How to Run Symfony Hello World on App Engine

You can use Symfony with PHP on Google App Engine to develop your web apps. Getting to Hello World with Symfony on App Engine takes just a few minutes. We've provided modified source code for Symfony on GitHub. You can download the code and deploy it to App Engine by following the steps in this tutorial.

Google App Engine's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) features let you easily run on Google's infrastructure, so your app can automatically scale to serve millions of users, while keeping your costs under control.



Deploying Hello World with Symfony on App Engine

To deploy Symfony to App Engine, follow these steps.

Get the source code

  1. Download the modified source code from GitHub. In a terminal window, enter the following command:

    composer create-project google/appengine-symfony-starter-project
  2. Change the current directory.

    cd appengine-symfony-starter-project

Modify the app configuration

  1. Edit app.yaml and replace YOUR_GCS_BUCKET_NAME with the bucket name you created above.
  2. Edit php.ini and replace YOUR_GCS_BUCKET_NAME with the bucket name you created above.

Run the app on your local computer

To run the app locally, use Google App Engine Launcher. Follow these steps.

  1. Run GoogleAppEngineLauncher. This application was installed with the App Engine SDK.

  2. Select File > Add Existing Application.

  3. Set "Application ID" to appengine-symfony-starter-project.

  4. Set "Application Directory" to the parent directory of your project.

  5. Verify "Runtime" is set to PHP.

  6. Select Create. You should see the app in the list, now. Note the Port.

  7. To start the local web server, select Run.

  8. After the instance starts, select Browse. This will open a default browser window to http://localhost:[PORT], where [PORT] is the port number of your instance, usually 8080.

When the page loads, you will see a simple text message that says Homepage., which is Symfony's "hello world" text.

Deploy the app to the cloud

  1. To deploy the code to App Engine, enter the following command:

    gcloud app deploy
  2. When the deployment finishes, your app will be serving traffic at http://[YOUR_PROJECT_ID]

    You can run the following command to open your browser to your app's URL:

    gcloud app browse

    It can take some time for the app to load for the first time, while the Google Cloud Platform Console generates cache files in Cloud Storage. When the page loads, you will see the message: Homepage.

Redeploying the app

When you redeploy your Symfony app, you may need to clear the cache afterwards. The app includes a handler that enables you to clear the cache by browsing to the following URL:


App Engine prompts you for your administrator credentials.

Configuring the App Engine application

App Engine applications require a configuration file, named app.yaml, to configure the app. The Symfony project adds this file to the code from the original branch. In the handlers section of the file, you can see the URL routing handlers for the app. For example, you'll find the handler for the clear_cache command there. The handler for clearing the cache looks like this:

# a script to clear our cache
- url: /clear_cache
  script: web/clear_cache.php
  login: admin

The url setting defines the URL that is being handled. The value for script points to the file that contains the scripting code to run when the URL is requested; in this case, it is clear_cache.php.

Specifying the database

App Engine provides Google Cloud SQL as a managed, relational MySQL database. CloudSQL can be used with Doctrine the same as any other MySQL database in app/config/config_prod.yml.

Overriding directories to use Cloud Storage

App Engine doesn't provide access to a file system, like the one you might use on a local computer or a server. The Symfony app uses Google Cloud Storage in place of a local file system.

Cloud Storage organizes data storage into buckets, and each App Engine application has a default bucket. In the env_variables section of app.yaml, the declarations for CACHE_DIR and LOG_DIR specify the paths where cached data and logs are stored.


The gs:// protocol signifies that the URI for the location is pointing to a Cloud Storage bucket, and #default# is replaced by the default bucket name, at run time. You can change the paths of these environment variables to point to specific Cloud Storage buckets, if you prefer. For more information about the default bucket, see Setup, in the App Engine documentation.

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