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Command Line Interface

Symfony version Language


Many of the tasks that a developer executes during the building and maintenance of a web application can be handled by symfony's Command Line Interface (CLI). Chapter 16 describes some of these tasks in detail, while this chapter lists them all with a brief description.

CLI core

The symfony script is a PHP script that lies at the root of a project. The symfony command expects tasks, and some tasks require additional parameters. To call it, use the following syntax:

$ cd myproject
$ php symfony <TASK> [parameters]


The symfony CLI works only from the root of a symfony project

The symfony sandbox contains executables for Windows and *nix platforms that should allow an even faster call:

$ ./symfony <TASK> [parameters]      #  *nix
$ symfony <TASK> [parameters]        #  Windows

The examples of this chapter will use the php executable, but you can omit it if your project has the proper executables.

To list all the possible tasks, call:

$ php symfony

To display the installed version of the symfony package, type:

$ php symfony -V

A few tasks have a shortcut, faster to write, that has the same effect.

$ php symfony cc
// does the same thing as
$ php symfony clear-cache

When an exception occurs, you might want to get the stack trace and detailed explanation. Add the -t option before the task name to get the trace.


For the records, symfony uses a dedicated tool called Pake to manage common tasks. Pake is a php tool similar to the Rake command, a Ruby translation of the make command. Pake was built by the symfony team. It automates some administration tasks according to a specific configuration file called pakefile.php. But since you use the pake tool just by typing symfony in a command line, you don't even need to learn what pake does and how it works..

CLI tasks

Structure generation

$ php symfony init-project <PROJECT_NAME>

Initializes a new symfony project (shortcut: new).

$ php symfony init-app <APPLICATION_NAME>

Initializes a new symfony application (shortcut: app).

$ php symfony init-module <APPLICATION_NAME> <MODULE_NAME>

Initializes a new symfony module (shortcut: module).

$ php symfony init-batch <SKELETON_NAME> [...]

Initializes a new batch file (shortcut: batch). You must select a batch skeleton to init, and then follow the prompts.

$ php symfony init-controller <APPLICATION_NAME> <ENVIRONMENT_NAME> [<SCRIPT_NAME>] [true|false]

Initializes a new controller (shortcut: controller). The default script name follows the symfony convention.

Find more about these commands in Chapter 16.

Model generation

$ php symfony propel-build-model

Generates the Propel classes for the current model, based on the schema files (YAML or XML) of your config/ directory.

The connection settings used by the following commands are taken from the config/propel.ini configuration.

$ php symfony propel-build-sql

Generates the SQL code to create the tables described in the schema.yml, in a data/schema.sql file.

$ php symfony propel-build-db

Creates an empty database based on the connection settings.

$ php symfony propel-insert-sql

Inserts the SQL code from data/schema.sql into the database.

$ php symfony propel-build-all

Executes propel-build-model, propel-build-sql and then propel-insert-sql all in one command.

Find more about these commands in Chapter 8.

Schema management

$ php symfony propel-build-schema [xml]

Creates a schema.yml from an existing database. If the xml parameter is added, the tasks creates a schema.xml instead of the YAML version.

$ php symfony propel-convert-xml-schema

Creates YAML versions of the XML schemas found.

$ php symfony propel-convert-yml-schema

Creates XML versions of the YAML schemas found.

Data management

$ php symfony propel-load-data  <APPLICATION_NAME> [<ENVIRONMENT_NAME>] [<FIXTURES_DIR_OR_FILE>]

Loads all data from default data/fixtures/ directory unless otherwise specified. Environment is default to dev. The fixtures directory must be specified relative to the project's data dir, for example fixtures (default) or testdata or specify a single file fixtures/file.yml.

$ php symfony propel-build-all-load  <APPLICATION_NAME> [<ENVIRONMENT_NAME>] [<FIXTURES_DIR_OR_FILE>]

Executes propel-build-all then propel-load-data. Accepts same arguments as propel-load-data.

$ php symfony propel-dump-data  <APPLICATION_NAME> <FIXTURES_DIR_OR_FILE> [<ENVIRONMENT_NAME>]

Dumps database data to a file in the fixtures directory in YAML format.

