The perfect kit starter for a Symfony 4 project with Docker and PHP 7.2

This blog post is an introduction to devs who want to start using Docker with Symfony4. It will guide you through creating a Symfony 4 project running on Docker.

Before we start, you’ll need to install Docker CE, Docker Machine, Docker Compose in your machine.

Install the latest Docker CE here.

Install the latest Docker Machine here.

Install the latest Docker Compose here.

However, if you’re lazy like me, just use this command to make sure it’s installed.

docker --version

Docker version 18.09.3, build 774a1f4
docker-machine --version

docker-machine version 0.16.0, build 702c267f
docker-compose --version

docker-compose version 1.23.2, build 1110ad01

Once all of that is out of the way, we can start with the Symfony 4 project and the Docker environment that will run it.

I’m creating a SF4 project from scratch and I want to set up a development environment with Docker.

Step 1: Clone the docker-symfony repository which has the docker configuration files.

git clone

Cloning into 'docker-symfony'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 180, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (180/180), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (124/124), done.
remote: Total 180 (delta 85), reused 138 (delta 47), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (180/180), 34.12 KiB | 6.82 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (85/85), done.

Step 2: Create the Symfony project skeleton.

First off, let’s start docker containers with the project we just downloaded.

# cd to the location where you cloned the project
cd docker-symfony/

# create and start container

This command starts the containers.

Docker should start building (if it’s the first time for these images) and running with the containers in the background.

We will need to create the Symfony project inside the php image bash.

docker-compose exec php bash

Once in there, we’re in a PHP7 image, so we should be able to create the skeleton for the Symfony project.

# inside php bash
composer create-project symfony/skeleton symfony

Step 3: Move the contents of the skeleton into the root of the project.

Unless you want to change the config of the working directory inside the docker-composer.yml, we need the Symfony project to be in the root folder.

#inside php bash
mv symfony/* .
mv symfony/.env .
mv symfony/.gitignore .
mv symfony/var/* /var/

Now we can delete the empty folder we used for creating the skeleton

#inside php bash
rm -rf symfony/

Prepare a symlink for the file index.php inside the php container.

# inside php bash
cd public/
ln -s index.php app.php

Step 4: Require the components.

We can require whatever components we need.

# inside php bash
composer require annotations
composer require --dev profiler
composer require twig
composer require orm
composer require form
composer require form validator
composer require maker-bundle

These are just a few, feel free to add the ones you want.

Step 5: Creating some sample code in Symfony 4 project.

Now lets create a controller to test a sample route to make sure everything works.

# inside php bash
bin/console make:controller Prado

Now, open a new google chrome tab and type the following URL.
We should now see our new controller action rendering a response.

Finally, to sync the database, you need to update the .env file with the variables we set on the mysql image.

.env file that has been generated when requiring the orm package in Symfony 4.

DATABASE_URL=mysql://db_user:[email protected]:3306/db_name

So if you check the .env file, you’ll see the credentials under the MySQL configuration. So change the file to


Finally, let’s restart the containers