A quick cheat guide for setting up symfony (/w doctrine). This assumes you already have your html being served from respective dir.

Setup Symfony Environment

cd /path/to/where/you/want/symfony
wget http://www.symfony-project.org/get/symfony-1.2.9.tgz
tar -xvpf symfony-1.2.9.tgz
ln -s /path/to/symfony/symfony-1.2.9 symfony

Generate  Symfony Project

cd /path/to/html
php /path/to/symfony/data/bin/symfony generate:project <project_name>

Generate Symfony Project App

–escaping-strategy prevents XSS (cross site scripting) attacks, and  –csrf-secret prevents CSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) attacks. CSRF uses <super_secret_salt> to hash out values on all your form pages as hidden elements so we enforce that any requests made to form actions orgininated from our site, and not someone elses.

php symfony generate:app --escaping-strategy=on --csrf-secret=<super_secret_salt> <app_name>

Enable Doctrine for Symfony

vi config/ProjectConfiguration.class.php


$this->enableAllPluginsExcept(array('sfPropelPlugin', 'sfCompat10Plugin'));

Clear Cache

php symfony cc

Publish Assets

This step lets symfony know that you have some plugins you are ready to use.

php symfony plugin:publish-assets

Remove Propel Artifacts

rm web/sfPropelPlugin
rm config/propel.ini config/schema.yml config/databases.yml

Add Doctrine Artifacts

mkdir config/doctrine

Create databases.yml File

php symfony configure:database --name=doctrine --class=sfDoctrineDatabase "mysql:host=<host_name>;dbname=<db_name>" <db_user> <db_password>

Secure databases.yml File

chmod 600 config/databases.yml

Build Schema

Building schema will create a config/doctrine/schema.yml file. It is basically a text version of your database schema. You can edit as you see fit, but for most users it isn’t necessary, but you should at least check it out to see what’s going on.

php symfony doctrine:build-schema
vi config/doctrine/schema.yml

Doctrine Options Configuration (optional)

You can over-ride doctrine model generation options by create a configureDoctrin() method in config/ProjectConfiguration.class.php file. These settings allow you to control elements of the model creation, for example; I dont like creating the extraneous ‘*Tables’ model files so I set ‘generateTableClasses’ to false, like so:

vi config/ProjectConfiguration.class.php
public function configureDoctrine()

    $options = array(
        'generateTableClasses' => FALSE

    sfConfig::set('doctrine_model_builder_options', $options);


You can find more information and configuration options on the Symfony Website under Doctrine Configuration.

Symfony Model Generation

The ‘model’ refers to the files that allow access to data stored within your database. These files are created automatically based on your config/doctrine/schema.yml file and placed in /lib/model/doctrine/

php symfony doctrine:build-model

Setup Symfony Module

Only use this if you DO NOT PLAN on using Symfony’s Admin Generator, otherwise you may run into issues. In order to start editing actions and template scripts, you need to run the following command in /path/to/project/apps/<app_name>:

php symfony generate:module <app_name> <module_name>

Setup Symfony default css

This will give access to the symfony default css so that web toolbar and default symfony pages look nice.

cd web
ln -s /path/to/symfony/symfony/data/web/sf sf

Enable Login Authentication (optional)

This will protect your app by forcing a user to login to view any app files. You will have to add code to handle login authentication and is covered in my sfGuardDoctrine plugin post.

vi apps/<app_name>/config/security.yml


  is_secure: off


  is_secure: on

Allow Access to Dev Controller

If you are developing on an remote environment and you need access to the dev controller (<app>_dev.php),  you will have to add your IP address to <app>_dev.php, as it defaults to localhost.


If you followed each of the above steps, you have successfully created a symfony project, app, module. You can access your project using the following links:

App: http://yourdomain.com/<app_name>_dev.php (should see success project landing page)

Module: http://yourdomain.com/<app_name>_dev.php/<module_name> (should see success module landing page)

Forms, Actions, etc will be discussed in other setup guides.