How to Install Symfony 5 on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Nginx

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

Our previous tutorial showed you how to install Symfony 5 framework on Ubuntu with Apache2. This one shows you how to run it with Nginx instead.

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 Nginx HTTP Server

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

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

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

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

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

nginx default home page test

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

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

Symfony is a PHP based framework and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To run PHP 7.2-FPM 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-FPM

sudo apt update

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

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm 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-FPM, run the commands below to open PHP default configuration file for Nginx.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/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
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
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 Nginx web server. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

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 Nginx 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 Nginx control.

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

Step 4: Configure Nginx

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.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/symfony

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.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;

    root   /var/www/symfony5/public;
    index  index.php;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/;

    client_max_body_size 100M;
    autoindex off;

    location / {
    try_files $uri /index.php$is_args$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         include fastcgi_params;
         fastcgi_intercept_errors on;

Save the file and exit.

Step 5: Enable the Symfony

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/symfony /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.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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