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How to Upload Files

How to Upload Files


Instead of handling file uploading yourself, you may consider using the VichUploaderBundle community bundle. This bundle provides all the common operations (such as file renaming, saving and deleting) and it’s tightly integrated with Doctrine ORM, MongoDB ODM, PHPCR ODM and Propel.

Imagine that you have a Product entity in your application and you want to add a PDF brochure for each product. To do so, add a new property called brochure in the Product entity:

// src/AppBundle/Entity/Product.php
namespace AppBundle\Entity;

use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints as Assert;

class Product
    // ...

     * @ORM\Column(type="string")
     * @Assert\NotBlank(message="Please, upload the product brochure as a PDF file.")
     * @Assert\File(mimeTypes={ "application/pdf" })
    private $brochure;

    public function getBrochure()
        return $this->brochure;

    public function setBrochure($brochure)
        $this->brochure = $brochure;

        return $this;

Note that the type of the brochure column is string instead of binary or blob because it just stores the PDF file name instead of the file contents.

Then, add a new brochure field to the form that manage the Product entity:

// src/AppBundle/Form/ProductType.php
namespace AppBundle\Form;

use Symfony\Component\Form\AbstractType;
use Symfony\Component\Form\FormBuilderInterface;
use Symfony\Component\OptionsResolver\OptionsResolver;

class ProductType extends AbstractType
    public function buildForm(FormBuilderInterface $builder, array $options)
            // ...
            ->add('brochure', 'file', array('label' => 'Brochure (PDF file)'))
            // ...

    public function configureOptions(OptionsResolver $resolver)
            'data_class' => 'AppBundle\Entity\Product',

    public function getName()
        return 'product';

Now, update the template that renders the form to display the new brochure field (the exact template code to add depends on the method used by your application to customize form rendering):

{# app/Resources/views/product/new.html.twig #}
<h1>Adding a new product</h1>

{{ form_start() }}
    {# ... #}

    {{ form_row(form.brochure) }}
{{ form_end() }}

Finally, you need to update the code of the controller that handles the form:

// src/AppBundle/Controller/ProductController.php
namespace AppBundle\ProductController;

use Sensio\Bundle\FrameworkExtraBundle\Configuration\Route;
use Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Controller\Controller;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use AppBundle\Entity\Product;
use AppBundle\Form\ProductType;

class ProductController extends Controller
     * @Route("/product/new", name="app_product_new")
    public function newAction(Request $request)
        $product = new Product();
        $form = $this->createForm(new ProductType(), $product);

        if ($form->isValid()) {
            // $file stores the uploaded PDF file
            /** @var Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\File\UploadedFile $file */
            $file = $product->getBrochure()

            // Generate a unique name for the file before saving it
            $fileName = md5(uniqid()).'.'.$file->guessExtension();

            // Move the file to the directory where brochures are stored
            $brochuresDir = $this->container->getParameter('kernel.root_dir').'/../web/uploads/brochures';
            $file->move($brochuresDir, $fileName);

            // Update the 'brochure' property to store the PDF file name
            // instead of its contents

            // persist the $product variable or any other work...

            return $this->redirect($this->generateUrl('app_product_list'));

        return $this->render('product/new.html.twig', array(
            'form' => $form->createView()

There are some important things to consider in the code of the above controller:

  1. When the form is uploaded, the brochure property contains the whole PDF file contents. Since this property stores just the file name, you must set its new value before persisting the changes of the entity.
  2. In Symfony applications, uploaded files are objects of the Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\File\UploadedFile class, which provides methods for the most common operations when dealing with uploaded files.
  3. A well-known security best practice is to never trust the input provided by users. This also applies to the files uploaded by your visitors. The Uploaded class provides methods to get the original file extension (getExtension()), the original file size (getSize()) and the original file name (getClientOriginalName()). However, they are considered not safe because a malicious user could tamper that information. That’s why it’s always better to generate a unique name and use the guessExtension() method to let Symfony guess the right extension according to the file MIME type.
  4. The UploadedFile class also provides a move() method to store the file in its intended directory. Defining this directory path as an application configuration option is considered a good practice that simplifies the code: $this->container->getParameter('brochures_dir').

You can now use the following code to link to the PDF brochure of an product:

<a href="{{ asset('uploads/brochures/' ~ product.brochure) }}">View brochure (PDF)</a>

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.