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sfGuard plugin ==============

The sfGuardPlugin is a symfony plugin that provides authentication and authorization features above the standard security feature of symfony.

It gives you the model (user, group and permission objects) and the modules (backend and frontend) to secure your symfony application in a minute in a configurable plugin.


  • Install the plugin

$ symfony plugin-install

  • Rebuild your model

$ symfony propel-build-model $ symfony propel-build-sql

  • Update you database tables by starting from scratch (it will delete all the existing tables, then re-create them):

$ symfony propel-insert-sql

or you can just create the new tables by using the generated SQL statements in data/sql/plugins.sfGuardAuth.lib.model.schema.sql

  • Load default fixtures (optional - it creates a superadmin user)

$ mkdir data/fixtures/ $ cp plugins/sfGuardPlugin/data/fixtures/fixtures.yml.sample data/fixtures/sfGuard.yml

$ symfony propel-load-data frontend # replace frontend with the name of one of your application

  • Enable one or more modules in your settings.yml (optional)
  • For your backend application: sfGuardUser, sfGuardGroup, sfGuardPermission
  • For your frontend application: sfGuardAuth

[yml] all:


enabled_modules: [default, sfGuardGroup, sfGuardUser, sfGuardPermission]

  • Clear you cache

$ symfony cc

  • Optionally add the "Remember Me" filter to filters.yml above the security filter:

[yml] remember_me:

class: sfGuardRememberMeFilter

security: ~

Secure your application

To secure a symfony application:

  • Enable the module sfGuardAuth in settings.yml

[yml] all:


enabled_modules: sfGuardAuth

  • Change the default login and secure modules in settings.yml

[yml] login_module: sfGuardAuth login_action: signin

secure_module: sfGuardAuth secure_action: secure

  • Change the parent class in myUser.class.php

[php] class myUser extends sfGuardSecurityUser { }

  • Optionally add the following routing rules to routing.yml

[yml] sf_guard_signin:

url: /login param: { module: sfGuardAuth, action: signin }


url: /logout param: { module: sfGuardAuth, action: signout }


url: /request_password param: { module: sfGuardAuth, action: password }

You can customize the url parameter of each route. N.B.: You must have a @homepage routing rule (used when a user sign out)

These routes are automatically registered by the plugin if the module sfGuardAuth is enabled unless you defined sf_guard_plugin_routes_register to false in the app.yml configuration file:

[yml] all:


routes_register: false

  • Secure some modules or your entire application in security.yml

[yml] default:

is_secure: on

  • You're done. Now, if you try to access a secure page, you will be redirected to the login page. If you have loaded the default fixture file, try to login with admin as username and admin as password.

Manage your users, permissions and groups

To be able to manage your users, permissions and groups, sfGuardPlugin comes with 3 modules that can be integrated in your backend application. These modules are auto-generated thanks to the symfony admin generator.

  • Enable the modules in settings.yml

[yml] all:


enabled_modules: sfGuardGroup, sfGuardPermission, sfGuardUser

  • Access the modules with the default route:

Customize sfGuardAuth module templates

By default, sfGuardAuth module comes with 2 very simple templates:

  • signinSuccess.php
  • secureSuccess.php

If you want to customize one of these templates:

  • Create a sfGuardAuth module in your application (don't use the init-module task, just create a sfGuardAuth directory)

  • Create a template with the name of the template you want to customize in the sfGuardAuth/templates directory
  • symfony now renders your template instead of the default one

Customize sfGuardAuth module actions

If you want to customize or add methods to the sfGuardAuth:

  • Create a sfGuardAuth module in your application

  • Create an actions.class.php file in your actions directory that inherit from BasesfGuardAuthActions (don't forget to include the BasesfGuardAuthActions as it can't be autoloaded by symfony)

[php] <?php


class sfGuardAuthActions extends BasesfGuardAuthActions? {

public function executeNewAction() {

return $this->renderText('This is a new sfGuardAuth action.');



sfGuardSecurityUser class

This class inherits from the sfBasicSecurityUser class from symfony and is used for the user object in your symfony application. (because you changed the myUser base class earlier)

So, to access it, you can use the standard $this->getUser() in your actions or $sf_user in your templates.

sfGuardSecurityUser adds some methods:

  • signIn() and signOut() methods
  • getGuardUser() that returns the sfGuardUser object
  • a bunch of proxy methods to access directly the sfGuardUser object

For example, to get the current username:

[php] $this->getUser()->getGuardUser()->getUsername()

// or via the proxy method $this->getUser()->getUsername()

Super administrator flag

sfGuardPlugin has a notion of super administrator. A user that is a super administrator bypasses all credential checks.

The super administrator flag cannot be set on the web, you must set the flag directly in the database or use the pake task:

$ symfony promote-super-admin admin


sfGuardPlugin comes with a validator that you can use in your modules: sfGuardUserValidator.

This validator is used by the sfGuardAuth module to validate a user and password and automatically signin the user.

Customize the sfGuardUser model

The sfGuardUser model is quite simple. There is no email or first_name or birthday columns. As you cannot add methods to the class, the sfAuthPlugin gives you the possibility to define a user profile class.

By default, sfGuardUser looks for a sfGuardUserProfile class.

Here is a simple example of a sfGuardProfile class that you can add to schema.yml:

[yml] sf_guard_user_profile:

_attributes: { phpName: sfGuardUserProfile } id: user_id: { type: integer, foreignTable: sf_guard_user, foreignReference: id, required: true, onDelete: cascade } first_name: varchar(20) last_name: varchar(20) birthday: date

You can now access the user profile via the user object:

[php] $this->getUser()->getGuardUser()->getProfile()->getFirstName()

// or via the proxy method $this->getUser()->getProfile()->getFirstName()

The getProfile() method gets the associated user profile object or creates a new one if none already exists.

When you delete a user, the associated profile is also deleted.

You can change the name of the user profile class and the foreign key name in app.yml:

[yml] all:


profile_class: sfGuardUserProfile profile_field_name: user_id

Check the user password with an external method

If you don't want to store the password in the database because you already have a LDAP server, a .htaccess file or if you store your passwords in another table, you can provide your own checkPassword callable (static method or function) in app.yml:

[yml] all:


check_password_callable: [MyLDAPClass, checkPassword]

When symfony will call the $this->getUser()->checkPassword() method, it will call your method or function. Your function must takes 2 parameters, the first one is the username and the second one is the password. It must returns true or false. Here is a template for such a function:

[php] function checkLDAPPassword($username, $password) {

$user = LDAP::getUser($username); if ($user->checkPassword($password)) {

return true;

} else {

return false;



Change the algorithm used to store passwords

By default, passwords are stored as a sha1() hash. But you can change this with any callable in app.yml:

[yml] all:


algorithm_callable: [MyCryptoClass?, MyCryptoMethod?]


[yml] all:


algorithm_callable: md5

As the algorithm is stored for each user, you can change your mind later without the need to regenerate all passwords for the current users.

Change the name or expiration period of the "Remember Me" cookie

By default, the "Remember Me" feature creates a cookie named sfRemember that will last 15 days. You can change this behavior in app.yml:

[yml] all:


remember_key_expiration_age: 2592000 # 30 days in seconds remember_cookie_name: myAppRememberMe

Customize sfGuardAuth redirect handling

If you want to redirect the user to his profile after a success login or define a logout site.

You can change the redirect values in app.yml:

[yml] all:


success_signin_url: @my_route?param=value # the plugin use the referer as default success_signout_url: module/action # the plugin use the referer as default


  • finish the promote_super_user task
  • finish the getPassword method
  • add support for HTTP Basic authentication