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Symfony2 Extension

Symfony2 is a PHP Web Development Framework. This extension provides integration with it.

Symfony2Extension provides:

  • Complete integration into Symfony2 bundle structure - you can define an isolated bundle suite by bundle name
  • KernelAwareContext, which provides an initialized and booted kernel instance for your contexts
  • Additional symfony2 session for Mink (if MinkExtension is used)


This extension requires:

  • Behat 3.0+

The recommended installation method is through Composer:

$ composer require --dev behat/symfony2-extension

You can then activate the extension in your behat.yml:

    # ...
        Behat\Symfony2Extension: ~

The last (optional) step is to register a suite for your bundle:

            type: symfony_bundle
            bundle: AppBundle


Most of the examples in this document show behat being run via vendor/bin/behat, which is the default location when installing it through Composer.


After installing the extension, there are 3 usage options available:

  1. Implement Context as usual and inject services to the Context's constructor configuration (see below)
  2. If you're using PHP 5.4+, you can simply use the Behat\Symfony2Extension\Context\KernelDictionary trait inside your FeatureContext or any of its subcontexts. This trait will provide the getKernel() and getContainer() methods for you.
  3. Implementing Behat\Symfony2Extension\Context\KernelAwareContext with your context or its subcontexts. This will give you more customization options. Also, you can use this mechanism on multiple contexts avoiding the need to call parent contexts from subcontexts when the only thing you need is a kernel instance.

There's a common thing between options 2 and 3. In each of those, the target context will implement the setKernel(KernelInterface $kernel) method. This method will be automatically called immediately after each context creation before each scenario. After the context constructor, but before any instance hook or definition call.


The application kernel will be automatically rebooted between scenarios, so your scenarios would have almost absolutely isolated state.

Injecting Services

The extension will automatically convert parameters injected into a context that start with '@' into services:

                - FeatureContext:
                    simpleArg: 'string'
                    session:   '@session'
        Behat\Symfony2Extension: ~

The FeatureContext will then be initialized with the Symfony2 session from the container:


namespace FeatureContext;

use Behat\Behat\Context\Context;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Session\Session;

class FeatureContext implements Context
    public function __construct(Session $session, $simpleArg)
        // $session is your Symfony2 @session

Injecting Parameters

You can also inject parameters of your Symfony application into a context if you escape the parameter name.

The following example will inject the kernel.environment parameter into the simpleArg argument of the FeatureContext context.

                - FeatureContext:
                    simpleArg: '%%kernel.environment%%'
                    session:   '@session'
        Behat\Symfony2Extension: ~

Initialize Bundle Suite

In order to start with your feature suite for specific bundle, execute:

$ vendor/bin/behat --init --suite=my_suite

Run Bundle Suite

In order to run the feature suite for a specific bundle, execute:

$ vendor/bin/behat -s my_suite

You can also use the bundle name to limit the features being run when using the default convention for features files (putting them in the Features folder of the bundle):

$ vendor/bin/behat "@AppBundle"

This can also be used to run specific features in the bundle:

$ vendor/bin/behat "@AppBundle/registration.feature"
$ vendor/bin/behat src/Acme/DemoBundle/Features/registration.feature

symfony2 Mink Session

Symfony2Extension comes bundled with a custom symfony2 session (driver) for Mink, which is enabled by default when the MinkExtension and the MinkBrowserKitDriver are available. In order to use it you should download/install/activate MinkExtension and BrowserKit driver for Mink:

$ composer require --dev behat/mink-extension behat/mink-browserkit-driver

The new Mink driver will be available for usage:

    # ...
        Behat\Symfony2Extension: ~
                    symfony2: ~


The KernelDriver requires using a Symfony environment where the test mode of the FrameworkBundle is enabled. It uses the test environment by default, for which it is the case in the Symfony2 Standard Edition.


Symfony2Extension comes with a flexible configuration system, that gives you the ability to configure Symfony2 kernel inside Behat to fulfil all your needs.

  • kernel - specifies options to instantiate the kernel:
    • bootstrap - defines an autoloading/bootstraping file to autoload all the required classes to instantiate the kernel. It can be an absolute path or a path relative to the Behat configuration file. Defaults to app/autoload.php.
    • path - defines the path to the kernel class file in order to instantiate it. It can be an absolute path or a path relative to the Behat configuration file. Defaults to app/AppKernel.php or src/Kernel.php, whichever exists.
    • class - defines the name of the kernel class. Defaults to AppKernel or App\Kernel, whichever exists.
    • env - defines the environment in which kernel should be instantiated and used inside suite. Defaults to test.
    • debug - defines whether kernel should be instantiated with debug option set to true. Defaults to true
  • context - specifies options, used to guess the context class:
    • path_suffix - suffix from bundle directory for features. Defaults to Features.
    • class_suffix - suffix from bundle classname for context class. Defaults to Features\Context\FeatureContext.