How to Integrate Twig with CodeIgniter [Step by Step]

By: Sunil Kumar |  In: PHP  |  Last Updated: 2018/09/19

How to Integrate Twig with CodeIgniter [Step by Step]

Twig is one of the most popular Templating Engine. I am using Twig since last 4 years with Symfony and it is just awesome.

Recently I started a CodeIgniter and thought to use Twig in this project as a Templating Engine.

In this article, I will explain the Step by step process to integrate Twig with CodeIgniter.

Step 1. Download CodeIgniter

If you already have CI project you can skip this step. If you are starting a new CI project you can download the latest CodeIgniter from here.

Step 2. Install Composer

We are using composer to install the Twig library with our CodeIgniter Project. If you haven’t installed composer you can follow these steps to install composer.

Why You Should be Using Templating Engine Instead of PHP

Step 3. Twig Installation

#1. Add the following code in your composer.json file which is present in your project root directory

"config": {
    "vendor-dir": "application/vendor"
"require": {
    "twig/twig": "~1.0"

#2. Now run the composer file using

php composer.phar install

If you do not have composer.phar file downloaded, you can download using


You will see your libraries getting installed one by one.


#3. Now enable composer_autoload in the config file(/application/config/config.php)

$config['composer_autoload'] = TRUE;

#4. Create a new config file in application/config and name it twig.php. And add the following code:

$config['twig']['template_dir'] = VIEWPATH;
$config['twig']['template_ext'] = 'php';
$config['twig']['environment']['autoescape'] = TRUE;
$config['twig']['environment']['cache'] = FALSE;
$config['twig']['environment']['debug'] = FALSE;

#5. Create a new library(/application/libraries/) and name it Twig.php. and add the following code:

class Twig {
    private $CI;

    private $_config = array();
    private $_twig;
    private $_twig_loader;

    public function __construct(){
        log_message('debug', 'Twig: library initialized');

        $this->CI =& get_instance();

        $this->_config = $this->CI->config->item('twig');

        try {
            $this->_twig_loader = new Twig_Loader_Filesystem($this->_config['template_dir']);
        } catch (Exception $e) {
            show_error(htmlspecialchars_decode($e->getMessage()), 500, 'Twig Exception');

        if($this->_config['environment']['cache'] === true){
            $this->_config['environment']['cache'] = APPPATH.'cache/twig';

        $this->_twig = new Twig_Environment($this->_twig_loader, $this->_config['environment']);

    public function render($template, $data = array()){
        $template = $this->addExtension($template);
        return $this->_twig->render($template, $data);

    public function display($template, $data = array()){
        $this->_twig->display($template, $data);

    private function addExtension($template){
        $ext = '.'.$this->_config['template_ext'];

        if(substr($template, -strlen($ext)) !== $ext){
            return $template .= $ext;

        return $template;

#6. Create core file to extend Codeigniter Loader. In this example is MY_Loader.php. (/application/core/MY_Loader.php)

<?php if ( ! defined('BASEPATH')) exit('No direct script access allowed');

class MY_Loader extends CI_Loader {
    public function view($template, $data = array(), $return = FALSE) {
        $CI =& get_instance();

        try {
            $output = $CI->twig->render($template, $data);
        } catch (Exception $e) {
            show_error(htmlspecialchars_decode($e->getMessage()), 500, 'Twig Exception');

        // Return the output if the return value is TRUE.
        if ($return === TRUE) {
            return $output;

        // Otherwise append to output just like a view.

#7. Add twig.php config file and Twig.php library to your autoload configuration(/application/config/autoload.php).

$autoload['libraries'] = array('Twig');
$autoload['config'] = array('twig');

That’s it.
Now we are all done with the setup part. You can use Twig syntax in your project. I am also adding sample project for all the above changes for your reference. You can download this Sample project here.


So you integrated Twig with your CodeIgniter Project. Twig does not affect your existing view Syntex so you can use your existing view file as it is without any problem.


    • Here we have tested the code before publishing here and it is working fine. If you still get this error you can try that solution also.

  • thanks for this tutorial, twig rendered the page but I have this

    Severity: Warning
    Message: call_user_func() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, no array or string given
    Filename: Extension/Escaper.php
    Line Number: 72

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    Sunil Kumar

    I am the owner of acmeextension. I am a passionate writter and reader. I like writting technical stuff and simplifying complex stuff.
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