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How to Load Service Configuration inside a Bundle

How to Load Service Configuration inside a Bundle

Services created by bundles are not defined in the main config/services.yaml file used by the application but in the bundles themselves. This article explains how to create and load service files using the bundle directory structure.

Creating an Extension Class

In order to load service configuration, you have to create a Dependency Injection (DI) Extension for your bundle. By default, the Extension class must follow these conventions (but later you’ll learn how to skip them if needed):

  • It has to live in the DependencyInjection namespace of the bundle;
  • It has to implement the Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\Extension\ExtensionInterface, which is usually achieved by extending the Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\Extension\Extension class;
  • The name is equal to the bundle name with the Bundle suffix replaced by Extension (e.g. the Extension class of the AcmeBundle would be called AcmeExtension and the one for AcmeHelloBundle would be called AcmeHelloExtension).

This is how the extension of an AcmeHelloBundle should look like:

// src/Acme/HelloBundle/DependencyInjection/AcmeHelloExtension.php
namespace Acme\HelloBundle\DependencyInjection;

use Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\ContainerBuilder;
use Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\Extension\Extension;

class AcmeHelloExtension extends Extension
    public function load(array $configs, ContainerBuilder $container)
        // ... you'll load the files here later

Manually Registering an Extension Class

When not following the conventions, you will have to manually register your extension. To do this, you should override the Bundle::getContainerExtension() method to return the instance of the extension:

// ...
use Acme\HelloBundle\DependencyInjection\UnconventionalExtensionClass;

class AcmeHelloBundle extends Bundle
    public function getContainerExtension()
        return new UnconventionalExtensionClass();

In addition, when the new Extension class name doesn’t follow the naming conventions, you must also override the Extension::getAlias() method to return the correct DI alias. The DI alias is the name used to refer to the bundle in the container (e.g. in the config/packages/ files). By default, this is done by removing the Extension suffix and converting the class name to underscores (e.g. AcmeHelloExtension’s DI alias is acme_hello).

Using the load() Method

In the load() method, all services and parameters related to this extension will be loaded. This method doesn’t get the actual container instance, but a copy. This container only has the parameters from the actual container. After loading the services and parameters, the copy will be merged into the actual container, to ensure all services and parameters are also added to the actual container.

In the load() method, you can use PHP code to register service definitions, but it is more common if you put these definitions in a configuration file (using the YAML, XML or PHP format).

For instance, assume you have a file called services.xml in the Resources/config/ directory of your bundle, your load() method looks like:

use Symfony\Component\Config\FileLocator;
use Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\Loader\XmlFileLoader;

// ...
public function load(array $configs, ContainerBuilder $container)
    $loader = new XmlFileLoader(
        new FileLocator(__DIR__.'/../Resources/config')

The other available loaders are YamlFileLoader and PhpFileLoader.

Using Configuration to Change the Services

The Extension is also the class that handles the configuration for that particular bundle (e.g. the configuration in config/packages/<bundle_alias>.yaml). To read more about it, see the “How to Create Friendly Configuration for a Bundle” article.

Adding Classes to Compile

Bundles can hint Symfony about which of their classes contain annotations so they are compiled when generating the application cache to improve the overall performance. Define the list of annotated classes to compile in the addAnnotatedClassesToCompile() method:

public function load(array $configs, ContainerBuilder $container)
    // ...

        // you can define the fully qualified class names...
        // ... but glob patterns are also supported:

        // ...


If some class extends from other classes, all its parents are automatically included in the list of classes to compile.

Patterns are transformed into the actual class namespaces using the classmap generated by Composer. Therefore, before using these patterns, you must generate the full classmap executing the dump-autoload command of Composer.


This technique can’t be used when the classes to compile use the __DIR__ or __FILE__ constants, because their values will change when loading these classes from the classes.php file.

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