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PHP Problem Logger: Exception and Error Logging with full runtime information.
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This tool helps create a better log of the current environment when a problem happens in PHP - like an Exception or an Error. Exceptions are handled by an exception handler - and errors are converted into a custom ErrorException and thrown.

Installation Instructions

Install the latest version with

$ composer require aaronsaray/phproblemlogger


Getting Started

This library will add on to the existing uncaught exception and error handler using a PSR-3 compatible logging instance for output of the current environment. The configuration of this logger is additive meaning that out of the box nothing is logged during a problem. You must configure filters to indicate what you'd like to be logged.

All uncaught exceptions are processed using this library. Error types of E_ALL | E_STRICT are turned into a custom Exception and processed.

To use this tool, have an instance of a PSR-3 logger available and at least one filter callable ready.

Important If you have your own exception handling in place (like a redirect or a nice view), create a new instance of PHProblemLogger after you've defined your handler. PHProblemLogger keeps a reference to the previous handler and will call it after it after processing finishes. This does not apply to the error handler. This is overwritten and errors are converted into an ErrorException.

An Example

In this example, we want to log $_SERVER and $_COOKIE variables to our log file whenever there is an exception.

use AaronSaray\PHProblemLogger\Handler as Handler;
use AaronSaray\PHProblemLogger\Handler as HandlerFilter;

$monolog = $monolog; // this is an instance of a PSR-3 logger interface

$problemHandler = new Handler($monolog);
    ->server(function(array $payload) {
        return $payload;

To create the new instance of the problem handler, create a new instance of the class and pass in a LoggerInterface class as the first parameter of the constructor. This will automatically add PHPProblemHandler to the stack of error and exception handlers in your application. Then, for each portion of the runtime environment that we want, we pass a callable function to it.

First, in order to get all $_SERVER variables, we call ->server() with a closure that takes a payload of what is the $_SERVER variable and allows us to edit it. In this case, we just return the entire array.

Next, when filtering the $_COOKIE super global, we call the helper function all() of the HandlerFilter.
This is essentially returns a function that is the same as the closure we wrote. It's just used to save time.

Now, any exception or error will write to the logger with the entire contents of the $_SERVER and the $_COOKIE variables.
Remember, since we didn't add any other filters, items like $_GET and $_POST will not be logged.

Filter Functions

Filter functions require a PHP Callable to be passed as their only parameter. This callable will receive an array of the payload variable. The return type should be an array or null. NULL indicates that this portion should not be logged. You may return the entire array unaltered, alter it, or completely replace it (not recommended).

You may want to alter the values when there are instances that deal with secure values, like a credit card number in a $_POST or database connection variables in your $_ENV.

Handler::session - access to $_SESSION

Handler::get - access to $_GET

Handler::post - access to $_POST

Handler::cookie - access to $_COOKIE

Handler::environment - access to $_ENV

Handler::server - access to $_SERVER

Handler::application - empty array to add custom application values to

Built-in Filter Callables

To save time, there are two helper methods that return filter callables.

HandlerFilter::all - returns a filter that returns the entire payload unaltered

HandlerFilter::none - returns a filter that returns null, making sure that the variable is not logged


For the following cookbooks, we're assuming that the $handler variable is an instance of this library with a valid logger injected.

Log $_SERVER only if running from web server

$handler->server(function(array $payload) {
  return php_sapi_name() != 'cli' ? $payload : null;

Mask a credit card number in $_POST by the key 'cc_num'

$handler->post(function(array $payload) {
  if (array_key_exists('cc_num', $payload)) {
    $payload['cc_num'] = str_pad(substr($payload['cc_num'], -4), strlen($payload['cc_num']), '*', STR_PAD_LEFT);
  return $payload;

Conditionally do not log $_SESSION based on an application choice

use AaronSaray\PHProblemLogger\Handler as HandlerFilter;


if (someFunctionIsTrue()) {

Log user information from your session without a complex application / DI solution

$handler->application(function(array $payload) {
  if (isset($_SESSION['user'])) {
    $payload['user'] = $_SESSION['user'];
  return $payload;

Log detailed user information within an application with Dependency Injection

class MyUserErrorFilter
  protected $authenticationProvider;
  public function __construct($authenticationProvider)
    $this->authenticationProvider = $authenticationProvider;
  public function __invoke(array $payload)
    if ($this->authenticationProvider->isLoggedIn()) {
       $payload['authenticationInfo'] = $this->authenticationProvider->getAuthenticationInfo();
    return $payload;

$handler->application(new MyUserErrorFilter($yourAuthenticationProviderInstance));

Add additional useful information like memory usage

$handler->application(function(array $payload) {
  $payload['memory_usage'] = memory_get_usage();
  $payload['pid'] = getmypid();
  $payload['resource_usage'] = getrusage(); 
  return $payload;

Use PHProblemLogger exception logging tools even in caught exception

Keep in mind: if you have your own exception handler defined before PHProblemLogger, this will kick off yours as well.

try {
catch (\Exception $e) {
  // some custom programming here


Session variables are not being logged.
Make sure that you are calling session_start() somewhere before the error happens. This library will not attempt to start a session just to report on the content of it.

My own custom exception handler is not firing
Make sure that you've made a new instance of Handler after you've defined your custom exception handler. If you're using any other sort of exception handler queueing system, this may not work.

I am not seeing any of the logs from PHProblemLogger in the output
This could be happening for a number of reasons. First, note that the log level of ERROR is being used to log the exceptions and errors. Verify that your log writer is configured to write that log level. Second, you may want to verify that PHProblemHandler's exception handler hasn't been removed. When you call set_exception_handler it returns the previous exception handler. Use a debugger to validate that the exception handler is still set. A quick and dirty solution is to use the following code to verify this: var_dump(set_exception_handler(function(){})); - which should return a callable that reflects the PHProblemHandler function of Handler::handleException.


  • TravisCI for 7.x and HHVM
    Currently, this is failing because of the independent process tests and not finding a code coverage file and/or a PharException.


There are a lot of systems out there to handle the display of errors - and some more complex solutions (like Zend Server) to handle gathering the entire environment during an error condition. However, there is nothing really in-between that - something that logs errors and the runtime environment - without relying on a larger, enterprise-level solution or third-party.

I was having some weird errors that I really needed to know more about the environment to troubleshoot, so I decided to add something like this to my application. I then created it as an open source project - hopefully it will help you out!


  • PHP 5.5+

Bugs and Feature Requests

Bugs and feature request are tracked on GitHub

Run tests by executing composer tests in the root of the project.


Aaron Saray -


This library is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details

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