An alternative store implementation for Symfony's HttpCache reverse proxy that supports auto-pruning of expired entries and cache invalidation by tags.

4.2.0 2023-09-18 14:46 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2023-11-18 15:10:35 UTC


Supported branches

  • For PHP ^7.2 and Symfony <6, use version 3.x
  • For PHP ^8.0 and Symfony >6, use version 4.x


Symfony's HttpCache store implementation is rather old and was developed when there were no separate components for locking and caching yet. Moreover, expired cache entries are never pruned and thus causes your cache directory to continue to grow forever until you delete it manually.

Along the way, I needed support for cache invalidation based on tags which was pretty easy to implement thanks to the Symfony Cache component.

This bundle thus provides an alternative StoreInterface implementation that…

  • …instead of re-implementing locking and caching mechanisms again, uses the well tested Symfony Cache and Lock components, both with the local filesystem adapters by default.
  • …thanks to the TagAwareAdapterInterface of the Cache component, supports tag based cache invalidation.
  • …thanks to the PrunableInterface of the Cache component, supports auto-pruning of expired entries on the filesystem trying to prevent flooding the filesystem.
  • …allows you to use a different PSR-6 cache adapters as well as a different lock adapter than the local filesystem ones. However, be careful about choosing the right adapters, see warning below.
  • …supports BinaryFileResponse instances.


$ composer require toflar/psr6-symfony-http-cache-store


For the Symfony 4/Flex structure, you need to adjust your index.php like this:


// public/index.php
$kernel = new Kernel($env, $debug);
$kernel = new HttpCache(
    new Psr6Store(['cache_directory' => $kernel->getCacheDir()]),
    ['debug' => $debug]

That's it, that's all there is to do. The Psr6Store will automatically create the best caching and locking adapters available for your local filesystem.

If you want to go beyond this point, the Psr6Store can be configured by passing an array of $options in the constructor:

  • cache_directory: Path to the cache directory for the default cache adapter and lock factory.

    Either this or both cache and lock_factory are required.

    Type: string

  • cache: Explicitly specify the cache adapter you want to use.

    Note that if you want to make use of cache tagging, this cache must implement the Symfony\Component\Cache\Adapter\TagAwareAdapterInterface Make sure that lock and cache have the same scope. See warning below!

    Type: Symfony\Component\Cache\Adapter\AdapterInterface Default: FilesystemAdapter instance with cache_directory

  • lock_factory: Explicitly specify the lock factory you want to use. Make sure that lock and cache have the same scope. See warning below!

    Type: Symfony\Component\Lock\Factory Default: Factory with SemaphoreStore if supported, FlockStore otherwise

  • prune_threshold: Configure the number of write actions until the store will prune the expired cache entries. Pass 0 to disable automated pruning.

    Type: int Default: 500

  • cache_tags_header: The HTTP header name that's used to check for tags.

    Type: string Default: Cache-Tags

  • generate_content_digests: Whether or not content digests should be generated. See "Generating Content Digests" for more information.

    Type: boolean Default: true

Generating Content Digests

By default, this cache implementation generates content digests. This means that the response meta data is stored separately from the response content. If multiple responses share the same content, it is stored in the cache only once. Compare the following illustrations to see the difference:

With generating content digests:

Illustration of the cache with generating content digests

Without generating content digests:

Illustration of the cache without generating content digests

Generating content digests optimizes the cache so it uses up less storage. Using them, however, also comes at the costs of requiring a second round trip to fetch the content digest from the cache during the lookup process.

Whether or not you want to use content digests depends on your PSR-6 cache back end. If lookups are fast and storage is rather limited (e.g. Redis), you might want to use content digests. If lookups are rather slow and storage is less of an issue (e.g. Filesystem), you might want to disable them.

You can control the behaviour using the generate_content_digests configuration option.

Caching BinaryFileResponse Instances

This cache implementation allows to cache BinaryFileResponse instances but the files are not actually copied to the cache directory. It will just try to fetch the original file and if that does not exist anymore, the store returns null, causing HttpCache to deal with it as a cache miss and continue normally. It is ideal for use cases such as caching /favicon.ico requests where you would like to prevent the application from being started and thus deliver the response from HttpCache.

Cache Tagging

Tag cache entries by adding a response header with the tags as a comma separated value. By default, that header is called Cache-Tags, this can be overwritten in cache_tags_header.

To invalidate tags, call the method Psr6Store::invalidateTags or use the PurgeTagsListener from the FOSHttpCache library to handle tag invalidation requests.

Pruning Expired Cache Items

By default, this store removes expired entries from the cache after every 500 cache write operations. Fetching data does not affect performance. You can change the automated pruning frequency with the prune_threshold configuration setting.

You can also manually trigger pruning by calling the prune() method on the cache. With this, you could for example implement a cron job that loads the store and prunes it at a configured interval, to prevent slowing down random requests that were cache misses because they have to wait for the pruning to happen. If you have set up a cron job, you should disable auto pruning by setting the threshold to 0.


It is possible to configure other cache adapters or lock stores than the filesystem ones. Only do this if you are sure of what you are doing. In this pull request Fabien refused to add PSR-6 store support to the Symfony AppCache with the following arguments:

  • Using a filesystem allows for opcache to make the cache very effective;
  • The cache contains some PHP (when using ESI for instance) and storing PHP in anything else than a filesystem would mean eval()-ing strings coming from Redis / Memcache /...;
  • HttpCache is triggered very early and does not have access to the container or anything else really. And it should stay that way to be efficient.

While the first and third point depend on what you do and need, be sure to respect the second point. If you use network enabled caches like Redis or Memcache, make sure that they are not shared with other systems to avoid code injection!


I would like to thank David for his invaluable feedback on this library while we were working on an integration for the awesome FOSHttpCache library.