I've got a pretty important new challenge. We're going to be rendering a lot of markdown... and we don't want to do this on every request - it's just too slow. We really need a way to cache the parsed markdown.

Hmm, so caching is yet another tool that we need. If we had a service that was really good at caching a string and letting us fetch it out later, that would be perfect! Fortunately, Symfony comes with a bundle called DoctrineCacheBundle that can give us exactly this.

Enabling DoctrineCacheBundle

First, double-check that you have the bundle in your composer.json file:

65 lines composer.json
... lines 2 - 17
"require": {
... lines 19 - 22
"doctrine/doctrine-cache-bundle": "^1.2",
... lines 24 - 62

If for some reason you don't, use Composer to download it.

The bundle lives in the vendor/ directory, but it isn't enabled. Do that in the AppKernel class with new DoctrineCacheBundle():

55 lines app/AppKernel.php
... lines 1 - 5
class AppKernel extends Kernel
public function registerBundles()
$bundles = array(
... lines 11 - 19
new Doctrine\Bundle\DoctrineCacheBundle\DoctrineCacheBundle(),
... lines 21 - 22
... lines 24 - 32
... lines 34 - 53

That added a use statement on top of the class... which is great - but I'll move it down to be consistent with everything else. Awesome!

Once you've enabled a bundle, there are usually two more steps: configure it, then use it. And of course, this has its own documentation that'll explain all of this. But guys, we're already getting really good at Symfony. I bet we can figure out how to use it entirely on our own.

1) Configure the Bundle

First, we need to configure the bundle. To see what keys it has, find the terminal and run:

./bin/console config:dump-reference

The list has a new entry: doctrine_cache. Re-run the command with this:

./bin/console config:dump-reference doctrine_cache

Nice! There's our huge configuration example! Ok, ok: I don't expect you to just look at this and instantly know how to use the bundle. You really should read its documentation. But before long, you really will be able to configure new bundles really quickly - and maybe without needing their docs.

Configuring a Cache Service

Now, remember the goal: to get a cache service we can use to avoid processing markdown on each request. When we added KnpMarkdownBundle, we magically had a new service. But with this bundle, we need to configure each service we want.

Open up config.yml and add doctrine_cache. Below that, add a providers key:

77 lines app/config/config.yml
... lines 1 - 72
... lines 75 - 77

Next, the config dump has a name key. This Prototype comment above that is a confusing term that means that we can call this name anything we want. Let's make it my_markdown_cache:

77 lines app/config/config.yml
... lines 1 - 72
... lines 76 - 77

You'll see how that's important in a second.

Finally, tell Doctrine what type of cache this is by setting type to file_system:

77 lines app/config/config.yml
... lines 1 - 72
type: file_system

This is just one of the built-in types this bundle offers: its docs would tell you the others.

And that's it! In the terminal run ./bin/console debug:container and search for markdown_cache:

./bin/console debug:container markdown_cache

Et voila! We have a new service called doctrine_cache.providers.my_markdown_cache. That's the whole point of this bundle: we describe a cache system we want, and it configures a service for that. Now we're dangerous.

Leave a comment!

  • 2017-03-23 Victor Bocharsky

    Hey Rodrigo,

    Ah, that's on purpose - you have to clear the prod cache when you want to apply some changes in HTML layout. Actually, this way Symfony increase its performance what is important on production. So after each deploy, you have to clear the prod cache in console: "$ bin/console cache:clear -e prod" - if you have SSH access on your shared hosting, or just remove "var/cache/prod" directory manually - it should work as well. Symfony regenerate cache only for dev environment, which is very convenience for development - you don't have to clear the dev cache by itself. Btw, take a look at How to Deploy a Symfony Application in Symfony docs.


  • 2017-03-22 Rodrigo Salto

    I am working with a shared hosting, they dont have any cache, if i delete all the files at "var/cache/prod" i see the new updated html, if after that i update the html and make a new visit to the same page with out clearing the cache i got the oldest one.

  • 2017-03-22 Victor Bocharsky

    Hm, it's weird. Do you use shared hosting? Probably your hosting has some caching feature out-of-the-box, so you have to disable it first. Do you mean if you manually remove the "var/cache/prod/" on production - you still won't see the new updated (latest) HTML markup for example?


  • 2017-03-21 Rodrigo Salto

    I dont really know where or what, i didnt set any cache at all, but in a production environment all my pages are working with cache, i did clear de cache and validate that the directory is empty, but after some random visits de cache directory has some new files and the content of my pages dosent have the latest information.

  • 2017-03-20 Victor Bocharsky

    Hey Rodrigo,

    Are you talking about Symfony HTTP cache here? Actually, Symfony do not make any automatic caching at all. All caching layers you have to add by yourself manually. So just do not add caching on specific route you won't to be cached and that's it. Or am I misunderstand you?


  • 2017-03-17 Rodrigo Salto

    Symfony makes automatic caching with the hole pages, what if i want to disable it for an specific route?? is there any way to make that?

  • 2017-01-28 weaverryan

    Hey Michael!

    Yes, you *can* rely on the bundle names like this! Internally, when you pass DoctrineCacheBundle, Symfony looks for a Configuration file in that bundle, which provides the config information. And if you pass the config key instead - doctrine_cache - Symfony determines which bundle that config key is attached to (DoctrineCacheBundle) and then performs the same lookup for the Configuration file. So yes, passing the bundle name always works.

    Btw, if you're curious, here is the file Symfony looks for to load the configuration tree:


  • 2017-01-27 Michael Stratford

    When you said "I bet we can figure out how to use this bundle on our own", I paused the video and went to the terminal to output the bundle reference and used config:dump-reference DoctrineCacheBundle, and it printed out the reference. Firstly, I love that I didn't have to search for the reference name and was able to use the bundle name instead as it saved a step. My question is -- is that by design? Can rely on bundle names to get me a proper reference dump?