Configuring the Directory where Session Files are Saved

Configuring the Directory where Session Files are Saved

By default, the Symfony Standard Edition uses the global php.ini values for session.save_handler and session.save_path to determine where to store session data. This is because of the following configuration:

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    # app/config/config.yml
    framework:
        session:
            # handler_id set to null will use default session handler from php.ini
            handler_id: ~
    
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    <!-- app/config/config.xml -->
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <container xmlns="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:framework="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services/services-1.0.xsd
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony/symfony-1.0.xsd">
    
        <framework:config>
            <!-- handler-id set to null will use default session handler from php.ini -->
            <framework:session handler-id="null" />
        </framework:config>
    </container>
    
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    // app/config/config.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('framework', array(
        'session' => array(
            // handler_id set to null will use default session handler from php.ini
            'handler_id' => null,
        ),
    ));
    

With this configuration, changing where your session metadata is stored is entirely up to your php.ini configuration.

However, if you have the following configuration, Symfony will store the session data in files in the cache directory %kernel.cache_dir%/sessions. This means that when you clear the cache, any current sessions will also be deleted:

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    # app/config/config.yml
    framework:
        session: ~
    
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    <!-- app/config/config.xml -->
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <container xmlns="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:framework="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services/services-1.0.xsd
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony/symfony-1.0.xsd">
    
        <framework:config>
            <framework:session />
        </framework:config>
    </container>
    
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    // app/config/config.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('framework', array(
        'session' => array(),
    ));
    

Using a different directory to save session data is one method to ensure that your current sessions aren't lost when you clear Symfony's cache.

Tip

Using a different session save handler is an excellent (yet more complex) method of session management available within Symfony. See Configuring Sessions and Save Handlers for a discussion of session save handlers. There are also articles about storing sessions in a relational database or a NoSQL database.

To change the directory in which Symfony saves session data, you only need change the framework configuration. In this example, you will change the session directory to app/sessions:

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    # app/config/config.yml
    framework:
        session:
            handler_id: session.handler.native_file
            save_path: '%kernel.root_dir%/sessions'
    
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    <!-- app/config/config.xml -->
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <container xmlns="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:framework="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services/services-1.0.xsd
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/symfony/symfony-1.0.xsd">
    
        <framework:config>
            <framework:session handler-id="session.handler.native_file"
                save-path="%kernel.root_dir%/sessions"
            />
        </framework:config>
    </container>
    
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    // app/config/config.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('framework', array(
        'session' => array(
            'handler_id' => 'session.handler.native_file',
            'save_path'  => '%kernel.root_dir%/sessions',
        ),
    ));
    

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.