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Hello Symfony


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Welcome. Hello. Hi, my name is Ryan and I have the absolute pleasure to introduce you to the beautiful and fascinating and productive world of Symfony 6. Seriously, I feel like Willie Wonka inviting you into my chocolate factory, except with hopefully less sugar-related injuries. Anyways, if you're new to Symfony, I'm... honestly a bit jealous! You're going to love the journey... and hopefully become an even better developer along the way: you're definitely going to build some cool stuff.

The secret sauce of Symfony is that it starts tiny, which makes it easy to learn. But then, it scales up its features automatically through a unique recipe system. In Symfony 6, those features include new JavaScript tools and a new security system... just to name two of the many new things.

Symfony is also lightning fast with a huge focus on creating a joyful developer experience, but without sacrificing programming best practices. Yea: you get to love coding and love your code. I know... that sounded cheesy, but it's true.

So come with me and you'll be in a world of pure elucidation.

That's my first time singing in these tutorials... and maybe my last. Let's get started.

Installing the "symfony" Binary

Head over to https://symfony.com/download. On this page, you'll find some instructions - which will differ based on your operating system - on how to download something called the Symfony binary.

This is... not actually Symfony. It's just a command line tool that will help us start new Symfony projects and give us some nice local development tools. It's optional, but I highly recommend it!

Once you've installed this - I already have - open up your favorite terminal app. I'm using iTerm for mac, but it doesn't matter. If you got everything set up correctly, you should be able to run:


Or even better:

symfony list

to see a list of all the "things" that this symfony binary can do. There's a lot of stuff here: things that help with "local" development... and also some optional services for deployment. We'll walk through the stuff you need to know along the way.

Let's Start a Symfony App!

Ok, so we want to start a brand new shiny Symfony app. To do that run:

symfony new mixed_vinyl

Where "mixed_vinyl" is the directory the new app will be downloaded into. That's our top-secret project to combine the best part of the 90's - no, not dial-up internet, I'm talking about mix tapes - with the auditory delight of records. More on that later.

Behind the scenes, this command uses composer - that's PHP's package manager - to create the new project. More on that later.

The end-result is that we can move into our new mixed_vinyl directory. Open this folder up in your favorite editor. I'm using PhpStorm and I highly recommend it.

Meeting our new Project

So what did that symfony new command do? It bootstrapped a new Symfony project! Ooh. And we already have a git repository. Run:

git status

Yep: on branch main, nothing to commit. Try:

git log

Cool. After downloading the new project, the command committed all of the original files automatically... which was very nice of it. Though I do wish that first commit message was a bit more rock n' roll.

What I really want to show you is that our new project is super small! Try this command:

git show --name-only

Yup! Our entire project is... about 17 files. And we'll learn about all of these along the way. But I want you to feel comfortable: there's not a lot of code here.

We're going to add features little-by-little. But if you did want to start with a bigger, more fully-featured project, you can do that by running that symfony new command with --webapp.


If you want a fully-dockerized new Symfony app, check out https://github.com/dunglas/symfony-docker

Checking System Requirements

Before we jump into coding, let's make sure our system is ready. Run another command from the symfony binary:

symfony check:req

Looks good! If your PHP install is missing any extensions... or there are any other problems... like your computer is actually a teapot, this will let you know.

Starting the Dev Web Server

So: we have a new Symfony app over here... and our system is ready! All we need now is a subwoofer. I mean web server! You can set up a real web server like Nginx or something trendy like Caddy. But for local development, the Symfony binary can help us. Run:

symfony serve -d

And... we have a web server running! Come back!

The first time you run this, it might ask you to run a different command to set up an SSL certificate, which is nice because then the server supports https.

Moment of truth! Copy the URL, spin over to your browser, hold your breath and woo! Hello Symfony 6 welcome page... complete with fancy color changes whenever we reload.

Next: let's meet - and become friends with - the code inside our app, so we can demystify what each part does. Then we'll code.