How to Use MongoDbSessionHandler to Store Sessions in a MongoDB Database

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How to Use MongoDbSessionHandler to Store Sessions in a MongoDB Database

The default Symfony session storage writes the session information to files. Some medium to large websites use a NoSQL database called MongoDB to store the session values instead of files, because databases are easier to use and scale in a multi-webserver environment.

Symfony has a built-in solution for NoSQL database session storage called MongoDbSessionHandler. MongoDB is an open-source document database that provides high performance, high availability and automatic scaling. This article assumes that you have already installed and configured a MongoDB server. To use it, you just need to change/add some parameters in the main configuration file:

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  • PHP
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# app/config/config.yml
framework:
    session:
        # ...
        handler_id:  session.handler.mongo
        cookie_lifetime: 2592000 # optional, it is set to 30 days here
        gc_maxlifetime: 2592000 # optional, it is set to 30 days here

services:
    # ...
    mongo_client:
        class: MongoClient
        # if using a username and password
        arguments: ['mongodb://%mongodb_username%:%mongodb_password%@%mongodb_host%:27017']
        # if not using a username and password
        arguments: ['mongodb://%mongodb_host%:27017']
    session.handler.mongo:
        class: Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Session\Storage\Handler\MongoDbSessionHandler
        arguments: ['@mongo_client', '%mongo.session.options%']

The parameters used above should be defined somewhere in your application, often in your main parameters configuration:

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# app/config/parameters.yml
parameters:
    # ...
    mongo.session.options:
        database: session_db # your MongoDB database name
        collection: session  # your MongoDB collection name
    mongodb_host: 1.2.3.4 # your MongoDB server's IP
    mongodb_username: my_username
    mongodb_password: my_password

Setting Up the MongoDB Collection

Because MongoDB uses dynamic collection schemas, you do not need to do anything to initialize your session collection. However, you may want to add an index to improve garbage collection performance. From the MongoDB shell:

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use session_db
db.session.ensureIndex( { "expires_at": 1 }, { expireAfterSeconds: 0 } )
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