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Where does symfony php framework hide the errors?

I kept saying this over and over and looking everywhere for answers. I finally found this page through googling tons of terms and combos until I found it. I kept thinking my errors would be in the logs I set in my Nginx configs, or even in my PHP configs. But they were continually empty, I was going insane. I seriously blew up on twitter.


I thought Symfony was simply suppressing or not passing the errors to Nginx. So the logs are located at the place in the link above from documentation and not in the location you set in the Nginx configs or PHP configs.

By default, log entries are written to the var/log/dev.log file when you’re in the dev environment. In the prod environment, logs are written to var/log/prod.log

What made this confusing was, the docs don’t have a logical link flow when you are reading them trying to learn Symfony. You later find the SymfonyCasts which are better. But what makes it  most confusing is in the docs about configuring Nginx, it even shows the following.

    error_log /var/log/nginx/project_error.log;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/project_access.log;

To me this was showing how to set the error log. This does nothing by the way, not unless nginx itself has an error I guess.

For months I’ve wondered WTF, where are my error logs. I kept putting my app in dev mode so I could debug it via the browser.

Don’t do that!!!!!

To be honest getting Symfony working with Nginx is a pain in the ballsocks. The reason is, Nginx doesn’t pass environmental variables through to php scripts like Apache does/can. If you want that kind of fancy feature you must hack nginx up and use some perl script or something similar. Otherwise with Nginx you must set the environment variables twice, once in nginx and once in shell.

Why would you do that?

Why two locations? Yeah this really angered me and blew my mind at first too. As mentioned above Nginx doesn’t have any easy way to pass the environment variables you set at the Linux server level. This is important with Symfony because you often need to run things like Doctrine on the command line.

So I was setting my Nginx Environmental variables, the app would see them just fine. I’d go to run doctrine or tests and BOOM missing environmental variables like WTF? Or I would set them in the Linux environment, view them with printenv load the app in the browser and Nginx didn’t pass the values to my script. It took a lot of googling to figure that out with lots of trial and failure. To make matters worse, you have to change the environmental variable names in order to run tests so that symfony loads them, otherwise it hides the values.

WTF is happening?

I then found out through experimenting that you had to set the variables for the command line in the Linux environment too. How to permanently set Linux environmental variablees covers how to do that. It’s easier to just Bash script or ansible the entire process with Hashicorp packer than to try to manually maintain it all, setting vars in two different places etc.

So for months I’ve been going insane trying to find my error logs. Today I found the error logs.

Problem solved


3 replies on “Where does symfony php framework hide the errors?”

> To be honest getting Symfony working with Nginx is a pain in the ballsocks. The reason is, Nginx doesn’t pass environmental variables through to php scripts like Apache does/can.

It is not about an nginx, php fpm hides env variables by default to avoid security issues.

Check `clear_env` php-fpm config option –

> clear_env bool

> Clear environment in FPM workers. Prevents arbitrary environment variables from reaching FPM worker processes by clearing the environment in workers before env vars specified in this pool configuration are added. Since PHP 5.4.27, 5.5.11, and 5.6.0. Default value: Yes.

Awesome info where did you find this? I kept googling and searching and digging and couldn’t find anything. Thanks. And the whole cli vs app getting variables or not with nginx was confusing for a long time. I read all kinds of stuff on stack etc.

It was too long ago for remember 🙂
More than 4 years ago.

Maybe I saw Nginx config with this way to configure PHP and tried to apply the same for my application.

Or googled how to configure php+nginx from docker-compose.

Or just tried to learn something new and php fpm internals.

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