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The Sandbox

If your goal is to give symfony a try for a few hours, keep reading this chapter as we will show you the fastest way to get you started. If you want to bootstrap a real world project, you can safely skip this chapter, and jump to the next one right away.

The fastest way to experiment with symfony is to install the symfony sandbox. The sandbox is a dead-easy-to-install pre-packaged symfony project, already configured with some sensible defaults. It is a great way to practice using symfony without the hassle of a proper installation that respects the web best practices.


As the sandbox is pre-configured to use SQLite as a database engine, you need to check that your PHP supports SQLite (see the Prerequisites chapter). You can also read the Configuring the Database section to learn how to change the database used by the sandbox.

You can download the symfony sandbox in .tgz or .zip format from the symfony installation page or at the following URLs:



Un-archive the files somewhere under your web root directory, and you are done. Your symfony project is now accessible by requesting the web/index.php script from a browser.


Having all the symfony files under the web root directory is fine for testing symfony on your local computer, but is a really bad idea for a production server as it potentially makes all the internals of your application visible to end users.

You can now finish your installation by reading the Web Server Configuration and the Environments chapters.


As a sandbox is just a normal symfony project where some tasks have been executed for you and some configuration changed, it is quite easy to use it as a starting point for a new project. However, keep in mind that you will probably need to adapt the configuration; for instance changing the security related settings (see the configuration of XSS and CSRF later in this tutorial).