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Easily store PHP session data in a MySQL database
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LICENSE Initial commit Feb 28, 2017 Updated readme Feb 28, 2017
example.php Updated project files Feb 28, 2017
mysql.sessions.php Updated project files Feb 28, 2017


This is a native solution to easily store PHP session data in a MySQL database.


Session variables contain data that is saved for a specific user by associating the user with a unique identity. Typically, PHP would store session variables in a local file system on the server by default. While this may be acceptable to many people who are running small to moderate PHP applications, some larger applications that require load balancing would need to be run on multiple servers with a load balancer. In such cases, each server running PHP would need a way to ensure that sessions continue to work properly. One common way to achieve this is to override where PHP opens, reads, writes, and destroys the session variables so that it can perform these operations on a table inside of a MySQL database. When this is performed, the web application can gain advantages such as session management, session logging, and session interactions.


This solution can be easily integrated with your existing PHP code that uses PHP sessions. Simply perform the following steps:

  1. Upload the files in this repository to your Apache server running PHP. You can store these files inside any resource folder of your desire. It is not recommended that these files be located in the root directory since it contains some sensitive database information.

  2. Create a new MySQL database if you do not already have an existing one. Note down your MySQL credentials. Go to PHPMyAdmin or your database manager and run the following command:

    CREATE TABLE sessions
    	id varchar(32) NOT NULL,
    	access int(10) unsigned,
    	data text,
    	PRIMARY KEY (id)
  3. Edit the file database.class.php and change the following variables to your existing database.

    define("DB_HOST", "localhost");
    define("DB_USER", "yourusername");
    define("DB_PASS", "1234567890");
    define("DB_NAME", "yourdbname");
  4. Make sure PHP has sufficient privileges and make sure that your MySQL server accepts connections if separate from your localhost.


An example script called example.php has been provided for your convenience. This contains all the basic functionality you would need for storing, retrieving, and destroying a session. One thing to note is that you do not have to call session_start() on your code as that is already taken care of inside the mysql.sessions.php class.

  1. Declarations (include these on the top of your PHP):

    include("database.class.php");	//Include MySQL database class
    include("mysql.sessions.php");	//Include PHP MySQL sessions
    $session = new Session();	//Start a new PHP MySQL session
  2. Storing in a session variable:

    //Store variable as usual
    $_SESSION['user'] = "";
  3. Retrieving session variable:

    //Show stored user
    echo $_SESSION['user'];
  4. Unset and Destroy (use these for signing out a user):

    //Clear session data (only data column)
    //Destroy the entire session


If for some reason your code does not work, you can add the following lines to the top of your PHP script to show the errors:

ini_set('display_errors', '1');

In addition, use PHPMyAdmin or your database manager to check your sessions table to see if the table has been altered in any way. For example, the table should populate as more session variables are being added.

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