Using controllers and views


After routing is performed, the controller takes care of the actual code to execute for the request. Because we want to implement some basics for every request that gets processed you should inherit from our base classes to ensure basic functionality such as authorisation and CSRF protection.

Controllers are placed in the directory /usr/local/opnsense/mvc/app/controllers/<Vendor_name>/<Module_name>/ and should use the standard Phalcon naming conventions, suffix Controller.php on every class file and suffix Action on all action methods.

For a detailed description of how Controllers work in Phalcon, please look at the Phalcon documentation at

View based controllers

For rendering standard pages we have chosen to use Volt templates, the base controller to inherit from in this case is OPNsense\Base\ControllerBase and should take care of binding a template to the controller. Every template automatically receives standard features (such as the menu system).

The wireframe for implementing a single action should look like this:

    public function indexAction()
       // address some variables to pass through the view
        $this->view->my_variable1 = 'test 1';
        $this->view->my_variable2 = 'test 2';
       // pick a template

And the volt template SampleVendor/Sample/index.volt could contain something like:

the contents of my_variable1 => <b> {{ my_variable1 }} </b> <br>
the contents of my_variable2 => <b> {{ my_variable2 }} </b> <br>

A full example can be found in the OPNsense\Sample controller directory.

More information on how to write Volt pages can be found here :

API based controllers

For API calls a separate class is used to derive from, which implements a simple interface to handle calls. The main difference with the view controllers is that an action should return a named array containing response data instead of picking a template.

A simple index controller to echo a request back looks like this:

class TestController extends ApiControllerBase
     * @return array
    public function echoAction()
        if ($this->request->hasPost("message")) {
            $message = $this->request->getPost("message");
        } else {
            $message = " " ;

        return array("message" => $message);

When placed inside the API directory of Vendor/Sample can be called by sending a post request to /api/sample/test/echo, using jQuery:

    type: "POST",
    url: "/api/sample/test/echo",
    success: function(data){
        alert(data.message) ;
    data:{message:"test message"}


OPNsense ships with two standard controllers to incorporate default action scenario’s, such as mutating models and restarting services. These can be found in our repository here and are named ApiMutableModelControllerBase, ApiMutableServiceControllerBase. Both extend ApiControllerBase as described in this chapter. The mutable model controller is explained in more detail in using grids, the service controller is explained in api enable services