Setup apache-mpm-itk for Symfony 2 development

When developing on Symfony 2 applications you must have noticed that using the cli app/console application messes up the file permissions of the cache and logs folder. Especially when your apache webserver is running as e.g. www-data (which is often the case and it is good practice too).

By using apache-mpm-itk you can tell apache to serve/create files as if it was running as that user. The apache daemon process is still owned by and running as www-data.

A common practice is to configure your apache virtual host file to use the UserId of your user. That way, all files generated in the app/cache directory will always be owned by the same user. Then you do not have to worry about setting umasks or applying world read/write permissions.

Install apache-mpm-itk

If you already have apache installed - do not worry - the following will replace your current apache installation without overwriting your configuration files.

# Update your package list
$ sudo apt-get update

# Install apache-mpm-itk and restart it
$ sudo apt-get install apache-mpm-itk
$ sudo service apache2 restart

Configure apache

Edit the virtual host file of your application:

$ vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/your-vhost.conf

And include the following configuration (replace username and groupname with your unix username and groupname):

<IfModule mpm_itk_module>
  AssignUserId username groupname

Save the file and restart apache

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Make sure you fix your application files permissions and ownership:

$ cd /to/your/apps/folder
$ chown -R user:group .
$ chmod 755 app/cache app/log
$ rm -rf app/cache/*
$ php app/console cache:clear --env=dev