How to Install Symfony 5 Framework on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Apache2

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Symfony 5 Framework on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Apache2 HTTP server.

For the uninitiated, Symfony is a free, open-source, reusable PHP components and framework that help speed up the creation and maintenance of your PHP web and API applications.

If you are looking for a solution to develop and maintain your PHP application with ease and don’t want to fiddle with repetitive coding tasks, then Symfony is a great place to start. It comes with support for more than 50 stand-alone components available for your own applications.

This PHP framework is designed for ease of use to allow webmasters to collaborate and automate engaging experiences with users across multiple devices, including mobile.

For more about Symfony, please check their Homepage

To get started with installing Symfony framework, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Symfony framework works a web server and Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open source web server available today. To install and use Apache2 with Symfony, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Now that Apache2 is installed. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below.

Apache2 Test Page

If you see the page above, then Apache2 is successfully installed.

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Symfony is a PHP based framework and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-soap php7.2-ldap php7.2-gd php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default configuration file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

The lines below is a good settings for most PHP based CMS. Update the configuration file with these and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Everytime you make changes to PHP configuration file, you should also restart Apache2 web server. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Apache2 default root directory. ( /var/www/html/)

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Step 3: Download Symfony Latest Release

To get Symfony latest release you may want to use Composer. Composer allows you to download and manage packages and their dependencies easily.

To install Composer on Ubuntu, run the commands below:

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

After installing Composer above, change Apache2 home directory and download Symfony packages into a new project folder called symfony5.

cd /var/www/
sudo composer create-project symfony/skeleton symfony5

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Symfony root directory and give Apache2 control.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/symfony5/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/symfony5/

Step 4: Configure Apache2

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for Symfony. This file will control how users access Symfony content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called symfony.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/symfony.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/symfony5/public

     <Directory /var/www/symfony5/public/>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Save the file and exit.

Step 5: Enable the Symfony

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite symfony.conf
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name or server IP address of the host. You should then see Symfony 5 homepage.
Symfony Ubuntu Install

Symfony 5 framework application is now ready and you can start working on it.


This post shows you how to install Symfony 5 framework on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report it.

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  1. hello, i have a problem would you help me please?
    Content-Length mismatch, received 640535 bytes out of the expected 1912309
    thank you

  2. Dustin Dinsmore

    All my steps went well, but it keeps displaying Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page?

    1. I managed to display the symfony page by editing the 000-default.conf from apache.

      I changed the line:
      DocumentRoot /var/www/symfony5/public

      Also I added the block:

      Options FollowSymlinks
      AllowOverride All
      Require all granted

      I don’t know if this has any negativ effects.

  3. Hello, very good tutorial which was very useful to me since I am new to symfony. I just wanted to add that I had some problems accessing my web page from my web browser on windows. I am using windows 10 and I installed symphony on a virtual machine with the operating system Ubuntu 18 server. however I was able to solve the problem by editing the etc / hosts file under windows. Otherwise the tutorial is good.

    Thank you so much !

    1. Nice point.

  4. Thanks,

    I would like the same for Ubuntu 20.04
    php 7.4.10

    I’ve installed XAMPP and it works fine but I would like to continue with Symfony 5

  5. Great achievement, I really appreciate.

  6. Hello! This is one of the best tutorials for this theme i’ ve seen, because everything else i try – simply doesnt work. But in the last step here i have again some trouble – when i try to open, it opens page with text Example Domain in a gray square in middle of screen. Not the symfony page that you have in picture in the ending. What to do?

  7. Nice tutorial and very easy to follow. I installed Symfony on my Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and it works perfectly.
    As I have to use Symfony and Doctrine with PostgreSQL, I had to add the command below in order to enable the PHP module for the database:

    $ sudo apt install php7.2-pgsql

  8. very nice tuto. All working fine.
    Just added into /etc/hosts

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