Gittu's Blog

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Dynamic Symfony Project Configuration in Nginx

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When we start a new symfony/laravel/{enter random framework here} project there are two tasks we need to do first. Create a new vhost, and add new entry in /etc/hosts. Today i'm trying to implement a little nginx trick to eliminate the first task.


I'm not sure dynamic is the right word in the title, But i can't find a more suitable word. I'll create a generic nginx vhost/config that'll serve all symfony project.

Create a new file in nginx config directory, Ex: /etc/nginx/conf.d/symfony.conf

Put the following config in it. Be sure to reload/restart nginx afterwards.

server {

    listen       80;

    server_name ~^(?<project_name>[^\.]*)\.(?<env>prod|dev)$;

    set $app "app.php";

    if ($env = "dev" ) {
        set $app "app_dev.php";

    root /Users/sarim/Sites/php55/$project_name/web;

    index $app index.html index.htm;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /$app?$args;

    location ~ ^/(app|app_dev|config)\.php(/|$) {
        fastcgi_pass   unix:/usr/local/var/run/php55.sock;
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include        fastcgi_params;

Put your php-fpm address in fastcgi_pass. You'll also need to edit the /Users/sarim/Sites/php55 part. Thats where i put my php framework projects. Now lets assume you have a project named matrix in that folder. Now go ahead and add following lines into /etc/hosts

Now open and in your browser. You should see the matrix project in dev and prod mode. Try any other project in that folder. It'll work [smile]

So whats happening here ? the magic is in the server_name line. A little bit of regex that matches anything but dot, goes into project_name variable. And prod or dev after the dot, goes env variable. After that we set app variable to app.php assuming our environment is prod. But if env == dev, it sets to app_dev.php. This app variable is used later to set which front controller we send user request to.

PS: You can further automate the process by installing a intelligent DNS server and configure it to send .*dev|prod requests to

Happy Coding.