf.d and certs.

Inside conf.d create app.conf and copy-paste this code:

server {
    listen 80;
    listen 443 ssl;
    ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/nginx-selfsigned.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/nginx-selfsigned.key;
    index index.php index.html;
    error_log  /var/log/nginx/error.log;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log;
    root /var/www/public;
    location ~ \.php$ {
        try_files $uri =404;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
        fastcgi_pass application:9000;
        client_body_timeout 3000;
        fastcgi_read_timeout 3000;
        client_max_body_size 32m;
        fastcgi_buffers 8 128k;
        fastcgi_buffer_size 128k;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME 	   $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_path_info;
    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
        gzip_static on;

I want to access my website via HTTPS. Thus I need to add certificates. You can simply generate them. This is a blog, so I am not going to explain in detail how to generate them. But there is a great blog post on Digitalocean - how to create self-signed certificates. Take a look. And generate those certificates into the Nginx/SSL folder.

Run containers

Ok, now we are ready to start our containers. Run this command from the terminal.

docker-compose up -d

You should see something like this:

Symfony set up

Symfony is not installed yet. Now it's time to install the project. Let's connect to our application container via ssh.

docker exec -it application bash

And run this command.

composer create-project symfony/website-skeleton ./project && cp -r ./project/* ./ && rm -rf ./project/

What it does is creates a website skeleton. Then it copies contents to our current folder and removes the project folder. This magic is needed because you only can install the project into an empty folder.

Let's init git repository here:

git init

Don't forget to change /etc/hosts and add your hostname. In my case, it's a

restart nginx - docker exec nginx nginx -s reload

Now, update database URL in .env file in the root directory.


Since I will write frontend in the same project, I need to manage CSS/js files. For this, we need to install the Symfony Encore bundle. It will help manage all the Symfony assets.

Run these commands:

composer require symfony/webpack-encore-bundle

A few more things.

Run yarn install command. And create a first controller. You should run this command from application container docker exec -it application bash .

./bin/console make:controller FrontendController

Open up your browser, and you will see this page:

frontend controller

Congratulations, your Symfony project is now set up. We can move on.

Let's move to the third part of the tutorial — frontend development. In the next chapter, I will build a simple vue.js application in a Symfony project. I think I will break it into several parts. The first part - login/signup with JWT authentication. I will configure the JWT bundle for this case. The next part would be a CRUD for tracking actions.

To be continued...

Back to Part 1