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Yii 2 Basic Project Template

Yii 2 Basic Project Template is a skeleton Yii 2 application best for rapidly creating small projects.

The template contains the basic features including user login/logout and a contact page. It includes all commonly used configurations that would allow you to focus on adding new features to your application.

Latest Stable Version Total Downloads Build Status


  assets/             contains assets definition
  commands/           contains console commands (controllers)
  config/             contains application configurations
  controllers/        contains Web controller classes
  mail/               contains view files for e-mails
  models/             contains model classes
  runtime/            contains files generated during runtime
  tests/              contains various tests for the basic application
  vendor/             contains dependent 3rd-party packages
  views/              contains view files for the Web application
  web/                contains the entry script and Web resources


The minimum requirement by this project template that your Web server supports PHP 5.4.0.


Install via Composer

If you do not have Composer, you may install it by following the instructions at

You can then install this project template using the following command:

composer create-project --prefer-dist yiisoft/yii2-app-basic basic

Now you should be able to access the application through the following URL, assuming basic is the directory directly under the Web root.


Install from an Archive File

Extract the archive file downloaded from to a directory named basic that is directly under the Web root.

Set cookie validation key in config/web.php file to some random secret string:

'request' => [
    // !!! insert a secret key in the following (if it is empty) - this is required by cookie validation
    'cookieValidationKey' => '<secret random string goes here>',

You can then access the application through the following URL:


Install with Docker

Update your vendor packages

docker-compose run --rm php composer update --prefer-dist

Run the installation triggers (creating cookie validation code)

docker-compose run --rm php composer install    

Start the container

docker-compose up -d

You can then access the application through the following URL:


  • Minimum required Docker engine version 17.04 for development (see Performance tuning for volume mounts)
  • The default configuration uses a host-volume in your home directory .docker-composer for composer caches



Edit the file config/db.php with real data, for example:

return [
    'class' => 'yii\db\Connection',
    'dsn' => 'mysql:host=localhost;dbname=yii2basic',
    'username' => 'root',
    'password' => '1234',
    'charset' => 'utf8',


  • Yii won't create the database for you, this has to be done manually before you can access it.
  • Check and edit the other files in the config/ directory to customize your application as required.
  • Refer to the README in the tests directory for information specific to basic application tests.


Tests are located in tests directory. They are developed with Codeception PHP Testing Framework. By default there are 3 test suites:

  • unit
  • functional
  • acceptance

Tests can be executed by running

vendor/bin/codecept run

The command above will execute unit and functional tests. Unit tests are testing the system components, while functional tests are for testing user interaction. Acceptance tests are disabled by default as they require additional setup since they perform testing in real browser.

Running acceptance tests

To execute acceptance tests do the following:

  1. Rename tests/acceptance.suite.yml.example to tests/acceptance.suite.yml to enable suite configuration

  2. Replace codeception/base package in composer.json with codeception/codeception to install full featured version of Codeception

  3. Update dependencies with Composer

    composer update  
  4. Download Selenium Server and launch it:

    java -jar ~/selenium-server-standalone-x.xx.x.jar

    In case of using Selenium Server 3.0 with Firefox browser since v48 or Google Chrome since v53 you must download GeckoDriver or ChromeDriver and launch Selenium with it:

    # for Firefox
    java -jar -Dwebdriver.gecko.driver=~/geckodriver ~/selenium-server-standalone-3.xx.x.jar
    # for Google Chrome
    java -jar ~/selenium-server-standalone-3.xx.x.jar

    As an alternative way you can use already configured Docker container with older versions of Selenium and Firefox:

    docker run --net=host selenium/standalone-firefox:2.53.0
  5. (Optional) Create yii2_basic_tests database and update it by applying migrations if you have them.

    tests/bin/yii migrate

    The database configuration can be found at config/test_db.php.

  6. Start web server:

    tests/bin/yii serve
  7. Now you can run all available tests

    # run all available tests
    vendor/bin/codecept run
    # run acceptance tests
    vendor/bin/codecept run acceptance
    # run only unit and functional tests
    vendor/bin/codecept run unit,functional

Code coverage support

By default, code coverage is disabled in codeception.yml configuration file, you should uncomment needed rows to be able to collect code coverage. You can run your tests and collect coverage with the following command:

#collect coverage for all tests
vendor/bin/codecept run -- --coverage-html --coverage-xml

#collect coverage only for unit tests
vendor/bin/codecept run unit -- --coverage-html --coverage-xml

#collect coverage for unit and functional tests
vendor/bin/codecept run functional,unit -- --coverage-html --coverage-xml

You can see code coverage output under the tests/_output directory.

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