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

Romaric Paul
Mar 16, 2018 · 6 min read

If you want to start a new project with Symfony 4 and Docker, this post is for you ! #OhYeah !

You can get this template directly here :

git clone

or follow this tutorial. :)

First : Init your Docker

You have to install Docker on your local desktop.

  • Go to your project directory and create the `docker-compose.yml` file :
mkdir /your/path/project
cd /your/path/project
vim docker-compose.yml

and copy this inside :

version: '3'
build: .docker/apache
container_name: sf4_apache
- 80:80
- .docker/config/vhosts:/etc/apache2/sites-enabled
- .:/home/wwwroot/sf4
- php

image: mysql:8
container_name: sf4_mysql
- .docker/data/db:/var/lib/mysql
- "--default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password"
- "--lower_case_table_names=1"

build: .docker/php
container_name: sf4_php
- .:/home/wwwroot/sf4
- maildev_host=sf4_maildev
- maildev
- mysql

image: phpmyadmin/phpmyadmin
container_name: sf4_phpmyadmin
PMA_HOST: mysql
PMA_PORT: 3306
- 8080:80
- mysql

image: djfarrelly/maildev
container_name: sf4_maildev
- 8001:80

The `docker-compose.yml` is where we have to list all containers than we need. After that we have to configure each container which use build property ;image property mean Docker will get automatically from

  • Create the docker directories to configure each container
mkdir -p .docker/apache
mkdir -p .docker/php
mkdir -p .docker/config/vhosts

Second : Setting apache2 with docker

Create the DockerFile

vim .docker/apache/Dockerfile

and copy this inside :

FROM debian:stretch

ENV HTTPD_PREFIX /usr/local/apache2
RUN mkdir -p "$HTTPD_PREFIX" \
&& chown www-data:www-data "$HTTPD_PREFIX"

RUN apt-get update \
&& apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends \
apache2 curl \
&& rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/*
a2enmod proxy_fcgi ssl rewrite proxy proxy_balancer proxy_http proxy_ajp
RUN sed -i '/Global configuration/a \
ServerName localhost \
' /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
EXPOSE 80 443
RUN rm -f /run/apache2/
CMD apachectl -DFOREGROUND -e info

Create the `httpd.conf` file

vim .docker/config/vhosts/sf4.conf

and copy this inside :

<VirtualHost *:80>

Define server_name sf4.local
Define basedocroot /home/wwwroot/sf4
Define docrootweb ${basedocroot}/public
Define logdir /var/log/apache2/

<FilesMatch .php$>
SetHandler "proxy:fcgi://sf4_php:9000"

ServerName ${server_name}
DocumentRoot ${docrootweb}
ErrorLog ${logdir}/error.log
CustomLog ${logdir}/access.log Combined

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} ^(.*)
RewriteRule .* - [e=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%1]

<Directory ${docrootweb}>
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

<Directory ${basedocroot}/var>
<IfModule mod_authz_core.c>
Require all denied
<IfModule !mod_authz_core.c>
Order deny,allow
Deny from all

<Directory ${docrootweb}>
DirectoryIndex ${docrootweb}/index.php
<IfModule mod_negotiation.c>
Options -MultiViews

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI}::$1 ^(/.+)/(.*)::\2$
RewriteRule ^(.*) - [E=BASE:%1]

RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} .
RewriteRule ^ - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]

RewriteRule ^index\.php(?:/(.*)|$) %{ENV:BASE}/$1 [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f
RewriteRule ^ - [L]

RewriteRule ^ %{ENV:BASE}/index.php [L]

<IfModule !mod_rewrite.c>
<IfModule mod_alias.c>
RedirectMatch 302 ^/$ /index.php/

Undefine server_name
Undefine basedocroot
Undefine docrootweb
Undefine logdir

Third : Set up php7.2.3 with docker

Create the Dockerfile

vim .docker/php/Dockerfile

and copy this inside :