Development tools

$ php symfony clear-cache [<APPLICATION_NAME>] [template|config]

Clears the cached information (shortcut: cc) (find more in Chapter 12).

$ php symfony clear-controllers

Clears the web directory of all controllers other than ones running in a production environment. Very useful before deployment to the production server.

$ php symfony fix-perms

Fixes directories permissions, to change to 777 the directories that need to be writable. The permission can be broken if you use a checkout from a SVN repository.

$ php symfony freeze
$ php symfony unfreeze

Copies all the necessary symfony libraries into the data/, lib/ and web/sf/ directories of your project. Your project then becomes a kind of sandbox, i.e. a standalone application with no dependence and ready to be transferred to production via FTP. Works fine with PEAR installations as well as symbolic links. Unfreeze your project with the unfreeze task.

$ php symfony sync <ENVIRONMENT_NAME> [go]

Synchronises the current project with another machine (find more in Chapter 16).


$ php symfony test-unit <UNIT_TEST>

Launches a unit test located in the test/unit/ directory. The parameter can be the name of a single unit test file (omitting the Test.php suffix), a group of unit test files, or a file path with wildcards. If no test name is given, all unit tests are run.

$ php symfony test-unit

Launches all unit tests in harness mode.

$ php symfony test-functional <APPLICATION_NAME> <TEST>

Launches a functional test for a given application. The TEST parameter can be the name of a single functional test file (omitting the Test.php suffix), a group of unit test files, or a file path with wildcards.

$ php symfony test-functional <APPLICATION_NAME>

Launches all functional tests of an application in harness mode.

$ php symfony test-all 

Launches all unit and functional tests in harness mode.

Find more about testing in Chapter 15.

Project administration


Forwards the user to the unavailable module and action in your settings.yml file and acts in the same way as if you had set the unavaiable setting in your settings.yml file. The advantage over the setting is that you can disable a single application for a single environment, and not only the whole project.


Enables the application and clears the cache.

$ php symfony purge-logs

Clears the logs files in the log directory in applications and environments where the logging.yml specifies purge: on (which is the default value).

$ php symfony rotate-log <APPLICATION_NAME> <ENVIRONMENT_NAME>

Forces a rotation of a log file if rotate is enabled for the log file in logging.yml. The rotation parameters are the period (the number of days a single log file lasts) and the history (the number of backup log files kept). Here is an example of logging.yml withrotation configutation:

  rotate:  on
  period:  7       ## Log files are rotated every 7 days by default
  history: 10      ## A maximum history of 10 log files is kepts   

Scaffolding and admin generation

$ php symfony propel-generate-crud <APPLICATION_NAME> <MODULE_NAME> <CLASS_NAME>
$ php symfony propel-init-crud <APPLICATION_NAME> <MODULE_NAME> <CLASS_NAME>

Generates a new Propel CRUD module based on a class from the model. The generate version copies the code from the framework to a new module, the init verson creates an empty module that inherits from the one in the framework. In this case, the generated code is visible only in the cache/ folder (the generated actions and templates inherit from the framework).

$ php symfony propel-init-admin <APPLICATION_NAME> <MODULE_NAME> <CLASS_NAME>

Initializes a new Propel admin module based on a class from the model

Find more about these commands in Chapter 14.

Plugin management

$ php symfony plugin-install <CHANNEL_NAME>/<PLUGIN_NAME>

Installs a new plugin. To install a new plugin from the symfony wiki, use as a channel name.

$ php symfony plugin-upgrade <CHANNEL_NAME>/<PLUGIN_NAME>

Upgrades a plugin.

$ php symfony plugin-upgrade-all

Upgrades all the plugins previously installed in local

$ php symfony plugin-uninstall <CHANNEL_NAME>/<PLUGIN_NAME>

Uninstalls a plugin.

Find more about plugins in Chapter 17.

Automatic completion

The symfony wiki contains user-contributed configuration files to allow automatic completion of symfony commands. Check out the one that fits your CLI: