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Initializing the Project Directory

Before installing symfony, you first need to create a directory that will host all the files related to your project:

$ mkdir -p /home/sfproject
$ cd /home/sfproject

Or on Windows:

c:\> mkdir c:\dev\sfproject
c:\> cd c:\dev\sfproject


Windows users are advised to run symfony and to setup their new project in a path which contains no spaces. Avoid using the Documents and Settings directory, including anywhere under My Documents.


If you create the symfony project directory under the web root directory, you won't need to configure your web server. Of course, for production environments, we strongly advise you to configure your web server as explained in the web server configuration section.

Choosing the Symfony Version

Now, you need to install symfony. As the symfony framework has several stable versions, you need to choose the one you want to install by reading the installation page on the symfony website.

This tutorial assumes you want to install symfony 1.4.

Choosing the Symfony Installation Location

You can install symfony globally on your machine, or embed it into each of your project. The latter is the recommended one as projects will then be totally independent from each others. Upgrading your locally installed symfony won't break some of your projects unexpectedly. It means you will be able to have projects on different versions of symfony, and upgrade them one at a time as you see fit.

As a best practice, many people install the symfony framework files in the lib/vendor project directory. So, first, create this directory:

$ mkdir -p lib/vendor

Installing Symfony

Installing from an archive

The easiest way to install symfony is to download the archive for the version you choose from the symfony website. Go to the installation page for the version you have just chosen, symfony 1.4 for instance.

Under the "Download as an Archive" section, you will find the archive in .tgz or in .zip format. Download the archive, put it under the freshly created lib/vendor/ directory, un-archive it, and rename the directory to symfony:

$ cd lib/vendor
$ tar zxpf symfony-1.4.8.tgz
$ mv symfony-1.4.8 symfony
$ rm symfony-1.4.8.tgz

Under Windows, unzipping the zip file can be achieved using Windows Explorer. After you rename the directory to symfony, there should be a directory structure similar to c:\dev\sfproject\lib\vendor\symfony.

Installing from Subversion (recommended)

If you use Subversion, it is even better to use the svn:externals property to embed symfony into your project in the lib/vendor/ directory:

$ svn pe svn:externals lib/vendor/

If everything goes well, this command will run your favorite editor to give you the opportunity to configure the external Subversion sources.


On Windows, you can use tools like TortoiseSVN to do everything without the need to use the console.

If you are conservative, tie your project to a specific release (a subversion tag):

svn checkout symfony

Whenever a new release comes out (as announced on the symfony blog), you will need to change the URL to the new version.

If you want to go the bleeding-edge route, use the 1.4 branch:

svn checkout symfony

Using the branch makes your project benefits from the bug fixes automatically whenever you run a svn update.