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How to set up cronjobs for Symfony

About Symfony

Symfony is one of the most popular PHP frameworks. It also provides multiple components used by other frameworks like Laravel.

Running Symfony cronjobs, the old way

Unlike Laravel, Symfony doesn’t have a recommended way to run cronjobs.

Usually, you create a command using the make bundle:

Terminal window
php bin/console make:command

For example, to create the command app:cleanup which will do the daily cleanup tasks, make will generate the file CleanupCommand. You can then update the file to do your tasks like this:

namespace App\Command;
use App\Action\Backend\Cleanup;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Attribute\AsCommand;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Command\Command;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputArgument;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputOption;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Output\OutputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Style\SymfonyStyle;
name: 'app:cleanup',
description: 'Run daily cleanup',
class CleanupCommand extends Command
public function __construct(Cleanup $cleanup)
protected function execute(InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output): int
$io = new SymfonyStyle($input, $output);
$io->success('Command executed!');
return Command::SUCCESS;

To run it once a day, at 5:30, you need to set up a cronjob on your server like this:

Terminal window
30 5 * * * cd /home/ && php bin/console app:cleanup

Everything is okay, until it’s not:

  • Some error occurs, and it fails silently.
  • You need to change the time pattern, and you forgot the crontab syntax (minute hour day month weekday by the way).
  • You need the script output from last Thursday, and there’s no way to retrieve it.
  • You need to test-run it. Now log in to your server and work your magic.
  • You changed the server, and you forgot to add the cronjob.

Some say cronjobs are not to be trusted, let’s add a cronjob monitoring service. Great, now you have 2 places to add the cron tab expressions. Every time you update your cronjobs, you’ll need to do it twice!

The better way to run Symfony cronjobs

A much simpler way to run cronjob is via the web.

Just create a route e.g. /cron/cleanup like this:

namespace App\Controller;
use App\Action\Backend\Cleanup;
use Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Controller\AbstractController;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
class CronController extends AbstractController
public function cleanup(Cleanup $cleanup, Request $request): Response
if($request->get('key') !== 'SUPER_SECRET') {
return new Response('Hello there!');
$contents = ob_get_clean();
return new Response($contents, headers: ['Content-Type' => 'text/plain']);

Now you can visit the cronjob URL

with your browser to test your script.

If you still want to go with crontab, you can add it like this:

Terminal window
30 5 * * * curl

However, I’d recommend you to use a web cron like FastCron that offers:

  • Full cron logs including starting time, total time, script output, etc.
  • Email notifications when your cronjob fails or backs up again.
  • A nice simple interface for you and your team.
  • and many more features.

Give it a try now, it’s free!