Bundle Structure and Best Practices

A bundle is a directory that has a well-defined structure and can host anything from classes to controllers and web resources. Even if bundles are very flexible, you should follow some best practices if you want to distribute them.

Bundle Name

A bundle is also a PHP namespace. The namespace must follow the technical interoperability standards for PHP 5.3 namespaces and class names: it starts with a vendor segment, followed by zero or more category segments, and it ends with the namespace short name, which must end with a Bundle suffix.

A namespace becomes a bundle as soon as you add a bundle class to it. The bundle class name must follow these simple rules:

  • Use only alphanumeric characters and underscores;
  • Use a CamelCased name;
  • Use a descriptive and short name (no more than 2 words);
  • Prefix the name with the concatenation of the vendor (and optionally the category namespaces);
  • Suffix the name with Bundle.

Here are some valid bundle namespaces and class names:

Namespace Bundle Class Name
Acme\Bundle\BlogBundle AcmeBlogBundle
Acme\Bundle\Social\BlogBundle AcmeSocialBlogBundle
Acme\BlogBundle AcmeBlogBundle

By convention, the getName() method of the bundle class should return the class name.


If you share your bundle publicly, you must use the bundle class name as the name of the repository (AcmeBlogBundle and not BlogBundle for instance).


Symfony2 core Bundles do not prefix the Bundle class with Symfony and always add a Bundle subnamespace; for example: Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\FrameworkBundle.

Each bundle has an alias, which is the lower-cased short version of the bundle name using underscores (acme_hello for AcmeHelloBundle, or acme_social_blog for Acme\Social\BlogBundle for instance). This alias is used to enforce uniqueness within a bundle (see below for some usage examples).

Directory Structure

The basic directory structure of a HelloBundle bundle must read as follows:


The XXX directory(ies) reflects the namespace structure of the bundle.

The following files are mandatory:

  • HelloBundle.php;
  • Resources/meta/LICENSE: The full license for the code;
  • Resources/doc/index.rst: The root file for the Bundle documentation.


These conventions ensure that automated tools can rely on this default structure to work.

The depth of sub-directories should be kept to the minimal for most used classes and files (2 levels at a maximum). More levels can be defined for non-strategic, less-used files.

The bundle directory is read-only. If you need to write temporary files, store them under the cache/ or log/ directory of the host application. Tools can generate files in the bundle directory structure, but only if the generated files are going to be part of the repository.

The following classes and files have specific emplacements:

Type Directory
Commands Command/
Controllers Controller/
Service Container Extensions DependencyInjection/
Event Listeners EventListener/
Configuration Resources/config/
Web Resources Resources/public/
Translation files Resources/translations/
Templates Resources/views/
Unit and Functional Tests Tests/


The bundle directory structure is used as the namespace hierarchy. For instance, a HelloController controller is stored in Bundle/HelloBundle/Controller/HelloController.php and the fully qualified class name is Bundle\HelloBundle\Controller\HelloController.

All classes and files must follow the Symfony2 coding standards.

Some classes should be seen as facades and should be as short as possible, like Commands, Helpers, Listeners, and Controllers.

Classes that connect to the Event Dispatcher should be suffixed with Listener.

Exceptions classes should be stored in an Exception sub-namespace.


A bundle must not embed third-party PHP libraries. It should rely on the standard Symfony2 autoloading instead.

A bundle should not embed third-party libraries written in JavaScript, CSS, or any other language.


A bundle should come with a test suite written with PHPUnit and stored under the Tests/ directory. Tests should follow the following principles:

  • The test suite must be executable with a simple phpunit command run from a sample application;
  • The functional tests should only be used to test the response output and some profiling information if you have some;
  • The code coverage should at least covers 95% of the code base.


A test suite must not contain AllTests.php scripts, but must rely on the existence of a phpunit.xml.dist file.


All classes and functions must come with full PHPDoc.

Extensive documentation should also be provided in the reStructuredText format, under the Resources/doc/ directory; the Resources/doc/index.rst file is the only mandatory file and must be the entry point for the documentation.


As a best practice, controllers in a bundle that’s meant to be distributed to others must not extend the Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Controller\Controller base class. They can implement Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\ContainerAwareInterface or extend Symfony\Component\DependencyInjection\ContainerAware instead.


If you have a look at Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Controller\Controller methods, you will see that they are only nice shortcuts to ease the learning curve.


If the bundle provides routes, they must be prefixed with the bundle alias. For an AcmeBlogBundle for instance, all routes must be prefixed with acme_blog_.


If a bundle provides templates, they must use Twig. A bundle must not provide a main layout, except if it provides a full working application.

Translation Files

If a bundle provides message translations, they must be defined in the XLIFF format; the domain should be named after the bundle name (bundle.hello).

A bundle must not override existing messages from another bundle.


To provide more flexibility, a bundle can provide configurable settings by using the Symfony2 built-in mechanisms.

For simple configuration settings, rely on the default parameters entry of the Symfony2 configuration. Symfony2 parameters are simple key/value pairs; a value being any valid PHP value. Each parameter name should start with the bundle alias, though this is just a best-practice suggestion. The rest of the parameter name will use a period (.) to separate different parts (e.g. acme_hello.email.from).

The end user can provide values in any configuration file:

  • YAML
    # app/config/config.yml
        acme_hello.email.from: fabien@example.com
  • XML
    <!-- app/config/config.xml -->
        <parameter key="acme_hello.email.from">fabien@example.com</parameter>
  • PHP
    // app/config/config.php
    $container->setParameter('acme_hello.email.from', 'fabien@example.com');
  • INI
    acme_hello.email.from = fabien@example.com

Retrieve the configuration parameters in your code from the container:


Even if this mechanism is simple enough, you are highly encouraged to use the semantic configuration described in the cookbook.


If you are defining services, they should also be prefixed with the bundle alias.