FROM php:7.2.3-fpm

apt-get update \
&& apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends vim curl debconf subversion git apt-transport-https apt-utils \
build-essential locales acl mailutils wget zip unzip \
gnupg gnupg1 gnupg2
RUN docker-php-ext-install pdo pdo_mysqlCOPY php.ini /etc/php/7.2.3/php.ini
COPY php-fpm-pool.conf /etc/php/7.2.3/pool.d/www.conf

RUN curl -sSk | php -- --disable-tls && \
mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

RUN groupadd dev -g 999
RUN useradd dev -g dev -d /home/dev -m

RUN rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
echo "en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8" > /etc/locale.gen && \
echo "fr_FR.UTF-8 UTF-8" >> /etc/locale.gen && \

WORKDIR /home/wwwroot/

CMD ["php-fpm"]

Create the php.ini

vim .docker/php/php.ini

and copy the official content of a php.ini of PHP7.2.3 :

Create the php-fpm-pool.conf

vim .docker/php/php-fpm-pool.conf

and copy this inside :

; Start a new pool named 'www'.
; the variable $pool can we used in any directive and will be replaced by the
; pool name ('www' here)

; Unix user/group of processes
user = www-data
group = www-data

; The address on which to accept FastCGI requests.
listen =

; Set listen(2) backlog.
listen.backlog = 1023

; Choose how the process manager will control the number of child processes.
pm = dynamic

; The number of child processes to be created when pm is set to 'static' and the
pm.max_children = 8

; The number of child processes created on startup.
; Note: Used only when pm is set to 'dynamic'
; Default Value: min_spare_servers + (max_spare_servers - min_spare_servers) / 2
pm.start_servers = 2

; The desired minimum number of idle server processes.
; Note: Used only when pm is set to 'dynamic'
; Note: Mandatory when pm is set to 'dynamic'
pm.min_spare_servers = 1

; The desired maximum number of idle server processes.
; Note: Used only when pm is set to 'dynamic'
; Note: Mandatory when pm is set to 'dynamic'
pm.max_spare_servers = 3

pm.status_path = /php-fpm-status
ping.path = /php-fpm-ping

; The timeout for serving a single request after which the worker process will be killed.
request_terminate_timeout = 5m

; Chdir to this directory at the start.
; Note: relative path can be used.
; Default Value: current directory or / when chroot
chdir = /

; Redirect worker stdout and stderr into main error log. If not set, stdout and
; stderr will be redirected to /dev/null according to FastCGI specs.
; Note: on highloaded environement, this can cause some delay in the page
; process time (several ms).
; Default Value: no
catch_workers_output = yes

One last thing !

Create the `.gitignore` file

vim .gitignore

and copy this inside :

###> docker ###
###< docker ###

So normaly you have something like that :

You can also download this part directly here :

Fourth : Let’s start Docker !

docker-compose build

At this moment, Docker will execute all configurations that we set up. When it’s done, you can launch your containers !

docker-compose up -d

Fourth bis : How Docker work ?

I will not explain how Docker because this is not the subject, but for keep going this post you have to understand two things :

  • Each container is one linux distribution with one component
  • Each container have one root access by default

So when you execute this :

docker exec -it -u sf4_mysql bash

You are right now in the mysql container as root user. You can explorer this container as you want ;)

Fifth : Symfony 4 here we are !

Now we know how use Docker, so let’s go to the PHP one and not as root, but as user : dev

docker exec -it -u dev sf4_php bash

Now you are inside the php container with dev user and we have to get Symfony. Just to test, launch a php -v in this container. ;)

So let’s go to your home :

cd /home/wwwroot/sf4

Installation of Symfony4 with composer

composer create-project symfony/skeleton my-temp-folder

When it’s done, we will get the project to the root path.

cp -Rf /home/wwwroot/sf4/my-temp-folder/. .
rm -Rf /home/wwwroot/sf4/my-temp-folder

Launch in your browser : localhost

Congratulation !! You can now easily start your new Symfony project. If you look inside the docker-compose.yml file you can see all acces as you need, for example the mysql access :


Enjoy ! ;)


Romaric Paul

Written by

Developer Web and mainly Symfony framework addict —

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