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Parallelization for the Symfony Console

This library supports the parallelization of Symfony Console commands.

How it works

When you launch a command with multi-processing enabled (--processes 2), a master process fetches items and distributes them across the given number of child processes. Child processes are killed after a fixed number of items (a segment) in order to prevent them from slowing down over time.

Optionally, the work of child processes can be split down into further chunks (batches). You can perform certain work before and after each of these batches (for example flushing changes to the database) in order to optimize the performance of your command.


Use Composer to install the package:

$ composer require webmozarts/console-parallelization


use Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Command\ContainerAwareCommand;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Command\Command;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Output\OutputInterface;
use Webmozarts\Console\Parallelization\Parallelization;

class ImportMoviesCommand extends ContainerAwareCommand
    use Parallelization;

    protected static $defaultName = 'import:movies';

    protected function configure(): void

    protected function fetchItems(InputInterface $input): array
        // open up the file and read movie data...

        // return items as strings
        return [
            '{"id": 1, "name": "Star Wars"}',
            '{"id": 2, "name": "Django Unchained"}',
            // ...

    protected function runSingleCommand(string $item, InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output): void
        $movieData = unserialize($item);
        // insert into the database

    protected function runAfterBatch(InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output, array $items): void
        // flush the database and clear the entity manager

    protected function getItemName(int $count): string
        return 1 === $count ? 'movie' : 'movies';

You can run this command like a regular Symfony Console command:

$ bin/console import:movies
Processing 2768 movies in segments of 2768, batches of 50, 1 round, 56 batches in 1 process

 2768/2768 [============================] 100% 56 secs/56 secs 32.0 MiB
Processed 2768 movies.

Or, if you want, you can run the command using parallelization:

$ bin/console import:movies --processes 2
Processing 2768 movies in segments of 50, batches of 50, 56 rounds, 56 batches in 2 processes

 2768/2768 [============================] 100% 31 secs/31 secs 32.0 MiB
Processed 2768 movies.


The master process fetches all the items that need to be processed and passes them to the child processes through their Standard Input. Hence items must fulfill two requirements:

  • Items must be strings
  • Items must not contain newlines

Typically, you want to keep items small in order to offload processing from the master process to the child process. Some typical examples for items:

  • The master process reads a file and passes the lines to the child processes
  • The master processes fetches IDs of database rows that need to be updated and passes them to the child processes


When you run a command with multi-processing enabled, the items returned by fetchItems() are split into segments of a fixed size. Each child processes processes a single segment and kills itself after that.

By default, the segment size is the same as the batch size (see below), but you can try to tweak the performance of your command by choosing a different segment size (ideally a multiple of the batch size). You can do so by overriding the getSegmentSize() method:

protected function getSegmentSize(): int
    return 250;


By default, the batch size and the segment size is the same. If desired, you can however choose a smaller batch size than the segment size and run custom code before or after each batch. You will typically do so in order to flush changes to the database or free resources that you don't need anymore.

To run code before/after each batch, override the hooks runBeforeBatch() and runAfterBatch():

protected function runBeforeBatch(InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output, array $items): void
    // e.g. fetch needed resources collectively

protected function runAfterBatch(InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output, array $items): void
    // e.g. flush database changes and free resources

You can customize the default batch size of 50 by overriding the getBatchSize() method:

protected function getBatchSize(): int
    return 150;


The Parallelization trait supports more hooks than the one mentioned in the last section. In the table below you can find a complete list of them:

Method Scope Description
runBeforeFirstCommand($input, $output) Master process Run before any child process is spawned
runAfterLastCommand($input, $output) Master process Run after all child processes have completed
runBeforeBatch($input, $output, $items) Child process Run before each batch in the child process
runAfterBatch($input, $output, $items) Child process Run after each batch in the child process



Contributions to the package are always welcome!


All contents of this package are licensed under the MIT license.

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